Contact: Fire Information, 509-679-9294
District Ranger, Jeff Rivera, 509-548-2553
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Thursday, September 1, 2016
9/1/2016 Buck Creek Fire Update
September 1, 2016 6:30 a.m.
For immediate release
Mixed intensity benefitting long-term forest health
Leavenworth, WA-- Despite cooler temperatures and increased moisture, the Buck Creek Fire experienced beneficial new growth across the forest floor. It grew to approximately 3,400 acres and Saul remains around 464 acres in size. Currently firefighters are reporting mixed intensity burning, where some trees die and many trees survive. This mosaic burn pattern on the landscape decreases fuel loading and can lower the risk of catastrophic fires and thick, lingering smoke in the future.
“Using natural wildfire ignitions to burn heavy fuels and thin the forest under predetermined fuel moisture and weather conditions is an ideal and safe way to begin to ‘reset’ the natural burn patchwork that once existed on this landscape,” said US Forest Service Research Landscape Ecologist, Paul Hessburg.
Wildfires are beneficial to forest health as well as wildlife. Snags caused by the fire will create new habitat for many species, and new plant growth in the fall and next spring will help generate more grazing opportunities for wildlife. In addition, winter avalanches over time carry unstable debris into the valley bottoms and create pools, ripples and natural fish habitat in creeks and streams.
Weather predictions for the next several days is calling for cooler temperatures and chance of wetting rain in the fire area. Fire managers are projecting minimal fire behavior in the coming days with creeping and smoldering on the ground and isolated torching where the fire gets into heavy fuel. It is possible residents and visitors will see an ebb and flow of smoke over the next couple months as temperatures fluctuate.
The Era of Megafires, a 60-minute, multi-media, traveling presentation hosted by Dr. Paul Hessburg will show at the Snowy Owl Theater in Leavenworth
Closures: Fire closures remain in effect for the Buck Creek Fire, which include all campgrounds and trailheads north of Schaefer Creek Campground on FS-6200. This includes the Buck Creek Trail No. 1513, Chiwawa River Trail No. 1550, Phelps Creek Trail No. 1511, Carne Mountain Trail No. 1508, Little Giant Pass Trail No. 1518, Rock Creek Trail No. 1509 and the Old Gib Trail No. 1528. Campgrounds closed include Phelps Creek, Alpine Meadows, Nineteen Mile and Atkinson Flat. Also closed is the Indian Creek Trail No. 1502.
Smoke: Smoke may be noticeable in local valleys, including the communities of Plain and Lake Wenatchee. As the fire continues to spread in the coming weeks, smoke may become noticeable in areas along the Wenatchee, Entiat, Chelan and Methow valleys. All businesses in the affected communities remain open. For more information on smoke and public health, please visit the State of Washington Department of Ecology website at: https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/