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Thursday, September 17, 2015

9/17/2015 Okanogan Complex Update


Size: 133,142 acres
Estimated Cost to Date: $44.5 million
Containment: 95 percent
Injuries: 7
Total Personnel: 530
Residences Damaged or Destroyed: 120
Committed Resources: 10 crews, 32 engines, 2 helicopters, 8 dozers, 17 water tenders, 10 masticators


CURRENT FIRE SITUATION
Today firefighters will be working between the fire front and Forest Road (FR) 42 near Cabin Creek, as the fire slowly backs towards the road. The remainder of the fire area is in patrol and mop up status, as suppression repair continues.  Repair activities occurring over the fire area today include: blading roads, reshaping and covering dozer lines, building water bars on handlines, removing slash from roads and trails, cleaning up drop points, and repairing fences cut by firefighters.

Burned area emergency response (BAER) teams are beginning to assess burned areas to determine what measures are necessary to start the post-burn recovery process. BAER objectives include minimizing threats to life and/or property, and preventing further degradation to critical natural and cultural resources resulting from effects of wildfire.

WEATHER AND FIRE BEHAVIOR
This morning will be cloudy with light rain, and snow above 5,000 feet elevation, followed by partial clearing and then a chance of snow above 5,000 feet.  Precipitation amounts will range from .05 to .15 inches over the mountains.  Temperatures will be in the high 60s at lower elevations and low 50s above 4,000 feet.  Minimum relative humidity is expected to be 40% to 50% in valleys and 50% to 60% above 4,000 feet.  Winds will be light and variable, 1 to 3 mph in the morning, becoming southerly 6 to 10 mph by midday.  On the ridges winds will be light and variable, 3 to 6 mph in the morning, becoming south 6 to 10 mph by late morning, with gusts to 8 mph.

Interior fuels will continue to ignite and burn, producing visible smoke until significant rain or snow falls.

SAFETY
Forest Service roads on the west side of the fire within the area closure (see below) are closed to the public. Law-enforcement personnel are enforcing road closures, which are identified with a sign or barricade. Although not every closed road is staffed, fire managers ask the public to respect the closures for firefighter and public safety.

EVACUATIONS AND ROAD CLOSURES
·      Call the Okanogan County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at 509-422-7348 to report primary residences that were damaged or destroyed in this year’s wildfires. The EOC also provides information on evacuations and road closures https://www.facebook.com/Okanogan.County.Emergency.Management
·      The Okanogan/ Wenatchee National Forest issued an area closure, effective September 4, 2015, for National Forest lands in the fire area: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/4534/29367/ or http://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/okawen/alerts-notices

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