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Monday, August 31, 2015

8/31/2015 Grizzly Bear Complex Evacuation Levels Update

Evacuation levels reduced for Grizzly Bear Complex Fire

Elgin, Ore. – Because fire lines on the east and southern flanks successfully held on the Grizzly Bear Complex Fire through high winds on Saturday and cooler, wetter weather is predicted this week and the near future, additional reductions to yesterday’s changes in evacuation levels have been recommended today by the Wallowa County (Oregon) and Asotin County (Washington) sheriffs, emergency management and incident management officials.  The changes will be in effect today at 12 noon.

The new changes in levels include elimination of the Level 1 evacuation levels for the area east of Highway 129 in Washington and the area west of Highway 3 to the Grand Ronde River in Oregon.  The area west of Highway 129 in Washington will be reduced to a Level 1 and all of the Level 3 area in both states will be changed to a Level 2. 
The revised map of evacuation levels are posted on line for the Grizzly Bear Complex Fire.  A new Umatilla National Forest Closure Order was added on Sunday, August 30, 2015 to the existing closure for the Complex yesterday to include the area surrounding Bluewood Ski Area.  Closure Order T2015-0614-UM-013 and T2015-0614-UM-014 are in effect.  Complete Closure Map.

The written definition of the revised evacuation levels is now follows:
Level 2: Troy, Eden Bench, Grouse Flat, and Bartlett. Evacuation 2 Level includes the area north of the Grande Ronde River at the state line; west of Oregon Highway 129; to the western section lines of 13, 14, 27, and 36 T07R4E to the National Forest Boundary; along the National Forest boundary to the Grand Ronde River. The Evacuation Area Level 2 includes the Wenaha State Wildlife Area, southwest of Troy, Ore. Please refer to the DETAILED MAP for the area under Level 2 Evacuation.
Level 1: The closure area is as follows: From Asotin west along County Road 105 to County Road 110 to County Road 181 to Forest Road (FR) 41 to FR 40 to FR 44 to FR 43 to Forest Boundary; south along the western section lines of Sections 13, 14, 27, and 36, T07R4E, to Highway 129, and north to Asotin.  Asotin is no longer on an evacuation level.

Sheriffs and county emergency are working with affected residents. You can get updated fire information, including local Evacuation Levels, by calling Fire Information at (541) 612-0059; Hours:7 AM-9 PM or by looking at

8/31/2015 Grizzly Bear Complex Fire Update

Grizzly Bear Crews Increasing Containment

 Elgin, Ore. – Yesterday’s rain was sparse over most of the fire area and did not penetrate the tree canopy. Fire will still be active, finding its way through heavier fuels. Gentle breezes and damp fine fuels will slow its ability to spread.  Days are getting shorter.  The “burn window” of most active fire behavior during the hottest, driest time of day now only lasts about three to four hours, down from seven hours or longer during hotter summer days.

Robert Trujillo, Agency Administrator for the Umatilla National Forest, warned crews to watch for complacency as they work to contain the 74,471-acre Grizzly Bear Fire Complex.  17 percent containment has been achieved, but hazards such as weakened trees and snags, ash pits, and driving on rough roads still exist.

Crews are scouting the Bear Ridge Fire area, constructing and improving fire line where breeches occurred along the Misery Trail system.
Contingency line construction and improvement continues on the western flank along Forest Road 64 and on the southwest flank in the Elk Flats area.  A contingency route to the north from Road 4039 is being scouted. On the northeast corner of the fire, helicopters will slow fire growth up drainages, especially First Creek.

Crews continue the arduous work of increasing fuel breaks around structures and building containment lines around the fire. National Guard members will add their strength to crews in Troy and Grouse Flats, enlarging defensible space near structures and widening fire lines.
When crews mop up inside a fire containment line, they examine the soil and debris for hot spots.  They expose any burning material and soak the embers. They cut down fire-weakened trees ensuring that any burned material inside is extinguished.  Unburned material is pulled out of the containment line. 

Due to increases in containment and moderation of the weather, at 12 noon today, the Evacuation Levels in place to the south and east of the Grizzly Bear Complex Fire will decrease.  Areas currently at Level 3 (Troy, Grouse Flats, Eden Bench area) will become Level 2.  Areas currently at Level 2 (Asotin county north and east of Boggan’s Oasis and Big Butte) will become Level 1. 

The evacuation warning has been lifted from areas that were previously Level 1.  Please look at inciweb and other websites listed above to view the current (August 31) Evacuation Level map.

8/31/2015 Carpenter Road Fire Update

August 31, 2015  

Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team Blue
Phone Line: 509 722-6040, 509 722-6165 

Twitter: @BlueTeam_Info
Carpenter Road Fire Update

The Carpenter Road Fire is estimated at 65,130 acres and 35% contained.

After wetting rain and a cool night, containment has risen to 35%.  Overnight crews worked on spot fires on the north and improved containment lines on the west and south of the fire.  Red Marble Road was also cleared of large fuels to mitigate fire spread.  Work will continue today to reinforce the line.

The west side of the fire is in the containment zone and under patrol status.  The south side of the fire will continue to have smoldering stumps and smoke.  Crews on the east side are strengthening dozer lines already in place.  The more active north side of the fire is expecting low to moderate spread.  Firefighters continue to work on spots in this area.

Air resources will be used contingent on weather which is expected to be fair but breezy with 20mph gusts and a chance of light rain.  All sides of the fire are currently staff with fire suppression personnel.

The fire has caused some trees to weaken making hazard trees and other overhead hazards a public concern.

Springdale-Hunters Road remains closed.  Please call Stevens County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) for additional information regarding road closures and evacuation notices in Stevens County.   Please call the Spokane Tribal Police for additional information on road closures and evacuation levels on the Spokane Indian Reservation.

For evacuation and road closure information call the following numbers:

Stevens County EOC:  509 684-7598 or by visiting 

Spokane Tribal Police:  509 258-4400

8/31/2015 Kaniksu Complex Fire Update

Kaniksu Complex—Tower Fire                       August 31, 2015, 9:00 a.m.

Idaho Panhandle and Colville National Forests and Washington DNR
Alaska Incident Mgt. Team — Tom Kurth, Incident Cmdr.           

For Immediate Release Pete Buist, 907-750-1639 Jill Cobb, 208-443-6835 (msg)

Kaniksu Complex: The Tower Fire, along with six smaller fires, is all part of the Kaniksu Complex. The total acreage of all fires in the complex is 25,444 acres, 22 percent contained. Firefighters are patrolling the smaller fires but the majority of firefighting resources are assigned to the Tower Fire.
 Baldy Fire: located 16 miles north of Ione, Wash. (515 acres)
 Onata Fire: located about 8 eight miles east/southeast of Ione (540 acres, 39% containment)
 Hall Mountain Fire: located on Hall Mountain (46 acres)
 Grease Creek Fire: located south of Hall Mountain (196 acres)
 Slate Creek (1 acre) and South Fork Slate Creek Trail (125 acre): located near the northwest boundary of Salmo-Priest Wilderness
Current Resources: The number of firefighters is 789. Equipment includes: 18 crews, 12 dozers, 21 engines, 11 water tenders, 1 Air Attack, 1 skidgen, 2 helicopters and 3 Blackhawks for medical transport.

Tower Fire:
Size: 24,021 acres Containment: 17 %
Strategy: Full Suppression Situation: Lightning, started Aug. 11
Location: 17 mi. north of Newport, Wash. and 6 mi. west of Priest Lake, Idaho
Update: Up to 0.6 inches of rain fell across parts of the Kaniksu Complex on Sunday, bringing more moderate fire behavior with smoldering and minimal acreage gain. A welcome relief from last week’s hot, dry, and windy weather, the rain also brought slippery conditions for firefighters as well as minor damage to roads needed to access the fires. Poor visibility and cloud cover continued to hamper efforts to map current fire perimeters following Saturday’s wind event.

On the Tower Fire, Saturday’s winds caused minor spot fires and slop-overs at several locations on the southern, eastern, and western sides of the fire, but firelines generally held. Firefighters’ success in catching the spot fires and slop-overs, in addition to the reduced fire behavior from the rain, led fire managers to lower the Evacuation Alert Level for the Big Meadows/Squaw Valley area from Level 2 to Level 1. All evacuation areas are now at Level 1.

In coming days firefighters plan on utilizing the expected cooler temperatures and higher humidity to continue securing and extending firelines, working directly against the fire’s edge where terrain, fuels, and weather conditions permit.

Limited ground and aerial surveys have revealed that Saturday’s strong winds pushed the Onata Creek, Grease Creek, and Hall Mountain fires to the north. Firefighters made good progress in securing a small spot fire on the Onata Creek Fire. Today fire managers have assigned dozers with engine support to the Grease Creek Fire to begin improving access to the fire. The Hall Mountain Fire continues to burn on the high rocky ridges above Sullivan Lake, hampered by wet fuel conditions.

A detachment of the Washington National Guard 792nd Chemical Company out of Grandview, Wash., has been assigned to the Tower Fire to help with traffic control points along the west side of the fire.

 The Priest Lake, Idaho, area and Highway 57 are open to all traffic. All businesses along with federal and state campgrounds at Priest Lake are open.
 There are no mandatory evacuation orders for these fires. If an evacuation order were issued, it would be called a Level 3 Evacuation, which means it is time to go.
 The Big Meadow/Squaw Valley area was reduced to a Level 1 Evacuation Alert Sunday afternoon, Aug. 30. In Level 1, residents should be ready to leave and should monitor emergency services. Those with special needs, pets, livestock or that need transportation assistance should take early precautionary movement to relocate.
 A Level 1 Evacuation Alert remains in place for the north Hwy 57 corridor that includes the Nordman area and the west side of Priest Lake.
 A Level 1 Evacuation Alert remains for the Bear Paw area and the south Hwy 57 corridor from Priest River north to Dickensheet Road. This alert includes the west side of Priest Lake. The Level 1 Evacuation for Hwy 57 has been issued because fire managers are aware that Hwy 57 is the main route south from the Priest Lake community. It is not because of imminent fire danger to the area.
 A Level 1 Evacuation Alert is still in effect for two central Pend Oreille County, Wash, areas: the Best Chance residential area and a corridor on the east side of the Pend Oreille River, starting at the intersection of Le Clerc Creek Road and North Le Clerc Road south to a half mile south of the Usk bridge.

8/31/2015 Kettle Complex Fire Update

Kettle Complex Fire Update

Fire Information 509-724-0040 or

Fire Update – Monday, August 31, 2015 – 9:00 a.m.

Showers moved across the Kettle Complex bringing much needed
moisture to the fire area. Incident Metorologist Bob Topin reported that
the fire received between one-tenth and two-tenths of an inch of
precipitation Sunday. Rain showers and cooler than normal temperatures
are predicted throughout the rest of this week with a return of sunshine
by the end of the weekend.

The rain and the higher humidity have both contributed to slow the spread of
the fires. However, the fire area has not received enough moisture to penetrate
the larger fuels, and in some cases, the rain has not yet penetrated the forest
canopy. Once this cold rainy weather passes, it may only take a few days of
warmer temperatures, steady wind and dry weather to bring burning conditions
back to the place they were a week ago.

Stickpin Fire: The north end of the fire remains 2.9 miles (4.7 kilometers)
south of the Canadian border. Firefighters were able to take advantage of the
cooler weather to begin the process of putting hand line around the smaller
wind-driven slopovers on the west, northwest and northeast sides of the fire.
Today crews will continue to strengthen firelines around those slopover areas.
Along the western edge of the fire, firefighters will continue to improve lines to
keep the fire from moving towards Curlew and the Route 21 corridor.

Renner Fire: Yesterday, additional fire line was built and firefighters were able
to put fireline around the one small slopover caused by the high winds on
Saturday. Today, crews and heavy equipment will continue to improve the
fireline near Thompson Ridge that protect homes in the Deadman Creek area.
Mop-up is in progress along the Highway 395 corridor.
Graves Mountain Fire: The Kettle Fire Complex PNW2 Incident Command
Team assumed command of this fire at 6:00 am this morning. Fire crews and
fire personnel with heavy equipment are working to put containment line around
the portion of the fire that crossed South Deadman during the wind event on

Roy Road Fire: The 120 acre Roy Road Fire is in monitor status.
Closure Information: Deer Creek-Boulder Creek County Road 602 remains
closed because of significant hazards through the fire area. Highway 20 is
recommended as an alternate route. The fire organization, in partnership with
Ferry County has crew dedicated to clearing hazard trees from the roadsides.
The portion of the Colville National Forest from the Canadian Border to
Highway 20, between Highway 21 and US Highway 395 is closed. All trails,
roads, and access are temporarily closed due to extreme fire activity. No
campfires, charcoal or chainsaw use are allowed.

Evacuation/Aid Information: The level 3 evacuation is from Mile Marker 247
to Mile Marker 253 to the west of Highway 395, which includes the Matsen
Creek Community including Matsen Creek Road, Jackknife Road and
Deadman Creek Road, Anderson Road, Harter Rd, Pool Rd., Carson Rd, BJ’s
Road, and Murphy Rd. Shelters are established at Grace Evangelical Free
Church, 851 S. Miner St., Colville (Red Cross), the American Legion (as
needed), 1057 Highway 395 N, Kettle Falls and the Inchelium Community
Center (Private), 1 Loop Road, Inchelium.

8/31/2015 Okanogan and Chelan Complex Fire Update

Okanogan Complex and Chelan Complex Fire Update
August 31, 2015, 9:00 AM
Fire Information: 877-568-0458 or 877-574-5148, 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM

Okanogan Complex                                                          Chelan Complex
Size: 144,179 acres                                                                                    Size: 92,516 acres
Containment: 30 percent                                                                       Containment: 50 percent
Estimated Cost to Date: $12.54 million                                              Estimated Cost to Date: $10.9 million
Injuries: 6                                                                                                      Residences Burned: 44
Residences Burned: assessment in progress                                 Total Personnel: 927
Total Personnel: 1,658                                                                             Committed Resources: 20 crews, 56 engines, 8 helicopters
Committed Resources: 34 crews, 154 engines,
30 dozers, 47 water tenders, 4 helicopters
With the Tunk Block and North Star fires growing together, California Interagency Incident Management Team 5 has transferred management of the Tunk Block portion of the Okanogan Complex to the Pacific Northwest Incident Management Team 3.  The Pacific Northwest Team will manage both the North Star and Tunk Block Fires.  In addition, California Team 5 assumed command of the Chelan Complex, to the south, at 6:00 this morning. California Team 5 will participate in a public meeting about the Chelan Fire at the Brewster High School at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 1. Fire managers have been coordinating their efforts in recent days to make a seamless transition in managing these fires. Many of the firefighting crews will remain in place. These management changes have resulted in changes in the acreage, containment, and cost figures above.
Lime Belt Fire (128,237 acres, 15 percent contained): Crews on the Lime Belt continued to make progress, despite the return of strong, gusty winds yesterday. The fire has moved into heavy timber and steeper terrain where the wind has less influence on the fires spread. Wetting rains early yesterday also helped moderate fire behavior, but fuels remain dry and are actively burning. Preventing the fire from spreading north toward Loomis remains a priority for ground crews
and aircraft. Crews are using dozers and conducting defensive firing operations, when conditions are favorable, to help
secure the area. Twisp River Fire, Nine Mile Fire: Both fires are 98 percent contained and are in patrol and monitor status.
The northwest side of the fire is active and crews continue to construct containment lines to limit the fires spread northward. Firefighters are protecting structures in the Gold Creek and McFarland Creek areas. Remaining portions of the fire are largely in mop-up and patrol status.
Information on evacuations is available from the Okanogan County Emergency Operations Center at

Many firefighters and equipment are working along the roads. Please stay alert and slow down when driving through the fire area. Information on road closures is available from the Okanogan County Emergency Operations Center at 509-422-
7348 and on its Facebook page (link above). Additional information about closures is available from the Washington
State Department of Transportation at