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Saturday, August 5, 2017

8/5/2017 Diamond Creek Fire Update

Fire Information 503-765-7724 or

Saturday, August 5, 2017 - 10:00 a.m.
Regional smoke will continue to reduce visibility today.  This condition hampers and often prohibits utilization of aircraft to work on the fire.  If visibility improves to safe levels, firefighters plan to utilize helicopters for precision water drops on the southern end of the fire to prevent it from spreading south into Drake Creek.
If the conditions are right, firing operations may begin in an attempt to remove fuels and create a large buffer between the northern edge of the fire and natural barriers. Brushing and felling continues on Billy Goat Road near the trailhead, and scouting continues further south for existing roads that may be used as potential fuel breaks. Structure protection assessments are ongoing along the Methow River northwest of the community of Mazama and along the Chewuch River.

Fire managers recognize that the Diamond Creek Fire will likely be a long-term event.  It is being managed under a suppression strategy using a mixture of direct, indirect, and point protection tactics when and where there is a high probability of success. Fire personnel will engage the fire at the appropriate time and location, while keeping firefighter and public safety as our top priority.
The area is comprised of dry grass, shrubs, timber, and heavy down and dead logs, which are continuous in some areas and sparse in others. These fuel conditions, combined with the steep rocky terrain and numerous standing snags from previous fires, creates hazardous conditions for firefighters. Fire behavior is moderate to high with isolated tree torching and long range spotting.
Temperatures are expected to be warm and dry today with a high of 84 degrees. A high pressure system is moving eastward over the fire, which should bring warmer temperatures and slightly drier conditions. North/northeast winds will reduce down to 1-4 miles per hour (mph) on mid slopes and valleys and 10 mph on ridges.  Smoke is likely to increase throughout the next few days.

Expanded campfire restrictions went into effect on August 4. The IFPL (Industrial Fire Precaution Level) is currently at a Level II, meaning that use of spark-emitting work equipment on forestlands are limited to the hours between 8:00 PM and 1:00 PM.

There is a fire closure in effect in the fire vicinity (Fire Closure No. 06-17-04-17-1001). Additionally, Eightmile Creek 5130 Road is also closed beyond the Cub Creek 5220 junction at 5 miles, blocking access to Ruffed Grouse and Honeymoon Campgrounds, and Billy Goat Trailhead. Visitors to the Pasayten Wilderness are reminded to check conditions before traveling in the area and to register at the trailheads, as this information is critical to timely and effective evacuation, should it be needed.  This fire does not currently affect access to the Pacific Crest Trail or Pacific Northwest Trail.

The Diamond Creek Fire is burning in the steep slopes of the Diamond Creek, Dollar Creek, and Lost River drainages in the Pasayten Wilderness. Driven by heavy fuels, prolonged hot and dry weather, and rugged terrain, the fire is approximately 3.5 air miles from the Billy Goat Trailhead and 16 air miles north of the community of Mazama, Washington. The fire remains approximately 8.5 miles [13.6 kilometers] south of the Canadian border.
Quick Facts
Approximate acreage: 8,742
Start Date and cause: Sunday, July 23, 2017. Human caused.
Incident Commander: Chris Schulte, Pacific Northwest Team 2 Type 1 Incident Management Team
Resources on the Fire: Crews: 1, Helicopters: 4, Engines: 5, Water Tenders: 2, Support: 74
Total Personnel: 149
Jurisdiction: Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest

Relevant Links



Interactive Fire Map:

Washington Smoke Blog:

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