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Local paramedic joins Lake Chelan firefighting effort as Pioneer Fire grows to nearly 4,000 acres

Chelan County, WA — The Pioneer Fire on Lake Chelan’s north shore continues to burn and there’s still no containment.

The fire has scorched more than 3,800 acres since it started June 8. Officials say one of the main challenges tackling this fire has been access.

“The conditions are extremely remote, the area is quite far up lake on Lake Chelan, it’s in very, very steep rugged terrain,” said Ryan Rodruck, with Washington State Department of National Resources.

Rodruck says this is why atrial operations have played such an important role.

“Today, we’re going to have eight aircraft working the fire up from six yesterday,” said Rodruck.

Close to 400 firefighters have been assigned to battle the blaze, one of them is Adam Lathrop with East Pierce Fire and Rescue.

Lathrop has been on the ground assisting with efforts since June 13.

“My assignment here I’m attached with a couple of hotshots crews out of Oregon who are conducting structural protection, so they are putting plumbing and hose lines and contingency fire breaks all around the structures along the structures along the shoreline,” said Lathrop.

Evacuation orders have been issued for areas southwest of Stehekin, officials say less than 100 residents live in the small town.

“There is no threat to the town of Stehekin at this time in fact the fire approximately 10 miles from the town of Stehekin,” said Rodruck.

Official say investigators are looking into how the fire started and have some leads.

“Right now our investigators believe it is a human factor cause however those specific details are still under investigation,” said Rodruck.

Officials have scheduled a meeting at 5pm at the North Cascades National Park Golden West Visitor Center to give an update on the fire.

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