Okanogan/Wenatchee National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
215 Melody Lane
Wenatchee, WA 98801
Norse Peak Fire Update: Monday, September 11, 2017- 1 pm
Date Started: Aug. 11, 2017
Cause: Lightning Total acres: 49,997
Containment: 12% Structures Damaged/Destroyed: None Injuries to date: 1 (minor)
Total Personnel: 603 Fire Resources: 13 crews, 36 engines, 4 helicopters, 3 bulldozers, 10 water tenders
NORSE PEAK FIRE (49,997 acres):
As of 06:00 today, the Norse Peak Fire has been divided into two zones, the north zone and the south zone to provide for more effective management, safety and close coordination of fires using two management teams. The division line will be the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). The PCT will provide a natural division for the Norse Peak Fire; and it is also the division between the Okanogan-Wenatchee and the Mt. Baker- Snoqualmie National Forests.
The Sawmill Creek and Norse Peak Fire: North Zone are being managed by Southern California Incident Management Team (IMT) 3 from the basecamp in Enumclaw, WA. The Norse Peak South Zone and American Fires are being managed by the California Central Coast Incident Management Team (IMT) from a basecamp at the Chinook Work Center near Naches, WA.
Fire activity continued to be minimal to moderate due to the current weather conditions. This weather trend is expected to change today and into Tuesday as high pressure builds into the area. This could bring increased fire behavior due to temperature increases and lower relative humidity. Wednesday into Thursday will bring another low-pressure system resulting in lower temperatures and increased humidity. Possible precipitation will be only trace amounts, and not expected to have a significant impact on the fire. We continue to see additional resources arriving and the Washington National Guard is continuing to aid the firefighting efforts.
Norse Peak Fire North Zone: In the Crystal Mountain and Gold Hill area, fire continued to slowly creep toward structures. Firefighters were in place around developments to patrol for any spots that could be problematic, as well continue to improve clearance around homes. Helicopters provided water drops in the area to keep the fire in check, preventing an increase in fire growth.
Today firefighters continue to improve roads, remove fuel around the fire and build indirect containment line. Firefighters continue to work their way into the fire to build direct containment lines. Firefighters working in Division’s “E”,“G” and “I” near the Dalles and Crystal Mountain Communities are conducting assessments and fuel reduction to prepare for structure defense should the need arise. The fire continues to threaten the watershed for the City of Tacoma, industrial timberland, DNR protected lands, and the United States Forest Service lands.
A community meeting was held at the Greenwater Fire Department last night 9/10 to update affected communities on the Sawmill Creek and Norse Peak fires. Representatives from both Incident Management Teams, Pierce County, US Forest Service, DNR and Greenwater Fire Department also answered questions from the public. Current evacuations, incident management teams and fire behavior were among the topics discussed. Our thanks to Fire Chief Paul Sowers and the Greenwater Fire Department for their hospitality and hosting the event.
Norse Peak Fire South Zone: Crews continued to work on State Highway 410 east of Bumping River Road, removing brush, and felling standing dead trees that could ignite and compromise the containment efforts that have been successful in that area. Resources are close to completing preparations along FS 1900 road, and will continue preparing indirect line to the north-northwest.
AMERICAN FIRE (1,958 acres): Firefighters completed felling and brush removal work to the north along the Bumping River Road, and remain vigilant in the area as the fire creeps slowly toward structures. We observed an increase in smoke production during the day, with isolated torching, as well as lower intensity creeping. Helicopters provided water drops and were successful in limiting fire spread. Hose lays and sprinklers have been in place around structures to apply water as fire approaches. Glow from the fire was visible at night due to clear skies. The fire remains a threat to structures as it creeps down slope, and crews are in the area for structure protection.
CLOSURES: State Highway 410 will remain closed from SR 123 to east of Bumping River Road. There are no closures along 123. Bumping River Road is closed. A modified road closure from 0800-2000 will be in place on SR 410 from Bumping River Road east to Saw Mill Road to facilitate heavy fuel modification and removal. The Bumping River Road and 1900 Road are closed as are Little Naches and Kaner Flat campgrounds and the Little Naches cabins. Crystal Mountain Boulevard is closed.
The Pacific Crest Trail closure has expanded. It is now closed from White Pass to Snoqualmie Pass.
The latest Forest Closure Order for the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Fire is in place for the fire area and complete details can be found at https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/okawen/alerts-notices.
Forest Closure Order for Mt. Baker Snoqualmie National Forest is in place and can be found at https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/mbs/alerts-notices.
The White River entrance to Mt. Rainier National Park is closed. Updates for the park can be found at https://www.nps.gov/mora/index.htm.
For hunting/fishing information and closures, please contact Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife at 360-902-2200.
EVACUATIONS: In Yakima County, there is a Level 3 Evacuation Order for Goose Prairie along Bumping River Road. In Pierce County, a Level 3 evacuation has been ordered for the Silver Springs Campground, Silver Creek, Deep Creek, Goat Creek, Alta Community, Pick Handle Basin, Gold Hill Community and the Crystal Mountain Ski Resort area.