Norse Peak Fire Update, Saturday, September 16, 2017
Incident: Norse Peak Fire Wildfire
Date Started: Aug. 11, 2017, Cause: Lightning; Acreage: 52,502 (Norse Peak), 3,739 (American), 56,241 (Total); Containment: 12%, Structures Damaged or Destroyed: None; Injuries: 3 (Minor);
Total Personnel: 635; Fire Resources: 17 Crews, 24 Engines, 4 Helicopters, 2 Bulldozers, 10 water tenders.
Fire Summary: The Norse Peak and American Fires main influence has been both fuel and topography dominated. Fire travels along the ground looking for fuels to ignite. One of these major fuel sources are the many dead and down trees. Other fuels consist of grass and shrubs. The standing trees are mixed, large, densely packed conifers. Single or group tree torching remains a threat due to the number of tree branches (ladder fuels) being heated and dried by the surface fire. Once the lower branches catch fire, the fire can climb up the tree to the upper story foliage jumping from tree to tree.
The forecasted weather is for cooler temperatures and higher humidity which will slow the fire’s progress. Wetting rains are expected Sunday.
Norse Peak Fire will slowly back downhill and flank west and south toward Crystal Mountain and SR 410. Hazard fuel reduction work along FS 1900 is almost complete. Along with SR 410, this is be part of the fire containment line. Snags are a concern to the public and firefighters safety as these dead trees may have become loose due to wind and drought. Many such trees fell across the western part of SR 410 towards Chinook Pass last night.
The American Fire will also continue to back downhill south to Bumping River Road and north toward the American River and SR 410. There is also a concern of the fire making up-hill runs toward the ridgeline both northeast and southeast. Fire normally moves slow downhill and moves fast uphill.
The Incident Management Team and the Washington Department of Transportation will open State Route 410 as soon as it is safe for the public. It is not possible to accurately predict when 410 reopens, as the fire’s activity is very active along its corridor. Any news regarding the opening of the roadway will be announced on Inciweb and Facebook.
The fire’s footprint is represented on maps as a colored space giving the impress that the fire has consumed every inch of the space from edge to edge. This is not the case! The footprint is in fact a mosaic of burned, unburned, and partially burned land. How it burns or what it burns or doesn’t burn is unpredictable.
PIERCE COUNTY EVACUATIONS:
LEVEL 1: Forest Service Rd 70 eastbound SR 410 to Forest Service road 73.
LEVEL 2: Forest Service Rd 73 eastbound SR 410 to FS 7160 (Ranger Creek).
LEVEL 3: Forest Service Rd 70 eastbound SR 410 to Forest Service road 73. Silver Creek, Deep Creek, Goat Creek, Alta Community, Pick Handle Basin, Gold Hill Community and the Crystal Mountain Ski Resort area.
Norse Peak Fire North Zone (Pierce County): On the west side of the Norse Peak Fire, crews are focusing on The Dalles, Crystal Mountain Communities, and Alta Crystal Resort areas; they have completed control lines and have placed sprinkler systems to assist in structure defense. Acreage growth yesterday was due to the fire backing down slopes to the Forest 76 Road, where it stopped.
The Sawmill Creek Fire spans 1,098 acres. The fire continues to threaten the watershed for the City of Tacoma, industrial timberland, DNR protected lands, and the United States Forest Service lands. Winds from the southeast will push smoke towards Enumclaw.
For information on the west side of the fire in Pierce County please call: 253-666-8841, or go to https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/5594/40711/ for maps and other materials, or check the Sawmill Creek Fire Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SawmillFire2017/
Norse Peak Fire South Zone (Yakima County): Crews continued their fuel reduction efforts along SR 410 and FS 1900 Road, including brushing, chipping, and clearing of tree limbs and woody debris to reduce the risk of potential wildfire growth on the eastern and northeast edge of the fire.
AMERICAN FIRE: The American Fire has been active on the north side near SR 410. Crews will continue to improve line and mop-up to prevent fire from escaping containment lines. Helicopters have been providing water drops and coordinating with resources on the ground to aid with structure protection and are expected to continue these operations. Crews continue to provide structure protection around cabins.
In Yakima County, there remains a Level 3 Evacuation Order for Goose Prairie along Bumping River Road.
Contact information for the Norse Peak Fire-South Zone appears above in the header.
SR 410 will remain closed from SR 123 to the east at Bumping River Road.
Also, due to heavy equipment movement, the section of SR 410 from Bumping River Road east to the Sawmill Flats Camp Ground will be closed from 8:00 am to 8:00pm.
SR 410 on the west side of the Cascades and Highway 123 remains open.
Bumping River Road is closed.
Crystal Mountain Boulevard is closed.
The Pacific Crest Trail remains closed from White Pass to Snoqualmie Pass.
Boulder Cave is closed.
Okanogan-Wenatchee National Fire closures can be found at:
Mt. Baker Snoqualmie National Forest closures can be found at:
Mt. Rainier National Park updates can be found at:
Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife hunting/fishing information and closures, please contact at 360-902-2200.
National Guard personnel continue to support the incident with fire crews, road closures and security. They are available to assist with patient transport.