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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

9/12/2017 Norse Peak & American Fire Update

Date Started: Aug. 11, 2017 Cause: Lightning Total acres: 52,162 Containment: 12% Structures Damaged/Destroyed: None Injuries to date: 1 (minor) Total Personnel: 730 Fire Resources: 19 crews, 40 engines, 10 helicopters, 3 bulldozers, 10 water tenders 

Fire Summary
During the past four days the fire area has experienced a warming and drying trend resulting in a slight increase in fire activity. Smoke is expected to linger in areas due to an inversion layer, and fire activity is expected to pick up as the inversion lifts. Cooler temperatures and higher humidity is forecasted for Wednesday and Thursday bringing small amounts of precipitation, and extended forecast predicts seasonal cooling trend.
NORSE PEAK FIRE (52,162 acres): The Norse Peak Fire has been divided into two zones, the north zone and the south zone to provide for more effective management, safety and close coordination of fires using two management teams.  The division is the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) which provides a natural boundary for the Norse Peak Fire and reflects the division between the Okanogan-Wenatchee and the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forests.  

The Sawmill Creek and Norse Peak Fire North Zone are being managed by Southern California Incident Management Team (IMT) 3 from the basecamp in Enumclaw, WA.  The Norse Peak South Zone and American fires are being managed by the California Central Coast Incident Management Team (IMT) from a basecamp at the Chinook Work Center near Naches, WA. 
Norse Peak Fire North Zone: Fire is burning in areas of old growth and activity is creeping, smoldering, and backing. The area has a history of east wind events and strong cold front passages in the fall. Firefighters maintain their efforts to improve roads, remove fuel around the fire and build indirect containment line.

Crews continue to work their way into the fire to build direct containment lines. Firefighters working near the Dalles and Crystal Mountain Communities continue working on structure protection by conducting assessments and reducing fuels around homes in preparation for structure defense. The fire continues to threaten the watershed for the City of Tacoma, industrial timberland, DNR protected lands, and the United States Forest Service lands.

For Norse Peak Fire- North Zone information call: 253-666-8841, or go to https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/5594/40711/ for maps and other materials, or check the Sawmill Creek Fire Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SawmillFire2017/

Norse Peak Fire South Zone: Fire activity increased slightly, producing more smoke and isolated torching. At least two spot fires were discovered across SR 410 in the area of Pleasant Valley and were successfully controlled. Crews will remain along SR 410 monitoring for additional spot fires, providing structure protection, and improving clearance in the area surrounding residences. Helicopters have been providing water drops, coordinating with resources on the ground to aid with structure protection and are expected to continue similar operations today. Fuel reduction preparations will continue along FS 1900 Road toward the Pacific Crest Trail, as well as improving clearance completed earlier this week.

For Norse Peak Fire- South Zone information continue to call: 509-658-2475, or go to https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/map/5509/9/71773/  for maps and other materials, or check Norse Peak Fire Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/NorsePeakFire/

AMERICAN FIRE (2,723 acres): 
 An increase in acreage reflects new mapping and confirms fire growth over the past few days.  The fire continued to back downhill toward structures, as well as moved north closer to the American River.  More smoke and visible flames were observed as fire activity elevated through the night.  Two spots were detected and helicopters provided water drops to help decrease fire spread.  Suppression resources continue to prep and improve indirect control lines as fire backs down slope towards cabins.  Crews have set up sprinklers and water delivery systems around residences and will maintain and improve structure protection tactics in place.  

CLOSURES:
 State Highway 410 will remain closed from SR 123 to east of Bumping River Road. SR 410 on the west side of the Cascades and 123 remain open. Bumping River Road is closed. A modified road closure from 0800-2000 will be in place on SR 410 from Bumping River Road east to Saw Mill Road to facilitate heavy fuel modification and removal. The Bumping River Road and 1900 Road are closed as are Little Naches and Kaner Flat campgrounds and the Little Naches cabins.

Crystal Mountain Boulevard is closed.

The Pacific Crest Trail closure has expanded. It is now closed from White Pass to Snoqualmie Pass.

The latest Forest Closure Order for the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Fire is in place for the fire area and complete details can be found at 
https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/okawen/alerts-notices.

Forest Closure Order for Mt. Baker Snoqualmie National Forest is in place and can be found at 
https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/mbs/alerts-notices. 

The White River entrance to Mt. Rainier National Park is closed. Updates for the park can be found at 
https://www.nps.gov/mora/index.htm.

For hunting/fishing information and closures, please contact Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife at 360-902-2200.

EVACUATIONS: In Yakima County, there is a Level 3 Evacuation Order for Goose Prairie along Bumping River Road. In Pierce County, a Level 3 evacuation has been ordered for the Silver Springs Campground, Silver Creek, Deep Creek, Goat Creek, Alta Community, Pick Handle Basin, Gold Hill Community and the Crystal Mountain Ski Resort area.

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