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Wind Could Shift Direction Of Chelan Complex Fires

Kari Greer
File photo. The Chelan Complex has burned more than 86,000 acres in north central Washington.

Wind is continuing to whip up wildfires burning in north central Washington state. After a dry cold front blew through this morning, another strong surge of wind Friday could cause trouble.

Fire officials say it's a critical test for fire lines in the Chelan Complex.

The Chelan Complex has already burned more than 86,000 acres. Officials say that number could grow.

Gusts of 30 miles per hour and stronger could cause some hot spots to jump containment lines along the northern section of the fires.

Kale Casey, the public information officer on the Chelan Complex, said he’s concerned about the town of Manson -- south of hotspots and in the direction of the expected wind shift.

“If you’ve ever fought fire and been on the ground, and you’re engaged in a battle, sometimes when that wind hits it can be very unpredictable how it’s going to play out in real life,” Casey said. “Right now, we’re just hoping for the best out there. We’re hoping we can hold those lines.”

The wind is expected to be a little less gusty this weekend, but the weather is supposed to stay warm and dry. That could continue to make firefighting efforts difficult.