Thursday, July 16, 2015

7/16/2015 Fire/Smoke Updates

The recent change in weather has decreased wildfire activity in the state and improved air quality.  Below is a summary of the current fire situation for Washington and Oregon:

The NW is now officially at Preparedness Level 2, as is the nation.  Initial Attack activity was as expected in Oregon with 19 fires for a total of 1 acre. Washington was a little ornery with 6 fires for 2,009 acres. All but 9 of those acres came from the Outlaw Draw Fire, a wind-driven grass fire SE of Chelan.  The fire was active and moving, demanding retardant drops until the planes were grounded for the night.  Breezy conditions are expected to increase in E WA and NE OR over the next 48 hours, so there will likely be more fast moving grass fires.  The timber is still showing indices that will make large fire growth difficult.

The Newby Lake Fire grew by about 9 acres since the last IR flight and now sits at 5,074 acres with 20% containment. On the north end, two shot crews will continue working with Canadians today as they turn the corner on the N side and start coming down the E flank. BC Forestry has agreed to do the line rehab when it is needed, so the shot crews will be coming back to the US at end of shift today. Last night, it snowed in their spike camp. On the S and E flanks, crews are using Palm IR to look for heat sources around the perimeter and going direct where it is safe to do so. There may be a need for burnouts along portions of the S and E flanks. Those options will be assessed today and if the decision is made, preparations will start quickly for a possible Saturday burn window. 

The Mt. Adams Complex is heavily into mop-up and backhaul.  The Type 2 IMT expects to meet turnback standards by end of shift tomorrow. The closeout with the Forest is at 1400 on Friday and the transition will occur at 0600 on Saturday.

The Douglas County Complex is now officially at 100% containment, and Wolverine is still being monitored.  The Blankenship Fire in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness on the Okanagon-Wenatchee NF is still quite small and will receive occasional mentions based on activity.

Northwest Fire Potential Summary: Dry and breezy conditions will develop by later today across Eastern Washington and to a lesser extent Eastern Oregon. This is in response to an upper trough swinging through the region from the north. As this system drops southward Friday and Saturday it could kick off of a few showers or thunderstorms but Initial Attack activity should remain rather subdued and not expected to present a problem for Initial Attack resource capability.

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