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Monday, September 14, 2015

9/14/2015 Kettle Complex Update

FIRE INFORMATION: 509-724-0040

Incident Summary:  The Kettle Complex includes three fires the Stickpin, Renner and Graves Mountain fires – all burning south of the Canadian border, west of Highway 395, north of State Route 20 and east of Highway 21. The fires remain at approximately 76,400 acres.

Yesterdays operations: Crews utilized the warm, dry weather over the past few days to make excellent progress on all fires. Burnout operations were successful on the north end of the Renner Fire. Falling of fire weakened trees for the safety of firefighters, mop-up and repair operations all took place Sunday. Helicopters were used to suppress pockets of heat on the north end of the Stickpin Fire and on the east side of the Graves Mtn. Fire. Mop-up, repair work, backhaul (removal of supplies, trash and equipment from the fire area) and patrols were conducted on all

Todays operations: Firefighters continue to mop-up on all fires. Mop-up is the meticulous process of gridding for, finding and extinguishing every last remnant of heat. This is the dirtiest job on the fire, often being conducted on hands and knees. With burnout operations winding down, mop-up, suppression repair and backhaul operations are occurring on all fires. Every piece of equipment - be it hose, hose fittings, flagging, signs, portable tanks, pumps, water containers, fuel cans, trash, etc. - will be removed from the fire area. It took weeks to get all this to the fireline and set up; it takes an equally long process to remove it all. Once the equipment is removed, it is refurbished, cataloged, sent back to caches and made available for the next fire.

Weather Conditions:  Temperatures will cool over the next few days with increased relative humidity and rain showers. Firefighters will continue to work with what nature provides to make the best progress possible. Fire perimeters are looking good and the cool, moist weather is likely to help operations now that burnout operations were successfully completed.

Highway Safety:  Logging activity continues today on private and state forest lands affected by the fire. Log trucks are using 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. Keep an eye out for wildlife displaced from the fires and for cows grazing on the roadside.

Closures/Restrictions: Deer Creek-Boulder Creek Road is open, but all connecting US Forest Service roads remain 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 will remain closed to non-fire traffic until further notice.

Evacuation Information: All of Ferry County affected by the Kettle Complex remains at Evacuation Level 1.

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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