Aug. 23, 2017 9:00am Norse Peak Fire Update
Incident: Norse Peak Fire Wildfire
The Norse Peak Fire is currently 1,966 acres and the American Fire is 176 acres. There are 295 personnel (1 Type 1 crew; 6 Type 2 crews, 18 engines, 2 water tenders, 4 felling teams and 2 helicopters) working on these fires. Three other wilderness fires started by the same lightning event are now 132, 48, and 4 acres. Firefighters are monitoring these fires and using helicopter water drops as needed to hold them.
Hwy 410: Hwy 410 opened last night from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. only. The speed limit is 45 mph. Drivers should drive cautiously as firefighters are still 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. The highway is closed from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. to allow firefighters to work safely.
Tuesday’s Accomplishments: The Norse Peak Fire continued to be active on its northwest corner, moving along Union Creek. Helicopters made water drops to keep the fire east of the creek. The fire remains north of the 999 Trail and Hwy 410. The work to remove dead trees and brush from along the highway is nearly completed from Morse Creek to Hells Crossing.
Planning for structure protection along Bumping Lake Road, including the Goose Prairie community is nearly completed. The American Fire continues to burn downslope toward the Hwy 410 corridor. It remains north of Kettle Creek. Hoses are being installed along the 999 Trail that is on the south side of Hwy 410, above the American River, in preparation for its approach.
Today: Managing wildfires is inherently complex and challenging and compounded by many factors, including longer fire seasons. Wildfires occur outside of historic fire seasons in different parts of the country; bigger wildfires burn more land on average each year, and the presence of homes and communities in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI). Fire managers evaluate the fire situation throughout the day and identify the primary objectives. In the case of the Norse Peak Fire, the priority is to keep the fire east of Union Creek and north of Hwy 410. To be proactive, they also plan for alternatives should the fire move beyond their primary objective, which is why firefighters will continue preparation work along the Hwy 410 corridor, removing dead trees and brush from Bear Gap to Morse Creek and Hells Crossing, as well as clearing away logs alongside the road. Firefighters are also scouting the east side of the fire below Fife’s Peak to develop suppression strategies should the fire grow in that direction as well.
The American Fire is burning downslope to the Hwy 410 corridor. However, fire managers are also looking at alternative lines of defense on this fire as well. Should it move south towards Bumping Lake Road, firefighters are developing suppression strategies, and structure protection plans are being completed and will be implemented if necessary.
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 cold front is expected to bring cooler temperatures, higher humidity, and increased cloud cover during the afternoon. Winds will remain light in the morning with increasing westerly winds expected during the afternoon and evening. The cold front will push east of the fire overnight, resulting in a small chance of light showers or sprinklers as well as breezy northwest winds.
All Closures, Restrictions and evacuations remain in effect: For more details and maps visit https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5509/Check for travel alerts on the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) website at http://www.wsdot.com/traffic/trafficalerts/.