Thursday, August 1, 2013

8/01/2013 Wildfire update

Colockum Tarps WA-WFS-402. IMT2 (Nickey). 12 mi SE of Wenatchee, WA. Start 7/27,2013. Full Suppression. Grass, brush. Cause under investigation. 70,000 acres (+10,684). 25% containment. WA State Fire mobilization authorized. Additional level 3 evacuations added. Extreme fire behavior. Natural and cultural resources as well as wind farm infrastructures remain at risk.

Mile Marker 28 WA-YAA-000081. IMT2 (Rabe). 15 mi NE of Goldendale, WA. Start 7/24/2013. Full Suppression. Timber, brush. Cause under investigation . 26,793 acres (+4,324). 65% containment. Hwy 97 re-opened. Active fire behavior on north side of the fire. Level 1 evacuations. Values at risk include commercial timber, cultural resources, power line infrastructure, and T&E species.

Moore Point WA-OWF-000366. ICT3 (Schmidt). 35 mi NW of Chelan, WA. Start 7/28/2013. Point Zone Protection. Timber. Cause lightning. 1,086 acres (+836). 0% containment. Moderate fire behavior. Limited access. Lakeside cabins threatened.

Local media updates Ellensburg  Goldendale   Wenatchee
Smoke Forecast
Dry cold front passage last evening led to some modest reductions in smoke levels across much of eastern WA, although levels in many areas have since started creeping up. Some lightning strikes have been reported but we have not yet heard of new fires. There is a red flag warning for more thunderstorms/ lightning strikes/ new fires through late Thursday night, before wetter showers start in areas north of I-90. This will end the threat of new fire starts in the northern parts and perhaps help control some of the existing fires there. But when wet, fires tend to smolder for some time and produce smoke that is not very buoyant.
The risk of new fires remains south of I-90 through Friday. Moderate to strong winds accompanying these weather systems will likely aid smoke dispersion somewhat, but they are also likely to lead to erratic fire behavior.

Incoming weather will also drag some smoke from fires in southwest Oregon, over eastern WA. Impacts from Idahoan fires are not expected over the next two days.
In summary, compared to the past few days most areas in eastern WA can expect to smell a little less smoke today and tomorrow. Air quality should range between Good and Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups in most areas.

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