Monday, August 14, 2017

8/14/2017 Fires in Washington update

Update on active fires in Washington

Cooler weather has helped improve statewide air quality and has assisted firefighters with their work of controlling wildfires in the state. The unstable weather also brought lightning to some areas though and a few new fires were ignited. A summary of active wildfires is shown in the map and table below:

Estimated Containment Date
Diamond Creek
Expected fire behavior: long-range spotting, uphill runs, crowning, and fast rates of spread. Expected fire spread to the south and northwest portions of the fire.
Noisy Creek
Moderate Backing, Creeping, Smoldering. Occasional light rain, cooler temperatures and higher relative humidity's have slowed fire activity. A warming trend will begin Tuesday.  
Bridge Creek
Cooler weather and slight precipitation moderated fire behavior for a second day. Fire still making short runs with rollout debris and backing downhill.
Jolly Mountain
Made up of five fires in a remote area approximately five miles northeast of the north end of Cle Elum Lake. Steep slopes, rugged terrain and the distance from road systems limit access to the fires. Due to the inaccessibility, firefighters are continuing to scout fire line locations with the highest probability of success to protect values at risk.
Hult Butte
No estimate
Six miles west of Vantage, WA. Start date 8/13/2017. 100% lined, no additional growth expected.
East Saddle
10 miles west of Othello, WA. 41 percent contained.
Head Water
Crews worked through cold temperatures Sunday night to solidify containment lines, and Monday’s efforts are expected to increase containment to approximately 40 percent. Commanders expect the fire to be fully contained by the end of shift Thursday.

In addition, a few new fires are reported on the Naches Ranger district but have not yet made it into the daily summary provided by the Northwest Coordination Center. The following was the summary provided by the district:

Norse Peak and American Ridge Fires

Summary:  A lightning storm Friday afternoon ignited 13 fires within the Naches Ranger District west of Yakima, Washington.  Ten of the fires are in the William O. Douglas and Norse Peak Wildernesses.  Three of the more accessible fires were contained Friday night. 

A Sunday morning overflight indicated that fire activity was somewhat less than on Saturday; however, overall there was still enough heat remaining to produce visible smoke and continue steady, but slow fire growth.  These fires will be fully suppressed; however, difficult access and firefighter safety concerns will likely deter immediate direct action.  The strategy is to prevent these fires from coming down out of the Wilderness to SR 410 and threatening the structures and improvements adjacent to it.    

And finally, the map capture below shows the extensive area still covered by active wildfires in British Columbia. The meteorology is keeping the smoke north of the border and out of Washington for now at least. And every air quality monitor in Washington is reporting Good air quality at the moment. We haven't seen that in a long time!
Wildfires and air quality 8/14/2017

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