After an active start to the 2023 season, it's turned out to be a calmer year for water rescues in Chelan County.

The Chelan County Sheriff's Office says its rescue teams have responded to fifteen such incidents this year but a majority of them were several months ago during the springtime.

Chelan County Fire District No. 3 Chief Kelly O'Brien says he believes that's because of a dramatic change in seasonal river conditions.

"Runoff from mountain snowpacks appeared to happen quicker this year, so our area rivers started getting back down to more normal levels earlier when summer arrived."

O'Brien says he also credits the turnaround on the County's response to concerns by posting more information about river safety.

"I think there's been a concentrated effort by the group working on the safety aspects of especially the Wenatchee River."

There have been two deaths on local waterways this year, including one that occurred May 4 involving a rafter on the Wenatchee River and another on June 3 when a man fell into Icicle Creek.

Last year the sheriff's office responded to 29 water rescues, including five which resulted in fatalities.

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