Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Rain fell over the Little Bridge Creek, Upper Falls and Carlton Complex fires last night. Scattered thunderstorms, along with possible gusty erratic winds and heavy rainfall, are predicted through Thursday.  The rain has brought cooler temperatures that will moderate fire behavior for a few days until it begins to warm up and dry out this weekend.

Approximately 70 area residents attended a community meeting in Twisp last night.  Incident Commander (IC) Beth Lund and members of her staff provided an update on the status of the fires and answered questions from concerned citizens.  “We are here to build off the successes of the previous teams.  We look forward to serving the community,”  said IC Lund.

The Little Bridge Creek Fire is 14% contained.  The fire, likely caused by lightning, started August 2, on National Forest lands, 10 miles west of Winthrop.  Infrared data shows the fire is approximately 4,129 acres.  It is located between Canyon Creek and Little Bridge Creek. Rain and cooler weather will help buy firefighters time to contain a small area of fire that has crossed over Thompson Ridge on the north end of the fire. The objective is to keep fire south of Thompson Ridge, out of the Wolf Creek drainage. Construction of indirect line between the fire and infrastructure continues.  Structural firefighters continue to assess and prepare for structural protection efforts, should they be needed.  There are 690 personnel assigned to this fire.  This includes two hot shot crews, two type 2 crews, two initial attack crews, 25 engines, 5 dozers, and 17 water tenders. More information is at inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4051

The Upper Falls Fire, located 17 miles north of Winthrop, is 8,047 acres.  Last night’s rain will help firefighters gain ground on a challenging area on the southwest side of the fire. The fire is backing down toward Eight Mile Road.  Firefighters are continuing to hold the fire along the southern portion of Falls Creek Road and they are improving indirect lines south of Alex Creek.  Specialized equipment has been brought in to mitigate many standing dead trees in this area that pose a hazard to our fire crews. The fire is moving gradually north toward the Pasaytan Wilderness and east toward the Farewell and Tripod fire scars. Firefighters are patrolling the fire perimeter at night to watch for hot spots that may flare up.   There are 173 personnel assigned to the fire.  This includes two hot shot crews, four Type 2 crews, 16 engines, 4 dozers and two water tenders. inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/9060

The Carlton Fire is in patrol and mop up.  The 256,108-acre Carlton Fire will continue to smoke and flare in the interior.  Suppression repair work is ongoing, which includes:  chipping vegetation along roads, installing water bars to minimize erosion, and covering hand and dozer lines.  Firefighters are also patrolling the fire perimeter at night looking for hot spots.  There are 1,045 personnel assigned to the Carlton Complex wildfire.  This includes one hot shot crew, 9 Type 2 crews, 5 dozers, and 17 water tenders. inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3967

Total personnel working on the three fires are 1,908. Air resources being shared by all three fires include:  two Type 1 helicopters, 3 Type 2 helicopters and four Type 3 helicopters.

No structures or infrastructure are immediately threatened.  No Level 2 or Level 3 evacuation notices exist for these fires.   Level 1 notification remains in place for the Pine Forest and Sun Mountain areas, East and West Chewuch Road from the bridge north to Boulder Creek and for Twisp River Road above Elbow Coulee.

Information Officers will again be in the Twisp and Winthrop area today to provide information about the Little Bridge Creek, Carlton Complex, and Upper Falls Fires. For the latest information on smoke and air quality go to:  http://wasmoke.blogspot.com.

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