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Friday, September 18, 2015

9/18/2015 Okanogan Complex Fire Update



Size: 133,142 acres
Estimated Cost to Date: $44.5 million
Containment: 95 percent
Injuries: 7
Total Personnel: 500
Residences Damaged or Destroyed: 120
Committed Resources: 19 crews, 32 engines, 3 helicopters, 8 dozers, 17 water tenders, 8 masticators


CURRENT FIRE SITUATION
Firefighters continue to work between the fire front and Forest Road (FR) 42 near Cabin Creek, mopping up the fire as it approaches the road.  Smoke will be visible near the fire perimeter and in the interior, as fuels continue to ignite and burn until significant rain or snow falls. The remainder of the fire area is in patrol and mop up status, as suppression repair continues. Repair activities, including 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, continue.  Some crews and equipment no longer needed on this fire are being released, making them available for assignments on other incidents.


Burned area emergency response (BAER) teams are in initial stages of assessment of 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
Partly sunny sky throughout the day is predicted. Temperatures will be 69 to 74 degrees in the valleys, and 54 to 60 degrees above 4,000 feet over the fire. Minimum relative humidity is expected to be 22% to 30% in valleys, and 35% to 45% above 4,000 feet. Winds over the fire will be upslope at 1 to 4 mph this morning, switching to south/southwest 2 to 5 mph in the afternoon. Ridge top wind will be southwest at 8 to 12 mph in the afternoon, gusting to 16 mph.

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 years 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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