Sheriff Brian Burnett reports three residences were damaged during a storm event Sunday evening in the south Wenatchee area. Residents had to be rescued from one home, but no one was injured.
The initial 911 call was received by RIVERCOM dispatch at 5:07pm as a strong lightning and rain storm moved through the area of the Squilchuck Canyon drainage just southwest of the city. The extremely heavy rain caused mud and debris flows in the Squilchuck Canyon, Pitcher Canyon and Halverson Canyon areas. Storm drains and culverts became overwhelmed quickly as water and mud began running down the roadways.

A culvert which diverts water under the lower Squilchuck Road, began eroding the downslope hillside located above Boodry Street just south of the city limits. The force of the water began creating a deep channel in the earthen slope and which forced a massive amount of rock and mud down the hillside and into a development of single-wide mobile homes. Deputies and Wenatchee Police officers responded and began evacuating the development. A river of mud, rock and other debris impacted the north side of three mobile homes nearly to the roof lines. Children were carried out of one home by deputies and Wenatchee police officers. Three of the mobile homes are now deemed uninhabitable.

The flow of water, rock and debris began to slow by 6:00pm, but more rain was predicted during the evening. Residents of 16 homes in the area were advised they should stay out of the area until the storm completely subsides. Chelan County Public Works engineers and road crews responded and began assessing the slope and clearing the affected roadways. The local Red Cross Office was contacted and was put in touch with residents of the affected homes.

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(Leavenworth, WA) Sheriff Brian Burnet reports a climber was rescued from the south aspect of Dragontail Peak on Sunday morning. The male subject had hiked and free climbed to an area on the mountain to a point at which he felt that he could not safely descend or ascend without assistance.

RIVERCOM dispatch received the initial 911 call from the subject at 7:52pm Saturday evening. Hezekiel Hinshaw 25-years of age of Olympia, WA stated he had hiked up the mountain and became, “Stuck on cliffs.” Hinshaw did not have a rope or other climbing gear. He told the Sheriff’s Office search and rescue coordinator he was not injured and had water, but the remainder of his gear was at his camp at Colchuck Lake. Hinshaw was told to stay put until a rescue team could make it to him.

Chelan County Mountain Rescue was contacted and a team of four responded Saturday evening to Colchuck Lake. At approximately 5:20am Sunday the team made it to an area below Hinshaw’s coordinates on the south of Dragontail Peak and had visual and verbal contact with him. Hinshaw had to be lowered via a rope system from the ledge he was on before the team could escort him out of the area. They arrived back at Colchuck Lake by noon Sunday and were back to the trailhead by 3:45pm.

Hinshaw told SAR coordinators he mistakenly got off course while descending the mountain and came to a steep cliff area where he could not figure a safe route out.

CC sheriff logo 2018Sheriff Brian Burnett reports on July 24th, 2019 a female from Auburn, Washington reported her beach bag was stolen from Slidewaters in Chelan.

At the time of the report, she was tracking the phone and it was plotting Near Emerson and Woodin in Chelan.

Deputies arrived and were given a description of the beach bag. A bag matching the description could be seen plain view in the back seat of an unoccupied vehicle.

A 34 year old male subject approached the vehicle and Deputies were able to determine he was associated with it. He was identified and arrested on unrelated warrants. Credit cards and identification belonging to the victim’s husband were located on his person. He was booked into the Chelan County Regional Jail for four counts of Possession of Stolen Property 2nd Degree and Possession of Another’s Identification.

In interviewing the suspect, Deputies learned the owner of the vehicle, a 34 year old Marysville woman was in a nearby store. She was found exiting the store with nearly $800.00 in purchases. It was determined the victim’s credit card had been charged the exact amount.

The female was arrested and booked into the Chelan County Regional jail for four counts of Possession of Stolen Property 2nd Degree, Possession of a Controlled Substance – Methamphetamine, and Possession of Another’s Identification.

The investigation is continuing and more charges are expected relating to the use of the stolen credit cards.

CC sheriff logo 2018Sheriff Brian Burnett reports a 45-year-old Monitor, WA resident drowned in the Wenatchee River Sunday evening.

The male subject had been floating the river with his adult son and his pet pig near Monitor at about 6:00pm. Each were on their own floatation tube.

According to witnesses, the subjects were around the halfway point between Monitor and the Sleepy Hollow Bridge when the pig fell into the river. The 45-year-old male jumped into the river in an attempt to rescue the pig, but was seen struggling to stay afloat.

The subject’s son yelled to other people recreating on the river and the shoreline that his father had disappeared under water. Witnesses were able to locate the pig and take it to shore.

The missing subject was eventually located by Chelan County deputies downstream near the Sleepy Hollow Bridge. Deputies entered the river and pulled him to the shore.

CPR was initiated as personnel from Chelan County Fire District #1 and Ballard Ambulance arrived on scene and continued lifesaving efforts. After approximately twenty minutes, the subject was pronounced dead at the scene.

The identity of the deceased is being withheld until all family notifications have been made.

CC sheriff logo 2018Sheriff Brian Burnett reports a 77-year-old Wenatchee resident – Charles “Ivan” Bowman - was killed in a single motorcycle collision near Plain, WA Saturday afternoon.

Sheriff Brian Burnett reports a 77-year-old Wenatchee resident – Charles “Ivan” Bowman - was killed in a single motorcycle collision near Plain, WA Saturday afternoon.

A 911 call was received by RIVERCOM Dispatch at 2:34pm advising a motorcyclist had failed to properly negotiate a curve on the Chiwawa Loop Road just prior to the intersection with Beaver Valley Road. The motorcycle traveled off the right shoulder of the roadway colliding with trees.

Bowman was reported to be unresponsive and CPR was initiated at the scene. Chelan County Fire District #9, Cascade Medics, an Airlift Northwest medical helicopter crew and deputies responded to the scene. Medical personnel attended to Bowman for over 45 minutes prior to pronouncing him deceased.

Bowman had been riding with his son and two other relatives when the collision occurred. He was operating his motorcycle in the second position within the group of four as they entered a left-hand curve in the roadway just prior to the stop intersection with Beaver Valley Road. According to witnesses, Bowman appeared to brake prior to heading off the right shoulder of the Chiwawa Loop Road. His motorcycle traveled down a small embankment and impacted with the trees.

Bowman and the other three riders in his group were not taking part in the “Toura Tech” motorcycle event being held in Plain.

The collision is still under investigation by the Sheriff’s Office.

Vessel Prior to Boom Deploy

Vessel prior to boom deployment

Vessel After Boom Deploymen

Vessel after boom deployment

(CHELAN) - Sheriff Brian Burnett reports a partially submerged vessel on Lake Chelan initiated a “spill response” due to leaking diesel fuel Tuesday afternoon (05/07/2019). Emergency management personnel from the Sheriff’s Office were notified by State Department of Ecology (DOE) just after 4:00pm concerning a 29ft sailboat which was approximately 60% submerged along the south shore of the lake just down lake of the 25 Mile Creek USFS dock.

A DOE Spill Response Team responded from Yakima while Chelan County Emergency Management personnel responded to assess the situation and begin boom deployment around the derelict vessel. By 9:30pm the vessel had been surrounded by boom and absorbent material to mitigate the diesel flow out into the lake.

An attempt to locate the owner of the vessel at several different locations in Chelan was unsuccessful Tuesday evening.

The investigation concerning what caused the large sailboat to sink is ongoing.

The boat will need to be removed from the lake which will require a contractor specializing in the removal of submerged vessels. The Dept. of Ecology and Sheriff’s Office are working collaboratively to make this happen as soon as possible. The spill is currently contained.

CC sheriff logo 2018ENTIAT – Chelan County emergency management officials are reminding mushroom hunters headed into areas burned by the Cougar Creek Fire to be vigilant about keeping up to date on weather forecasts and having a pre-planned escape route in the event of seasonal rain showers.

The Cougar Creek Fire was one of the largest wildfires in the state last year, burning more than 42,700 acres in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. The Entiat Ranger District is preparing for a busy mushroom season – and the hundreds of people it may attract.

The impact of rainfall over a recently burned area can be severe, warned Sgt. Kent Sisson of the Chelan County Department of Emergency Management. A burned surface may not absorb even light to normal rainfall, causing the precipitation to travel quickly, taking rocks, boulders, dirt and other debris with it and potentially overwhelming drainage systems, Sisson explained.

In fact, debris flows can move at up to 60 miles an hour on steep slopes, according to information from the National Weather Service.

“In Central Washington, we’re headed into thunderstorm season,” Sisson said. “While locals know there is no cell phone service in most of the Entiat Valley, visitors may not realize this. So we hope to help people understand that if a thunderstorm hits, or if it rains, there may be little warning of a debris flow event.”

Chelan County shares the following tips with not only mushroom hunters but also other people recreating in burned areas:

  • Watch for hazards in burns areas. Snags and damaged trees – blackened killed trees or green trees burned through at the bottom – can fall at any time. Or they can block trails or roads, including your exit if you should need to leave quickly during a rainstorm.

  • Before you head out for the day, look at the weather forecast. If you are in an area that does not have cell phone service, consider purchasing or bringing along an NOAA weather radio to keep up on weather events.

  • Have your escape plan in place prior to a weather event occurring. Maps are available for purchase at the Entiat Ranger District, 2108 Entiat Way. Be familiar with your surroundings.

  • Move to higher ground in the case of a rain event. Do not drive across flooded roads or washes or wade through flooded areas. Rapidly flowing water can easily sweep you off your feet.

  • Leave the area immediately in the case of a summer thunderstorm. If you see the tell-tale signs of a thunderstorm – rapidly rising cumulus clouds, a darkening sky, lightning in the distance and an increase in the wind – do not hesitate to get to a safe zone.

  • Always tell someone where you are going when headed into the forest and when to expect you back. Search crews will not be able to reach you if they don’t know you’re in the forest.

Lastly, Sisson stresses that a little preparation can go a long way in having a successful mushroom harvest this year.

“Checking the weather and being aware of your surroundings are things we should all be doing when we go into the forest,” Sisson said. “It is especially vital when recreating in these burned areas.”

Sheriff Brian Burnett reports that Chelan County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a structure fire at 4045 Sunnybank Drive in Chelan, WA in the early morning hours on Saturday, May 4th.

All persons that were present in the home when the fire broke out were able to exit the home without injury.

The fire destroyed the structure, six vehicles and two pets were lost in the blaze.

The cause of this fire is currently under investigation.

Chelan County Sheriff’s Office detectives are looking for any information regarding individuals seen around the area prior, during and after the structure fire. If you have any information, please contact the detectives tip line at 509- 667-6845.

CC sheriff logo 2018(Wenatchee) --- The executive board of the Columbia River Drug Task Force has asked for an outside law enforcement review of possible errors in handling evidence related to a recent seizure of cocaine, firearms and cash.

Board chair and Chelan County Sheriff Brian Burnett has asked the Thurston County Sheriff’s office to handle the investigation to allow for maximum transparency in determining how policies and procedures may not have been followed in accounting for cash seized as a result of the raid earlier in April.

Ten law enforcement agencies were involved in the investigation where drugs, firearms and cash were taken into evidence from two locations in the Wenatchee area and two men were arrested on April 3. The original accounting of cash received was thought to have been more than $80,000 but evidence packaged was found to be closer to $68,000.

“If policies and procedures were not followed during the processing of the scene, it is extremely important we find and correct those types of errors as soon as possible,” Burnett said. It is common for law enforcement agencies to ask other departments who were not involved to conduct the investigations.

During the investigation, Sheriff Burnett and other agencies involved will not have comment on the case and will await the final recommendations and findings from Thurston County Sheriff’s Office. No date for completion of the investigation has been established.

The initial investigation and arrests were the result of months-long planning and removed a lot of illegal drugs from possible distribution to the community. The Columbia River Drug Task Force is comprised of detectives from the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office, Wenatchee Police Department, East Wenatchee Police Department and Washington State Patrol. They were assisted by Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, Department of Homeland Security, Grant County INET Drug Task Force and Chelan County Public Works.

TargetZeroChelan, Douglas, Kittitas and Okanogan County-Extra patrols will be out statewide on Saturday, April 20, 2019. The patrols will be looking for drunk and other drugged drivers, but will enforce all traffic laws.

While the extra patrols will increase the likelihood that someone driving impaired will be arrested and prosecuted, the goal is not to apprehend impaired drivers but to prevent people from driving impaired in the first place.

The warmer weather brings increased travel for vacations, parties, and other gatherings with family and friends. These gatherings often involve alcohol and/or other drugs. As a result, the season also brings an increased number of drivers who are impaired by alcohol and other drugs on our road.

Whether you smoke, eat, vape or dab marijuana this may lead you to becoming impaired and therefore not able to operate a motor vehicle safely. A person may experience more impairment when they mix marijuana with any other drug including alcohol.

When you’re drunk or high, you have big ideas, but not necessarily good ideas. Driving impaired is dangerous which is why most Washingtonians don’t do it or approve of it. Be prepared, be safe and don’t drive drunk or high. Plan ahead and if you see someone impaired, it’s ok to intervene.

Driving a motor vehicle is probably the biggest responsibility we have every day. Most drivers on our roads do the right thing. Most drivers are sober, wear a seat belt and drive within the safe speed limits. We want to thank those responsible drivers and ask that everyone works together to keep your friends and family from driving after consuming any type of drug.