Thursday, August 14, 2014
Tuesday rains—almost an inch of water—quieted the Lone Mountain Fire on Wednesday, though a late afternoon flight found smoke inside the fire’s north and west flanks. The fire was smoldering in places under large, protective trees.
Clouds in the mountains kept helicopters on the ground most of yesterday. A planned crew swap—moving firefighters off of and onto the fire—had to be postponed until today. The fire team plans to have two helicopters in the air today, swapping crews as well as hauling more 300-gallon buckets of water to put out spots inside the fire control points.
At the North Cascades Smokejumper Base, the crew supporting firefighters in the mountains was also slowed by Wednesday’s power outage in the Methow Valley, but they were back to work by the evening.
Weather experts predict two to three days of scattered clouds and rain and possibly some lightning, followed by warming starting Sunday.
“With the expected hot weather in the forecast, we’re prepared for the fire to become active again”, said Michael Vasquez, the incident commander.
The Lone Mountain Fire sits between about 3,500 and 7,000 feet elevation in a mountain bowl. It started on July 14 and grew quickly, but growth has been minimal in the last couple weeks. The most fire activity is on the western side of the Lone Mountain Fire, under McAlester Mountain, and in Rennie Creek on the fire’s northern boundary.
Firefighters are managing the Lone Mountain Fire to keep it in the high mountains until the fire season ends. Smoke can be expected from the area, increasing and decreasing with the weather and with firefighter’s work to keep the lightning-caused fire within the agreed-on control points. Historically, autumn rains have arrived about October 15.
Contact Lone Fire Information in Winthrop:509–997-0857