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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

9/23/2015 Okanogan-Wenatchee Fire Update

Winthrop, WA—Command of the McFarland/Black Canyon Fire was transferred to a Type 3 Incident Management Team operating out of the Methow Valley Ranger District in Winthrop, Washington on Monday.
About 70 firefighters continue working on the Black Canyon Fire, which is contained on all flanks except along St. Luise Creek.  While fire growth is minimal, smoke will be visible as the fire continues finding pockets of vegetation that are receptive to burning in the afternoon when weather conditions are drier and warmer. 
“Heavier traffic will continue to be present on the roads in the Gold Creek area in the mornings and evenings,” said Chad Bresnahan, Incident Commander.  “We know this is an impact to residents and appreciate the extra caution and patience.”
Fire camp has been closed down and logistical support, such as food and sleeping arrangements, is being provided out of the local community restaurants, grocery stores and lodging facilities.
Those firefighters who remain include operational overhead support provided by Australian and New Zealand firefighters as well as Forest Service hand crews and local contractors with dozers, engines, excavators and other equipment.  They are patrolling the fire perimeter and responding, as needed, to hot spots.  They are also working on repairing any damage caused by fire suppression.  Sometimes referred to as “fire rehab”, this suppression repair work includes erosion control, noxious weed control and repairing infrastructure like fences that were damaged during suppression efforts.
The Burned Area Emergency Response team will be in the area over the next few days, assessing burn severity and providing a set of recommendations to the Forest Service.
For additional information about the Black Canyon Fire, please call the Methow Valley Ranger District at 509-996-4000.

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