August 22 Okanogan Complex AM Update
Incident: Okanogan Complex Wildfire
Current Situation: The five Okanogan Complex fires have grown to more than 200,000 acres – primarily due to yesterday’s expansion to the south on the Tunk Block fire. Most of that growth was caused by strong winds blowing north to south.
Some structures have been lost, but an exact number is still unknown as this time. Others may have been lost except for the diligent efforts of air attack and structural and wildland firefighters from across the nation. New resources continue to arrive and are being assigned to priority areas.
Valley residents also observed a considerable air show yesterday as helicopter and fixed wing aircraft dropped 19 rounds of retardant; over 260,000 gallons.
Twisp River Fire: This fire grew overnight to 8,732 acres and is zero percent contained. Fire lines on the north, south and east sides of the fire are holding and protecting the community of Twisp. The growth overnight took place on the fire’s western edge, moving away from private lands and residences. Current fire growth is occurring in Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. One hot shot crew is arriving today and will be assigned to that part of the fire.
Lime Belt/Blue Lake Fire: This fire currently covers 73,247 acres and is 20 percent contained. Building new line around yesterday’s growth to the south is a major priority today.
Tunk Block Fire: Tunk Block is 119,104 acres and is 15 percent contained. Crews will focus on the southern portions of the fire today in an attempt to establish line on that side and take advantage of weather conditions over the next few days. Good progress was made yesterday on reinforcing the north line.
Beaver Lake Fire: This fire is now 21,403 acres and has very few containment lines. A 40 acre spot fire on the south side of the Loup Loup Road was contained. Crews are working on increased suppression today.
Nine Mile Fire: This fire is 95 percent contained at 4,720 acres and remains in patrol status.
Weather: Conditions are expected to be more moderate than yesterday, which will help containment efforts. Winds should be variable in direction at less than 10 miles per hour. Smoke may be a issue in providing air support to ground crrews.
Evacuations and Closures: Numerous mandatory road closures and voluntary advisory evacuations are in place throughout Okanogan County. For detailed current information, contact the Okanogan Emergency Contact Center at 509-422-7348
Media Briefings: Media briefings will be held at 11 am daily at Okanogan County Fairgrounds.Fire Statistics:
Location: Eleven miles northwest of Omak, WA Start Date: August 14, 2015
Complex Size: 227,206 acres Percent Contained: Shown aboveTwisp River: 8,732 acres Cause: Lightning, except Nine Mile (human)
Lime Belt/Blue Lake: 73,247 acres Total Personnel: 973
Tunk Block: 119,104 acres
Beaver Lake: 21,403 acres
Nine Mile: 4,720 acres
Resources Include: 9 Type 2 hand crews, 4 Type 2IA hand crews, 76 engines, 29 water tenders, and 973 total personnel. Single Engine Air Tankers, as well as large and small air tankers, are available and will be used today.Air Resources: 2 Type 1 helicopters and 4 Type 2 helicopters.