Swakane Canyon Wildland Fire
Firefighers along US 97A during the Swakane Fire, July 2010. The fire caused level 1 and level 2 evacuations. (Cary Ulrich Photo)

Wildfire season is here. The Swakane Fire has reminded us of the threat wildfires pose residents in Chelan County. Wildfire is unpredictable, can move and change course, and with dry brush, can spread quickly in the winds of the foothills and the Columbia River Valley.


In our county, we use a three-tiered evacuation system and it is important residents know what the evacuation levels mean.

  1. Level 1 evacuations are an alert. Residents should be aware of the danger that exists, and monitor local media outlets for information. Residents with special needs, or those with pets or livestock, should take note and make preparations for relocating family members, pets, and livestock.
  2. Level 2 evacuations indicate there is a significant risk to your area, and residents should either voluntarily relocate to a shelter or with family/friends outside of the area, or, be ready to leave at a moments notice.
  3. Level 3 means danger is currently affecting your area or is imminent, and you should leave immediately.

Preparing in advance is key for a successful, calm, and orderly evacuation. Wildfire is a great threat within Chelan County, and something all residents should prepare for. Making a kit, having a plan, and remaining informed is vital. Below is a printable version of this page, which you should print and post in your home, car, or office, and keep a copy with your emergency plans.

Evacuation Levels Guide

Evacuation Levels Guide