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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

9/09/2015 North Star and Tunk Block Fire Update

Pacific Northwest Team 3 will Transition with California Team 5, who will take command of the North Star and Tunk Block Fires at 6: 00 pm today. The Incident command post location at the Omak Stampede Grounds and the phone number for information remain unchanged.
Yesterday’s Activities:Firefighters continued working to ensure that their containment lines were secure as the weather produced 0.02-0.06 inches of rain in the early morning on both the Tunk Block as well as the North Star Fire. The rain lasted until about noon.
Most heat on the Tunk Fire was in the eastern portion and that was reduced and contained by aviation. On the North Star Fire, machine work, as well as hand crews, mopped up along the eastern edge. The southern end was patrolled and is looking good. Firefighters are going direct in the western portion. A burnout operation of about 50 acres was successful in helping strengthen containment lines on the southeast corner.
A minor spot fire was controlled in the Tunk Block Fire yesterday.
Today’s Operations: Burnout operations to secure firelines are a priority for today as fine fuels dry enough to meet the intended objectives. As temperatures rise and humidity levels drop, more active fire behavior is anticipated on the open flanks and smokes may be visible within the fire perimeter. Above 3,000 feet fine fuels, like grasses, will be slower to dry and the fire is expected to be less active at those higher elevations. Backing fire will be seen under forest canopy in the mid-slope areas.
There are now containment lines in place on the southwest portion of the North Star Fire. On the northwest portion crews will continue mopping-up and holding the line.
Last night’s infrared flight detected of heat on the eastern perimeter of the Tunk Block fire and firefighters will continue with containment efforts along that flank.
Weather: The forecasted weather for today is 53-58 in ridges and 65-70 in the valleys. Minimum RH 25-35%. Up slope/Up valley winds 2-5MPH.High pressure is forecast to weaken Saturday, bringing some increased winds to the region.
Evacuations/Closure Information:Evacuation and closure information is dynamic and changes more frequently than this report is updated. For the most current evacuation information, please contact your closest Emergency Operations Center (EOC): Colville Tribal Emergency Services 509-634-2105, Okanogan County EOC (509) 422-7206, Ferry County EOC 509-775-3132. Highway closure information is available online:http://www.wsdot.com/traffic/trafficalerts.
National Forest Lands east of Tonasket and south of Highway 20 on the Tonasket Ranger District are closed. Colville Indian Reservation forest and recreational areas are closed within the fires.

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