AFTERNOON UPDATE

4 p.m.: Upper Falls Activity Picks Up

Crews have been working hard to contain the Upper Falls Fire and construct a line between the Falls Creek Road and the Eight Mile Road.  Early this morning, the fire jumped that line and has become established between Falls Creek and Eight Mile Roads.  The fire is burning in extremely heavy fuels on steep slopes, such that crews were withdrawn from that area for their own safety. They are working to hold the fire along the Falls Creek Road.  Helicopters are dropping water on the fire to check and delay the fire’s advance south along Eight Mile Creek. 

A containment line is being located near Ruffed Grouse Campground and both dozers and hand crews will begin construction of a line toward the Falls Creek Road.

Given the weather we are expecting this afternoon (Red Flag Warning and thunder storms), fire intensity may continue to increase and crews will be positioned to reengage in safe and effective actions to stop the fire’s advance.

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ORIGINAL 8/11 UPDATE:

August 11, 2014        8:00 a.m.

Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team – Pete Blume, Incident Commander 

InformationCenter: 509-996-9971

Hours of operation: 7a.m.–7p.m.

Email:  upperfallsfire@gmail.com

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Yesterday

Crews continued work along Falls Creek Road to contain the fire. The southern indirect line (a combination of dozer and hand line) from the Farewell Fire scar to the Falls Creek Road south of the fire was completed. Dozers constructed line between the Falls Creek and Eight Mile Creek Roads to contain movement of the fire down Eight Mile drainage. Helicopters dropped water to check and delay movement to the west and south.  Night crews were on patrol during the night.

Today  

Firefighters will hold the fire along the Falls Creek Road and improve the southern indirect line between the Farewell Burn and the Falls Creek Road. The fire burned over the line on the west side between Falls Creek and Eight Mile last night; crews will work to contain that area, reposition the containment line, and continue construction toward Eight Mile Creek. Firefighters will be on alert for increased fire behavior due to hotter and dryer weather moving into the area reflected in the Red Flag Warning in effect today. Helicopters will drop water to check and delay movement to the west and south as weather allows.

Evacuations  (including all evacuations in the Methow Valley area)

Level 1:  Pine Forest, Sun Mountain Resort, Pearrygin Lake State Park, East Chewuch Road to Boulder Creek, and the Twist River from Elbow Coulee to the Forest Boundary.

There are no level 2 or 3 evacuations in effect.

Weather:  Red Flag Warning today for stability and plume dominated fire growth ; Highs around 89; wind from the southwest at10 mph with gusts to 18

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Fire Statistics

StartDate: 08/03/2014

Size:6,513acres

PercentContained: 0%

Location:  17milesnorth of Winthrop, WA

Total Personnel: 324

Resources Assigned:  1 Type1 hand crews,4 Type2 hand crews,4 Type 2 Initial Attack crew; 25 engines, 9 dozers, 7 water tenders; 2 Type 1, 2 Type 2, and 2 Type 3 Helicopter

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Closures

Forest closures:  Call the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest(509)996-4000or go to http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/okawen/alerts-notices

Highway closures:  Washington Department of Transportation at http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/

Other places to get information

Twitter: #UpperFallsFire

Inciweb: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4060/

Firefighterthank-yous: https://www.facebook.com/RockyMtn.Type1.IMT.PIOs