Aug. 22, 2017 9:00am Norse Peak Fire Update
Incident: Norse Peak Fire Wildfire
The Norse Peak Fire is currently 1,750 acres and the American Fire is 156 acres. There are 290 personnel (1 Type 1 crew; 6 Type 2 crews, 16 engines, 2 water tenders, and 2 helicopters) working on these fires. Three other wilderness fires started by the same lightning event are now 78, 45, and 4 acres. Firefighters are monitoring these fires.
Hwy 410: As of this evening, Hwy 410 will be open from approximately 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Fire managers are asking the public to be patient as this area still has crews working along the highway and all equipment and debris must be removed from the driving lanes prior to allowing traffic on the road. The speed limit will be 45 mph. Drivers should drive cautiously as firefighters will still be working in the area all night. Stopping is prohibited. Camping facilities remain closed within the fire area. This system is being evaluated daily and expected to remain in effect through Friday August 25.
Monday’s Accomplishments: The northwest corner of the Norse Peak Fire was active on Monday. However, firefighters were able to keep the fire east of Union Creek using helicopters to make water drops. Work continued along the 999 Trail and Hwy 410 to remove dead trees and underbrush between Morse Creek Road and Hells Crossing. Structure protection measures, including hose lays and sprinklers, around the Union Creek cabins worked well.
Firefighters were successful in keeping the American Fire south of the American River and north of Kettle Creek. It continues to burn downslope toward the Hwy 410 corridor. Detailed structure assessments of the communities along Bumping Lake Road were also completed.
Today: The plan on the Norse Peak Fire is to continue operations removing dead trees and brush along the Hwy 410 corridor going west to Morse Creek and Bear Gap, and east to Hells Crossing. The protection of the cabins at Union Creek, and facilities along the trailhead, including the Union Creek Footbridge are also a priority fire managers. Strategic firing will be used where and when its safe to do so in order to continue bringing the Norse Peak Fire down to the highway. The American Fire is being allowed to continue to burn downslope to the Hwy 410 corridor due to steep terrain, with the objective of keeping it north of Kettle Creek and south of the American River.
Fire managers continue to monitor the fire activity in the wilderness area. When planning a response to wildfire, the Forest Service considers the values at risk, fuel and weather conditions, availability of wildfire management assets, and other factors, including the ecological benefits of natural fire. In remote areas, where there is no threat to people, naturally occurring fire can improve wildlife habit, add nutrients to the soil, reduce future fire danger and increase overall forest health.
Goose Prairie 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 were needed. The area remains open for business, including Bumping Lake Marina and Chinook Pass Outfitter and Guides.
Weather Forecast: A high-pressure system over the fire will result in abundant sunshine, lower humidity and slight warming. Winds will remain light and terrain driven throughout the morning, however they will shift to the west/northwest this afternoon and overnight. The weather is expected to be cooler on Wednesday as a cold front approaches the fire area. It will likely be cool and breezy on Thursday.
All Closures, Restrictions and evacuations remain in effect.
Check for travel alerts on the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) website at http://www.wsdot.com/traffic/trafficalerts/.