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Saturday, September 19, 2015

9/19/2015 Kettle Complex Update

Incident Summary: The Kettle Complex includes three fires – the Stickpin, Renner and Graves Mountain fires – burning south of the Canadian border, west of Highway 395, north of State Route 20 and east of Highway 21.

Operations: Crews continue to make progress containing unsecured fire areas and moping up and repairing already secured ground. Repair of areas damaged by firefighting activity (dozer, hand, and saw lines) is progressing rapidly, but a lot of work still remains before roads are safe for the public to reenter. Many areas where work has been completed are being placed in patrol-and-monitor status.

Fire Restrictions: Due to wetting rains and cooler temperatures, fire managers for the Colville National Forest have lifted fire restrictions that have been in place since July 6, 2015. Campfires are now allowed on the Forest effective Friday, September 18, 2015 at midnight.

Fire Prevention: As the weather cools and fire restrictions are eased, please remember the region is still dry and new fire starts are still occurring. Forest users are urged to practice sound fire prevention techniques when starting or tending warming fires.  Always check with your local land manager before building a fire. Always keep your fire small and well-contained using nonflammable barriers such as steel fire rings or rocks. Clear the area around your fire of all flammable materials down to mineral soil.  Always have a shovel and water close by and never leave a fire unattended, not even for a few minutes. For more information, visit www.firewise.org

Weather: Generally warm and dry weather predicted for today. A strong cold front is expected to move through the area Sunday, bringing gusty winds up to 35 mph in the afternoon and a chance of showers.

Highway Safety: Logging activity continues on private and state forestlands affected by the fire. Log trucks are using Deer Creek-Boulder Creek Road and Highway 395. Drivers in the area should expect increased logging traffic as well as fire equipment and are urged to use caution. 

Closures/Restrictions: Deer Creek-Boulder Creek Road is open, but all connecting US Forest Service roads are closed to non-fire traffic. Highway 21 is open. For firewood cutting, please call Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) at 509-684-7474 or the Colville National Forest at 509-684-7000 to see if cutting is allowed in your area or for permitting. Regardless of whether cutting is allowed, burned areas in the Colville National Forest remain closed to non-fire traffic until further notice.

Cooperating Agencies:  USDA Forest Service Colville National Forest, Washington Department of Natural Resources Northeast Region, USDI Bureau of Land Management, Ferry County Fire District 3 and 13, Stevens County County Fire District 8, Curlew Fire Department, Ferry County Sheriff.

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