Thursday, July 23, 2009

Fires in Glacier Peak Wilderness

We received this update from Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest regarding the recent fires in the Glacier Peak Wilderness.

Lighting Strikes Start Fires in Glacier Peak Wilderness
Affect trails in north Cascades

Everett, Wa. July 23, 2009 — Thunderstorms and lightning have started multiple small fires in the Glacier Peak Wilderness, approximately 40-miles east of Granite Falls on the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.

Many started in late June and early July. “Many of these fires, which started from lightening, can smolder for a month or more before anyone sees them,” said Britt Davis, North Zone Fire Management Officer for the forest. All are less than five acres, so hikers may see smoke in the vicinity. For now fire managers are monitoring the fires. “We have made the decision not to put firefighters at risk in the exceptionally steep terrain of the Mineral Park Fire or in the remote area of the Suiattle Complex,” he said.

Fuel moisture's have been at or near historic lows, especially for this time of the year. Davis said weather experts at the National Weather Service predict more hot and dry conditions ahead. “With the next round of heating and drying, the fire behavior could pick up,” he added. Davis asks hikers to report any new fires on the state wildland fire hotline at 800-562-6010.

Mineral Park Fire: lightning reported July 12 and is less than one acre in size. (latitude: 48.26.59, longitude: 121.09.24) Smoke visible from Mineral Park Campground, Cascade River Road and trailheads 766, 767 and 769.

Suiattle Complex-Chocolate Fire: lightning reported July 15 and is about two acres in size. (latitude: 48.06.34, longitude: 120.59.29) Smoke visible from trails 791, 792 and 798.

Suiattle Complex-Dusty Fire: lightning reported July 18 and is about five acres in size. The fire is located in Glacier Peak Wilderness (latitude: 48.09.28, longitude: 121.01.05) Smoke visible from trails 791, 792 and 798.

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