Thursday, August 6, 2009

More Fires on Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest

AAI just received the following emails from the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest:

Everett, Wa. Aug. 6, 2009 — Fire managers have detected three new fires on the south zone of the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, all holdover lightning fires. Alpine 2 Fire is close to Highway 2, about five miles east of Skykomish and is a half acre in size. Seven Boise Hotshot crewmembers are fighting that one. The Crystal Mine Fire is 10 acres in size and close to trail 1003. The forest is closing the trail from the 1003 junction east to the forest boundary. “It is inaccessible terrain, so we will use a helicopter and monitor it,” said Hans Redinger, assistant fire management officer for the forest. Deep Creek Fire is close to Highway 410 and is about an acre in size. “It is visible to drivers coming from Mt. Rainier, so people keep calling 911 to report it,” said Redinger. He sent five Boise Hotshot crewmembers to that fire.

Eleven of the 20 fires are now in patrol status, meaning firefighters will observe them until they are completely extinguished. The south zone encompasses Skykomish Ranger District within Snohomish and King Counties and Snoqualmie Ranger District within Pierce and King Counties. Redinger is staffing the remaining fires with engines, rappellers, smokejumpers and hand crews. He said the higher humidity and rain predicted this week should help them contain them.

A Type 2 Incident Command team that has been managing the Gold Hill Complex fires on the north zone of the forest will turn operations over to a local team that will conduct the remaining mop-up activities. Daily updates for those fires are posted at . Mt. Baker District, within Whatcom and Skagit County and the Darrington Ranger District, within Skagit and Snohomish Counties, make up the north zone of the forest.

Report fires on the state wildland fire hotline at 800-562-6010.

Gold Hill Complex Fire

FIRE STATUS Geographic Location: Near Darrington, WA in Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest Cause: Lightning Acres Burned: 60 total on 33 fires Start date: July 25-30; mostly July 29 & 30 Percent Contained: 75 percent Structures threatened: 0 RESOURCES Crews (type 2): 5 Engines: 2 Helicopters: 2 (one Type 1 and one Type 3) Water Tenders: 2 Total personnel: 206 (as of 8/5) Injuries: 0

Current Situation:
The Gold Hill Complex of fires are shrouded in low clouds and very
little smoke is visible in the early morning hours. Cooler temperatures are predicted for the next few days, which will be a relief to several dozen firefighters who are mopping up fires and collecting equipment from the firelines--compared to the intense blast of heat they endured last week.

Several fires (60 acres) remain burning around the Darrington area. Forest Service officials are utilizing approximately 70 firefighters, support personnel, equipment, and two helicopters through the next few days to continue to staff the fires where possible, to monitor fires where there is a high risk to firefighter safety, and make helicopter water drops where needed.

Crews continue to make significant progress in mopping up the Gold Hill Fire (19 acres), the Nervous Bride Fire (4 acres), and have containment lines on all other staffed fires.

Washington State Type 2 Team Johnson leaves Darrington today following a week long stay. Their presence during this incident sets a high standard in professional fire management, and the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest extends their thanks to the team for their outstanding effort in managing this incident.


Temperatures are expected to be cooler between 68-72 in the valleys and as high as 74 at higher elevations. High pressure aloft over the Pacific Northwest will continue through today. Winds out of the west 5 to 7 mph could gust to 10 to 14-mph. Relative humidity recovery is estimated at 48-52%.

Road Closures Remain in Effect:

An official Closure Order remains in effect for the portions of Forest Service Road 22 north of the junction with 2420. In addition, the following spur roads are ordered closed: 2210, 2210-011, 2210-013, 2210-014, and 2211. This closure is focused to the roads immediately accessing the Gold Hill Fire. While other Forest Service roads remain officially open, fire managers request that people avoid the local forest roads if possible. If you must travel them, please use caution and drive carefully.

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