Okanogan/Wenatchee National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
215 Melody Lane
Wenatchee, WA 98801
Norse Peak Fires Update. Sunday, August 20, 2017 - 9:00 a.m.
The Norse Peak Fire is currently 1,540 acres and the American Fire is 122 acres. The fires continue to progress slowly; the change in acres is due to better mapping with infrared imagery. There are 219 personnel (1 Type 1 crew; 5 Type 2 crews, 10 engines, 2 water tenders, and 2 helicopters) currently working on these fires.
Saturday: Firefighters were able to fell dead trees and improve the fire line along the 999 Trail. They also prepped structures in this area. They continue to monitor other smaller lightning caused fires in the area, which haven’t had any significant growth.
Today: Hwy 410 remains closed from Chinook Pass (mile post 69) to Hell’s Crossing (mile post 84). Firefighters continue to work along the Hwy 410 corridor removing dead trees using a feller-buncher. They will continue to triage structures along the Hwy 410 corridor and create defensible space where needed.
The objective is to keep the fire east of Union Creek, north of the 999 Trail, with the goal of steering it towards the wilderness areas north of the fire where fuels are sparser. This will help ensure the safety of firefighters while also protecting the important assets of the area. To help accomplish this, helicopters are being used to do bucket drops of water along the Union Creek to minimize the progression westward. In addition to removing the dead trees along Hwy 410, firefighters are laying hose lines along the 999 Trail and will use strategic firing where it’s safe to do so to remove the fuels between the trail and the backing fire.
The American Fire is slowly backing down steep terrain towards the American River. The objective is to hold the fire south of the river. To the south of the American Fire firefighters will be clearing fuels around the Goose Prairie community and Camp Fife, where mitigation work had been completed in 2011. Goose Prairie, Camp Fife, and Bumping Lake areas remain under a Level 1 Evacuation Notification. This is a precautionary notice so people can think about what they will do if an evacuation is needed. The area remains open for business, including Bumping Lake Marina and Chinook Pass Outfitter and Guides.
Weather Forecast: The wind will be generally light from the northwest, with gusts up to 18-mph. High temperatures will be up to the 80’s in the lower elevations, and relative humidity in the low 30s. With moderate to low humidity, the finer fuels such as grasses and lichens will be ready to burn. However, so long as the wind continues out of the northwest they will not be in line with drainages and any fire growth will likely be from those finer fuels.
Closures and Restrictions: (Full details and maps available on https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5509/)
All campfires are now prohibited on National Forest lands within the Naches Ranger District.
In order to protect public safety, National Forest officials have prohibited anyone except firefighters from entering or being on any trail for a large area of National Forest land around the fires.
SR410 remains closed from Chinook Pass (mile post 69) to Hell’s Crossing (mile post 84). Travel alerts are posted on the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) website (http://www.wsdot.com/traffic/trafficalerts/). This closure is likely to extend over several days as the highway corridor is being cleared of snags and firing operations are being conducted.
Level 3 “Go” evacuation notification remains in effect for the Union Creek (6 cabins) and Pleasant Valley (7 cabins) Summer Home Tracts. During a Level 3 evacuation, it is recommended that residents leave the area. The Timber Creek Tract is closed because SR410 is closed; it is not threatened at this time.
Pleasant Valley and Lodgepole campgrounds are closed.