Okanogan Complex Update 9-14-15
Incident: Okanogan Complex Wildfire
September 14, 2015, 9:00 AM
Fire Information: 877-568-0458 or 877-574-5148, 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM
Size: 133,118 acres
Estimated Cost to Date: $40.8 million
Containment: 85 percent
Total Personnel: 631
Residences Damaged or Destroyed: 120
Committed Resources: 14 crews, 34 engines, 5 helicopters, 8 dozers, 18 water tenders, 5 masticators
CURRENT FIRE SITUATION
Yesterday, the fire was moderately active again north of Buck Mountain as it burned toward Forest Road (FR) 42. South of Peacock Meadow, some interior islands of trees on both sides of the Loup Loup Canyon Road continued to burn. Crews discovered and contained a two-acre spot fire near FR 300, the result of Saturday’s extreme weather. Okanogan Complex firefighters joined the Conconully Fire Department and a DNR crew to respond to a new fire start near the junction of FR 42 and FR 420. The fire is less than one acre. Although the cause is under investigation, fire officials do know that the fire was not the Okanogan Complex spotting across containment lines.
Depending on a variety of factors, crews working on FR 42 today may conduct defensive burning operations to secure the fireline, or they may let the fire burn to the road on its own. This western side of the fire is producing some visible smoke, and it is the last portion of the perimeter that firefighters need to contain and mop up. All other areas of the fire perimeter are being patrolled and mopped up. Suppression-repair crews are working on repairing dozer lines around the fire’s perimeter and through the interior.
WEATHER AND FIRE BEHAVIOR
Yesterday the cold front moved into the area as expected. Winds at the Omak airport gusted to 25 mph and the relative humidity dropped to 6 percent. Winds were mostly from the southwest rather than northwest, but that did not negatively affect fire behavior on the west side of the fire. This week will be much cooler than last week, with rain likely midweek. Firefighters will take advantage of the weather’s moderating effect on fire behavior as they mop up remaining hot spots on the western side. The moisture content of all fuels—from heavy to fine—in the fire area is below 8 percent; kiln-dried lumber has a moisture content between 16 and 19 percent.
Forest Service roads on the west side of the fire within the area closure (see below) are closed to the public. Law-enforcement personnel are enforcing road closures, which are identified with a sign or barricade. Although not every closed road is staffed, fire managers ask the public to respect the closures for firefighter and public safety.
EVACUATIONS AND ROAD CLOSURES
Call the Okanogan County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at 509-422-7348 to report primary residences that were damaged or destroyed in this year’s wildfires. The EOC also provides information on evacuations and road closures https://www.facebook.com/Okanogan.County.Emergency.Management