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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

9/20/2017 OR/WA Active Large Fires

9/20/2017 Norse Peak Fire Update

Date Started:  Aug. 11, 2017; Cause:  Lightning; Acreage:  52,056 (Norse Peak), 3,853 (American), 1,061 (Saw Mill); Percent Completed:  80% (Norse Peak), 95% (American), 95% (Saw Mill).
Total Personnel:  753, which includes 19 Crews, 35 Engines, 7 Helicopters, 1 Bulldozer, 5 Water Tenders.

Fire Summary:   The heaviest rain is expected on the western and northern side of the fire. 

Norse Peak Fire is having minimal fire growth with isolated pockets of slow surface spread in heavy vegetation under forest canopy. State Route 410 is being cleared of debris and hazardous trees are being removed.  Thinning, to remove hazardous trees along Forest Road 1900 is almost complete. 

On this incident, 80% of the fireline will be indirect, or not directly adjacent to the fire’s edge.  The remaining 20% of the fireline will be direct. The indirect lines are 100% complete and 80% of direct line has been completed.

The Incident Management Team is working closely with the Washington Department of Transportation to open State Route 410 as soon as it is safe for the firefighters and public. It is not possible to accurately predict when 410 will reopen, however any news regarding the opening of the roadway will be announced on Inciweb and Facebook at Norse Peak Fire Information.

American Fire movement will be minimal, backing downhill south in the direction of Bumping River Road and north toward the American River and State Route 410.   
On this incident, 75% of the fire will be lined. 95% of the indirect lines are complete.
Saw Mill Creek Fire Fireline suppression repair on dozer lines is on-going. Continued rain have kept the fire within its current footprint. Crews will continue to overhaul firelines and back haul equipment out of the area.  

On this incident, 95% of the 50% of indirect line is completed.
CLOSURES:   State Route 410 remains closed from State Route 123 east to Bumping River Road.  State Route 410 on the west side of the Cascades and Highway 123 remains open.  Bumping River Road has been opened to private landowners only and Crystal Mountain Boulevard remain closed.  The Pacific Crest Trail is closed from White Pass to Snoqualmie Pass.  Boulder Cave Recreation Area is closed.

EVACUATIONS:  No Level 3 Evacuations remain in place for the Norse Peak, American, or Sawmill Creek Fires.  

PIERCE COUNTY EVACUATIONS:  
LEVEL 1:  FS 7160 eastbound on SR 410 to Crystal Mountain Blvd, to fire danger advisory level 1. Level 1 means be alert. Be aware.  Danger exists in your area.  Monitor local media for information.
 
Effective this morning, Pierce County has dropped the level 3 evacuation for Greenwater Area 4. All other awareness and evacuation levels in the Greenwater area, to include Gold Hills and Crystal Mountain Resort, have been lifted.  

YAKIMA COUNTY:  
LEVEL 2:  Goose Prairie along Bumping River Road.

It is important to remember that the emergency caused by the wildfire may not be over when the smoke dissipates and the flames are out.

Okanogan-Wenatchee National Fire closures can be found at:  https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/okawen/alerts-notices
Mt. Baker Snoqualmie National Forest closures can be found at:  https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/mbs/alerts-notices.
Mt. Rainier National Park updates can be found at:  https://www.nps.gov/mora/learn/news/fire.htm
Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife hunting/fishing information and closures, please contact at 360-902-2200.

9/20/2017 Eagle Creek & Indian Creek Update

9/20/2017 Umpqua North Complex Update

September 20, 2017 – 9:00 a.m.
                                                                       
Fire Information: 541-378-6944 (8:00 am to 8:00 pm
Start Date: August 11, 2017   
Cause: Lightning         
Fuels: Timber, forest litter, tall grass, shrubs
Acres:  43,139                        
Percent Contained: 38%  

The fire area received 1.6 to 2.6 inches of precipitation over the last 48 hours which reduced fire behavior to minimal surface creeping and backing fire activity. The second, stronger cold front moved in last night bringing with it increased rain showers, high winds and a chance for one to two inches of snow at elevations as low as 4,500 feet. A flash flood watch remains in effect through this afternoon along portions of Highway 138 impacted by the fire. Rain showers are expected to dissipate Thursday, and by Friday the area will begin to dry out and experience warmer temperatures. 

Yesterday firefighters continued to repair areas impacted by fire suppression tactics. Repair operations were significantly slowed due to rainfall. Despite inclement weather, crews retrieved equipment no longer needed off the fire’s edge, cleaned and rolled hose, eliminated hazard trees and repaired containment lines. Resource Advisors further assessed rehabilitation needs within the burned area. 

The safety of fire personnel and the public remains the top priority for the Umpqua National Forest and Great Basin Incident Management Team 3. Fire managers estimate the remaining workload to accomplish repair goals will require a couple more weeks. As a result, the team does not plan to significantly scale down the number of resources committed the incident at this time.

Today the operational plan is to continue with repair work when weather permits. The heavy rains and strong winds increase the chance of rolling rocks and debris. Incident mangers will evaluate road and landscape conditions before sending crews out into the field. The safety of fire personnel working on the fire line will be reassessed throughout the day in order to minimize the exposure of crews to overly hazardous working environments.

The Umpqua National Forest dropped into an Industrial Fire Precaution Level I (IFPL I), and a fire danger rating of “moderate”. Forest officials also announced an end to public use restrictions for the following items: campfires outside of campgrounds, smoking outside of a vehicle, operating internal combustion engines, and welding or operating an acetylene or other torch with open flame. Although these restrictions have been lifted, fire season is still underway and forest visitors must be careful with fires, completely extinguish any campfire and never leave a campfire unattended. The weather will warm back up to seasonal temperatures this upcoming weekend.

9/20/2017 Chetco Bar Fire Update

9/20/2017 Diamond Creek Fire Update

 

Diamond Creek Fire: Wednesday September 20, 2017

Percent of completed objectives reaches 65% on the Diamond Creek Fire 
 
Location:  11 miles NNW of Mazama, WA                               Total Personnel:  259
Acres:  129,000 total acres in US and Canada                        Cause:  Under Investigation
Containment:  65%                                                                  Start Date:  July 23, 2017
Note:  The increase in percent contained reflects the percent of operational objective completed.
Update: Suppression repair work continued steadily yesterday along the contingency lines and Early Winter Guard Station. Work included hand piling, log repositioning and stacking, and wood chipping. Minimal fire activity is in the Monument and Pat Creek drainages, and the northeast section of the fire.
Ten fire crews, 11 engines, 3 helicopters and 4 dozers remain on the incident. Fire managers have received all resources needed to complete suppression efforts.
Over the coming days and weeks, the Forest will be completing Burned Area Emergency Response assessments. Together with local emergency management, Forest hydrologists, soil scientists, and other experts will be assessing the potential for future flooding or debris flow on public lands effected by this fire.
Today’s Activities: Along with monitoring fire activity, the plan for today is to do much of the same work as yesterday. Crews will continue to remove and stack felled trees, and pile/chip debris created during construction of the primary and contingency lines.

Weather:  A large Pacific trough will continue to dominate the weather over north-central Washington through Friday. Increase cloud coverage is expected with a 20% chance of rain and snow showers in the morning, a 50% of rain and snow showers in the afternoon. Temperatures from 5,500-6,500 feet are expected at 43-49 degrees and 6,500-7,500 feet 37-43 degrees. Northwest winds on ridge tops will be at 8-12 mph, with gusts up to 15 mph during the afternoon. Exposed slopes and valley winds are expected at 5-10 mph from the northwest, with gusts up to 15 mph in the afternoon.

Smoke:  Continued moisture will further reduce the production of smoke from the Diamond Creek Fire and other fires in the area. Expect good air quality conditions over the next couple of days with the possibility of smoke and haze in valley bottoms in the nighttime hours.

Closures: Due to moderating fire behavior and completed line construction, areas on the east and west sides of the Diamond Creek Fire are being opened for public use effective September 18. On the west side, Hart’s Pass Road, Robinson Creek and Middle Fork of the Pasaytan River are now open. Open on the east side are Falls Creek, Black Lake, the lower section of Andrew’s Creek and the Chewuch 510 trail to the confluence of Basin Creek. Maps have been posted to the Diamond Creek Fire InciWeb and Facebook pages.

Evacuation Alert Level:  The Level 2 Evacuation “Be Ready” issued on September 13, has been reduced to LEVEL 1 “ALERT” for the Lost River area to Mazama, east to Lancaster Road near Mile Post 188 on State Route 20, north to Diamond T Road off of Rendezvous Road, north to Cub Creek Road intersection with Forest Service Road 5215300, and west to Lost River.

Information: (509) 996-4040 from 8 am – 6 pm
Website: inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5409/
Facebook: facebook.com/diamondcreekfire2017
Smoke Conditions: wasmoke.blogspot.com
#DiamondCreekFire #WaWildfire

9/20/2017 Whitewater Fire Update

Whitewater Fires - including Little Devil, Scorpion, Claggett Lake, Slideout, French, Section Line Fire, and Potato Hill Fires
September 20, 2017
Fire Information: 541-719-8371 or WillametteWildfires2017@gmail.com

Rain will continue this morning and turn to a snow/rain mixture by this afternoon. As a result, fire crews have transitioned from fire suppression to repair activities including road, trail and terrain repair and retrieval of equipment on the Little Devil, Whitewater and Scorpion Fires. Fire activity has been minimal since Monday. Weather creates a number of safety hazards for firefighters including slippery, impassible roads, difficulty navigating steep, rocky terrain and the possibility of hazard trees coming down. Evacuation levels for Breitenbush Hot Springs and Breitenbush/Devil Creek summer homes, has been changed to Level 1.

Yesterday, Congressman Kurt Schrader visited McCoy Base Camp and met with agency representatives from the Willamette National Forest, Oregon Department of Forestry and Northwest Incident Management Team 11 to get an update on the fire situation, meet local firefighters and contract crews and discuss budgetary challenges related to the fire.

Today, most crews will remain at base camp due to the weather conditions and safety concerns with a few crews conducting recon for possible repair work. Monitoring of the smaller fires including Claggett Lake, Slideout and Section Line continue, weather permitting. The Potato Hill and French Fires are now 100 percent contained and fire managers are discussing turning back the fire to the local agency.

Safety is the priority for firefighters and the public. With inclement weather, the roads are slick and there may be debris on the roadways. Please drive cautiously. In addition, firefighters working under rainy conditions may not be easily seen by hunters in the area. Hunters need to be conscious of their preferred hunting areas to avoid contact with firefighters in nearby closure areas.

Today’s total containment percentage includes all fires excluding the French and Potato Hill Fires. Containment percentages were re-evaluated to capture a more accurate depiction of secure containment lines.

Detroit Ranger District  visit Whitewater Fire on Inciweb for updates on the following fires.
The strategy for managing this fire is focused on protecting the communities of Breitenbush and/ Devil Creek, the high voltage power lines critical to the northwest power grid, private timberlands to the west, with the highest priority being firefighter and public safety.

Whitewater Fire: 11,493 acres, 64% contained. With the heavy rains and snow, there was minimal fire activity on the Whitewater Fire. Due to the weather and safety concerns, fire crews are evaluating working conditions and working only when and where it is safe to do so.

Little Devil Fire: 2,125 acres, 0% contained. The Level 3 for Breitenbush Hot Springs and communities of Breitenbush/Devil Creek summer homes was changed to a Level 1 on Tuesday. Level 1 means “Ready” which is a state or awareness about fire activity. Due to the weather and safety concerns, fire crews are evaluating working conditions and working only when and where it is safe to do so. Although the Little Devil’s containment is reported as 0%, the fire continues to hold on the west and east sides where it has crept up to the drainages.

Scorpion Fire: 695 acres, 16% contained. Fire crews maintained the southeast portion of the perimeter and will begin chipping work along containment lines once weather conditions are favorable. The Scorpion Fire remains in check between the east and west flanks, above Highway 46 and away from the power lines.

French Fire: 2 acres, 95% contained. The French Fire is almost ready to turn back over to the local agency.

Claggett Lake Fire: 100 acres, 0% contained. Located near Claggett Lake in the Mount Jefferson Wilderness Area. There has been very little smoke visible from this fire, and crews will continue to be monitored by air when possible, with water drops from helicopters as needed.

Slideout Fire #293: ½ acres, 0% contained. Located near Slideout Lake in the Mount Jefferson Wilderness Area. No smoke was visible from this fire and it continues to be monitored by air when possible.

Section Line Fire: .1 acres, 0% contained. Located near Slideout Lake in the Mount Jefferson Wilderness Area. No smoke has been visible from this fire and it continues to be monitored by air when possible.

McKenzie River Ranger District visit Potato Hill on Inciweb for updates.
Potato Hill: 199 acres, 100% contained. The Potato Hill Fire ready to turn back over to the local agency. Smoke can still be seen within the perimeter of the fire. This is expected until more rain or ground-covering snow arrives later in the season.

Air Quality: Air quality reported from Air Now http://www.airnow.gov/ .

Weather: Wet, snowy weather will continue through Wednesday before gradually clearing for the weekend. Rainy weather today will give way to widespread rainfall in lower areas and snow at higher elevations for the afternoon and evening. Rainfall totals could be as much as 4 inches with snow levels near 5,500 feet through Friday.

Fire Behavior: Due to the heavy rain and snow, fuel moistures will increase over the next few days and adjust to the increased humidity. Fire activity will be limited to smoldering in the needle litter and duff. Minimal fire spread expected.

Air Operations: The majority of air operations have been focused on equipment retrieval. The low cloud ceiling and breezy conditions also impact air operations. A temporary flight restriction (TFR) is in place over the fire area restricting aerial public access. Please check the NOTAMs prior to flying. The public is reminded that all air operations are grounded any time a drone is sighted within the TFR, which inhibits their ability to do critical fire suppression efforts. Flying within the TFR is prohibited and against the law.

Evacuation Levels: Breitenbush Hot Springs and Breitenbush/Devil Creek summer homes are now at a Level 1 evacuation level. For additional information, contact the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, (503) 588-5108, or visit the ‘Alerts and Emergency’ tab on http://www.co.marion.or.us/alerts.

9/20/2017 Horse Creek Complex & Rebel Update

9/20/2017 Miller Complex Update

9/20/2017 Jones & Kelsey Fire Update

Jones Fire / Kelsey Fire
9/20/2017 - 8 a.m.
Fire Information: (541) 937-5219



Jones Fire -     Size:  10,522 acres   Containment:  75%   Cause: Lightning
Kelsey Fire -   Size: 527 acres       Containment:  15%     Cause: Lightning

An area closure is now in place surrounding the Kelsey Fire to provide for public and firefighter safety in the affected area.  This week’s rain will help suppression objectives, but is unlikely to be enough to put the fire out.

Yesterday’s Activity –On the Jones Fire crews spent the day removing material cut during the preparation of contingency firelines as well as nonessential equipment, supplies and protective wrapping from structures.  Plans continue for the repair of suppression activities.  Crews did not engage on the Kelsey Fire due to poor weather conditions.  

Today’s Operations – On the Jones Fire crews will scout suppression opportunities for the uncontained portion of the fire south of Forest Road 18.  They will also continue to remove excess equipment from the fireline, mop up and patrol.  The Kelsey Fire will be unstaffed and in a monitor status until weather conditions allow firefighters to safely re-engage. 

Weather and Fire Behavior – The cool and showery weather pattern is expected to continue through the week. Fire behavior will consist of smoldering and consumption of heavy fuels due to the precipitation and lower temperatures.  

Area Closures:
Jones Fire - The Willamette National Forest has expanded the area closure further southeast to include FR 1912 from its junction with FR 1825 to FR1839, then continuing on  FR 1839 to its junction with FR 18.  These segments of road and all lands to the northwest where they intersect with the previous order are closed. 
Kelsey Fire – An area closure has been placed around the Kelsey Fire covering an area north of the railroad line along Highway 58, roughly bounded by FR 5871 on the west, FR 24 on the north, FR 2421 on the northeast and FR 5883 on the southeast.

·         All Willamette National Forest Fires: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/unit/3860/
·         Forest Closure Information (Roads, Campgrounds, Trails): https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/willamette/alerts-notices or call (541) 225-6350
·         For information concerning smoke: https://tools-c2.airfire.org/outlooks/2017/Whitewater#Area1
·         Travel Information: https://www.tripcheck.com/Pages/RCMap.asp# or call 511