Okanogan/Wenatchee National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
Wenatchee, WA 98801
Norse Peak Fires Update. Friday, August 25, 2017 - 9:00 a.m.
There are currently 364 personnel (1 Type 1 crew, 8 Type 2 crews, 18 engines, 4 felling teams, 2 dozers, 2 water tenders, heavy equipment, and 2 helicopters) working on these fires. Today eight firefighters from the North Cascades Smoke Jumper Base are planned to join the effort.
Thursday’s Accomplishments: The Norse Peak Fire (2,073 acres) saw minimal spread giving crews time to complete a contingency line along an unnamed ridge between Fife’s Peak and Hwy 410. Should the eastern edge of the fire pass Survey Creek this line will help keep it from spreading further east along the Hwy 410 corridor. Crews also continued working along Hwy 410 removing fuels and slash. The fire remains east and north of Union Creek, north of Hwy 410 and west of Survey Creek. The American Fire (201 acres) continues to back down slowly towards Hwy 410 and the American River where crews have installed hoselays and sprinklers to keep it in check. They’re expecting it to reach this line sometime this weekend. The Union Creek Fire (160 acres), west of the Norse Peak Fire, remains on the north side of Union Creek, kept in check using bucket drops of water.
Today: After weighing the values at risk and the benefits of getting lines around a 5-acre fire (Fire 351) burning south of the American Fire, fire managers decided the best course of action is to have a crew of eight smoke jumpers go in and contain the small blaze. The objective is to suppress the fire while the weather is favorable, before it has a chance to burn up to the 958 Trail along the top of the American Ridge. A significant fire along the ridge would prompt a Level 2 evacuation for campgrounds and communities along Bumping Lake Road. The smoke jumpers are scheduled to arrive mid-morning and will spend two to three days on site.
The American Fire will be allowed to continue its slow descent towards the 999 Trail south of the Hwy 410 corridor where crews are prepared to meet it with hoselays and sprinklers. Firefighters continue prepping line and disposing of fuel on the Norse Peak Fire along Hwy 410, west to Morse Creek and Bear Gap. Fire managers will continue to check the Union Creek Fire, keeping it north of Union Creek using water drops from helicopters. Fire 367 (54 acres) burning in the wilderness area north of the Norse Peak Fire continues to be monitored.
Hwy 410: The 15-mile stretch of highway in the fire area is open from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Maximum speed is 45 mph. Drivers should be cautious for potential fire activity, firefighters, equipment and debris along the road. This section of highway remains closed during the daytime (6 a.m. to 8 p.m.) to allow firefighters to work safely along the roadway where trees have been felled and debris will be chipped. This closure is being evaluated daily and will last at least through Monday. Check Department of Transportation travel alerts at http://www.wsdot.com/traffic/trafficalerts/.
Weather Forecast: Today firefighters can expect warmer and dryer weather than yesterday, with light winds and low humidity. The winds will be lighter but with the low humidity fuels will be drier and more available to carry fire. A warming, drying trend continues throughout the weekend and into early next week.
All Closures, Restrictions and Evacuations remain in effect: For more details and maps visit https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5509/. Recreational cabins at Union Creek and Pleasant Valley, and the Lodgepole and Pleasant Valley campgrounds remain closed under Level 3 Evacuation Notification. A broad area of the National Forest around the fire area, including many trails, is closed. Other recreational facilities including campgrounds and businesses at Goose Prairie and Bumping Lake, under Level 1 Notification, remain open.
For people sensitive to smoke impacts, www.wasmoke.blogspot.com is an excellent resource to learn about recorded air conditions and appropriate safety steps to reduce exposure when smoke is heavier.