Norse Peak Update, Sunday, September 17, 2017
Incident: Norse Peak Fire Wildfire
Date Started: Aug. 11, 2017, Cause: Lightning; Acreage: 52,502 (Norse Peak), 3,853 (American), 56,355 (Total); Containment: 12%, Structures Damaged or Destroyed: None; Injuries: 3 (Minor).
Total Personnel: 726; Fire Resources: 20 Crews, 27 Engines, 5 Helicopters, 2 Bulldozers, 9 water tenders.
Fire Summary: Today is a day of transition. Today the Central California Incident Management Team is transitioning with the Pacific Northwest Washington Type 1 Team Noel Livingston-IC as the fourth Incident Management Team on these fires. The public will notice no change in the fire’s operation.
Both the Norse Peak and American Fires remained relatively quiet yesterday and overnight. Shorter days, longer nights, cooler temperatures, and higher relative humidity have all contributed to the quieting of the fires’ progress. Sunday evening and into the early parts of next week, rain is forecasted.
There will be an increased in gusty winds ahead of the rain with increased cloud cover. The expected fire behavior for today is moderate with slow surface spread through the larger dead and down trees. Though there may be some torching and spotting. The probability of ignition will be 50%. The biggest expected hazard is the fire weakened trees falling as the winds increase.
The Norse Peak Fire is supported from 3 different helicopter bases. We are expecting to utilize helicopters during today’s dayshift after the inversion lifts.
The Norse Peak Fire will continue to slowly back downhill and flank west and south toward Crystal Mountain and SR 410. SR 410 is being cleaned up and snag trees are being removed, however four trees fell across the 410 yesterday. Hazard fuel reduction efforts along FS 1900 are almost complete. Snags are a concern to the public and firefighters safety as these dead trees may have become loose due to wind and drought. There will likely be treefall hazard along this road until the trees are tested with snow and wind.
Woody debris removal continues along the northeast side of SR 410. To ensure public and firefighter safety the road closure along SR 410 has been moved from the Bumping River Rd to Sawmill Flat Campground.
The Incident Management Team and the Washington Department of Transportation will open State Route 410 as soon as it is safe for the firefighters and 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.
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.
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 National Forest 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 continues to back downhill south to the 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 more slowly downhill than uphill. The structure group continues to monitor structures along the Bumping River Road.
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.
CLOSURES: SR 410 from Bumping River Road east to the Sawmill Flats CampGround will be closed from 8:00 am to 8:00pm., due to heavy equipment movement and fallen tree removal. This daily 12 hour closure is for today Sunday September 17th.
SR 410 will remain closed from SR 123 to the east at Bumping River Road.
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:
https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/okawen/alerts-notices. Mt. Baker Snoqualmie National Forest closures can be found at:
https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/mbs/alerts-notices. Mt. Rainier National Park updates can be found at:
For 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 Crews, road closures, security, and mop-up. They remain available to assist with patient transport, if needed. A BIG THANKS for all of their help.