Monday, August 11, 2014

From the air, the Lone Mountain Fire is now a 2700-acre mosaic of rock, steep slopes, alpine meadows and burned and unburned forest.  Firefighters continue to monitor the fire from helicopters and from the ground, calling in 300-gallon bucket-loads of water if flare-ups appear to have any chance of threatening the control points.

Fire fighters are on alert for hot and possibly windy weather plus lightning tonight and Tuesday. A fire weather watch has been declared.

Since its start on July 14, the Lone Mountain Fire has expanded in quick short runs up the stringers of high elevation conifers on the steep and rocky slopes. Embers from torching trees have started new spots outward and further upslope. Then burning materials have also rolled down-slope and ignited new fuels below.  

The Lone Mountain Fire sits in a bowl ringed by mountains on three sides. It has gradually burned northward up Rennie Creek and westward down Boulder Creek.

Early on, the most vulnerable area was the southeast edge near War Creek Pass and firefighters hit that the hardest. Now the west edge in Boulder Creek is the firefighters’ focus: ground crews are working there, assisted by bucket drops to arrest any hint of fire movement toward the Stehekin Valley. 

The weather is expected to remain warmer and drier than normal throughout August. Firefighters will manage the Lone Mountain Fire until the 2014 fire season ends. Historically, autumn rains have arrived about October 15, extinguishing any lingering smokes in the North Cascades.