Thursday, August 14, 2014
Rain over the fires has created an opportunity for our firefighters to safely take more direct action on the fires.
The Little Bridge Creek Fire, located 10 miles west of Winthrop, WA between Canyon Creek and Little Bridge Creek, is 19% contained. The fire is approximately 4,325 acres. Yesterday, rain and cooler weather helped firefighters. Operations determined the portion of fire that crossed over Thompson Ridge on the north end of the fire is much smaller than originally believed. Today, crews will work directly near the fire to improve and hold control lines. More information is at inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4051.
The Upper Falls Fire, located 17 miles north of Winthrop, is at 8,113 acres. The fire is 11% contained. Yesterday’s rain helped firefighters gain ground on a challenging area on the southwest side of the fire. Specialized equipment was brought in to mitigate many standing dead trees in this area that pose a hazard to our fire crews. Today, additional crews are moving from other fires to the Upper Falls Fire to take action directly on the fire’s southern edge. More information is at inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/9060.
The Carlton Complex Fire, located five miles SW of Okanogan, is holding at the 256,108 acres. The fire is 96% contained. Today, crews are securing and reinforcing fire lines and continuing suppression repair on dozer and hand lines. FS Road 100 in the Squaw Creek Drainage is currently impassable due to debris. Crews are evaluating removal methods. More information is at inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3967.
Total personnel working on the three fires, as well as initial attack resources, is 1,760 including four hot shot crews, 26 type II crews, 122 engines, 53 water tenders, and 19 dozers. Air resources shared by all three fires include: two Type 1 helicopters, 3 Type 2 helicopters and four Type 3 helicopters. All three fires are under the umbrella of one management team which makes for more efficient use of fire resources. The team is also coordinating initial attack response for the Methow Valley Ranger District.
Level 1 evacuations remain in effect above the bridge at the junction of County Road 9137 (East Chewuch Road) and County Road 1213 West Chewuch Road). This area is also closed to entry on National Forest lands because of the Forest closure order. 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, Sun Mountain, 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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