Monday, July 29, 2013

7/29/2013 Large Fire Update for Central WA

In Central Washington, we have two large fires and several small fires.  The large fires are named Colockum Tarps: located 12 miles SE of Wenatchee and Mile Marker 28: 15 miles NE of Goldendale.  Please select the linked tabs on this blog to find current information.  We are watching these fires closely for large scale smoke impacts to nearby communities.

The satellite image below (taken on Sunday afternoon) clearly shows how smoke is drifting across the Columbia Basin in eastern Washington. Much of this smoke remains aloft at this time, although some of the air quality monitors are picking up occasional spikes of ground level smoke.

Smoke forecast: Expect high levels of smoke close to the fires, particularly in the afternoon hours. Nighttime drainage flows can also cause smoke to pool in nearby valleys. Further downwind, smoke impacts will occur mostly during the night, with some daytime clearing. Expect air quality in several areas be Moderate to Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups, except closer to the fires where things could be worse. Although several wildfires are burning in Oregon and Idaho, we don’t expect significant smoke impacts from them at this time.
The possibility of thunderstorms and potentially wetter weather later in the week carries the risk of more lightning-caused wildfires, while also alleviating fire/ smoke spread.

Local media updates: Goldendale area  Wenatchee area:

Fire Facts- Colockum Tarps WA-WFS-402. IMT2 (Nickey). 12 mi SE of Wenatchee, WA. Start 7/27,2013. Full Suppression. Grass, brush. Cause unknown. 7,000 acres (+6,000). 0% containment. WA State Fire mobilization authorized. Evacuations in effect. Type 2 WA Team 4 (Nickey) transitioning in. Active fire behavior.

Mile Marker 28 WA-YAA-000081. IMT2 (Rabe). 15 mi NE of Goldendale, WA. Start 7/24/2013. Full Suppression. Timber, brush. Cause Unknown. 17,171 acres (+8,215). 25% containment. Hwy 97 remains closed. Active fire behavior. Level 2 and 3 evacuation notifications have been issued on southern perimeter. WA Fire Marshal Office fire mobilization authorized 7/26.

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