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Sunday, September 20, 2015

9/20/2015 Kettle Complex Update

Transition: Oregon Incident Management Team 1, led by Incident Commander Shawn Sheldon, will assume command of the Kettle Complex at 6 PM this evening. The Washington Incident Management Team 1 will return home Monday after a second deployment on this incident. Incident Commander Mike Ciraulo and all the members of Washington IMT 1 thank the community for their support and patience during suppression and repair activities of these fires.

Operations: Crews continue to make progress containing unsecured fire areas, 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 enter. Many areas where work has been completed are being placed in patrol­and­monitor 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 Colville National Forest effective Friday, September 18, 2015 at midnight.

Weather: A strong and fast moving cold front will move through the region today with windy conditions and a slight chance for showers. A very dry high pressure air mass and cool temperatures will build into the area Monday into mid­week. The next Pacific storm system is expected to approach the area late in the week with a chance of rain showers.

Fire Prevention: Hunters and campers can follow a few easy precautions to protect themselves and our forests when recreating. Think twice before driving into a grassy field. Avoid parking over tall, dry grass or piles of leaves that can touch the underside of a vehicle. Always carry an approved fire extinguisher on vehicles that are used off road. If allowed (check with your local forest or state park), when making a campfire, clear a zone around the fire ring from any debris. Winds can blow stray sparks and debris outside the ring can become tinder. Store your unused firewood a good distance from the fire. Never leave a campfire unattended, extinguish fires each night and before leaving camp (even if it is just a few minutes). For more information,

Closures/Restrictions: Deer Creek­Boulder Creek Road is open, but all connecting US Forest Service roads are closed to non­fire traffic. Highway 21 is open. For firewood cutting, please call Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) at 509­684­7474 or the Colville National Forest at 509­684­7000 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 non­fire 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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