South Puget Sound Region-Department of Natural Resources
Sawmill Creek Fire Update for September 13, 2017
Enumclaw Washington, September 13, 2017 - The Sawmill Creek Fire is currently 915 acres with 0% containment and has increased by over 64 acres in the last three days.
Overnight, the fire activity decreased at about 3:00 a.m. due to cooler temperatures and higher humidity. The fire grows slightly as it backs down slopes and creeps around in ground fuels; it remains within the Sawmill Ridge area northeast of the town of Greenwater.
Firefighters continue their efforts to improve roads, remove fuel around the fire and build indirect containment line. Crews continue to work their way into the fire to build direct containment lines. Firefighters working in Division’s “G” and “E” near The Dalles, Crystal Mountain Communities and Alta Vista Resort area continue working on structure protection by building control lines which continue to hold. Crews continue to reduce fuels around homes in preparation 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.
As the fire continues to slowly burn down to the highway, representatives from Incident Management Team, Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, Pierce County Department of Emergency Management, and Fire Chief Paul Sowers of Greenwater Fire Department identified a plan for awareness and evacuation areas.
A strong marine push will bring mainly cloudy skies to the area this morning, but will gradually dissipate during the morning hours leaving mostly sunny skies in the afternoon. A weak area of low pressure will remain through Friday keeping a northwest flow over the area. This will keep afternoon temperatures cool with fairly moderate humidity values.
Incident Personnel 524, Crews 11, Helicopters 2, Engines 12, Dozers 3, Injuries 0, Ambulance 1, Watertender 1, Structures Damaged or Destroyed 0
The Norse Fire has been divided into two zones, the north zone and the south zone. The division line is the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). The PCT will provide a natural division for the Norse Peak Fire. It is also the division between the Okanogan-Wenatchee and the Mt. Baker- Snoqualmie National Forests. The Sawmill Creek Fire and the Norse Peak Fire north and west of the PCT will be managed by the Southern California Incident Management Team 3. The California Central Coast Team will be managing the South Zone of the Norse Creek Fire. This zoning to provide for more effective management, safety and coordination of the fires using two management teams.
The Sawmill Creek Fire was reported to the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) dispatch center on Sept. 4, at 7:30 p.m.
The Department of Natural Resources - South Puget Sound Region covers King, Pierce, Kitsap, Mason, Thurston, and parts of Snohomish, Lewis and Grays Harbor counties. Sitting between the central Cascades and the Olympic Mountains, this region is trisected north and south by Puget Sound, Hood Canal, and Lake Washington and includes the popular Tahoma, Elbe Hills, Capitol, Green Mountain, Tahuya and Tiger Mountain state forests. The region includes 359,524 acres of state forest, agriculture, urban, and conservation lands, and the staff oversee forest practices on approximately 2.5 million acres and leads wildfire prevention and fighting efforts on 1.9 million acres of state and private forestland. Our South Puget Sound Region manages over 37,776 acres of conservation lands including Mount Si and Woodard Bay Natural Resources Conservation Areas. Our South Puget Sound Region works with volunteers to provide visitors with access to more than 30 recreation sites and over 450 miles of trails. www.dnr.wa.gov
Mount Rainier National Park is the most glaciated peak in the contiguous U.S.A., spawning six major rivers. Subalpine wildflower meadows ring the icy volcano while ancient forest cloaks Mount Rainier’s lower slopes. Wildlife abounds in the park’s ecosystems. Mount Rainier ascending to 14,410 feet above sea level, stands as an icon in the Washington landscape. As president of the newly formed Sierra Club, John Muir gave numerous lectures and wrote various articles advocating for the preservation of Mt. Rainier from the years 1893 to 1899. https://www.nps.gov/mora/mountrainiernps.htm
Located on the western slopes of the Cascade mountain range extending over 140 miles between Seattle, Washington and Vancouver, British Columbia is the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest with beautiful glacier-covered peaks and spectacular mountain meadows it is one of the most visited forests in the country. Old growth forests rich in history and outdoor opportunities are there for discovery. Visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/mbs/home
A large and diverse landscape offering multiple wildernesses, biking and wheelchair accessible trails is the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest providing over 4 million acres along the east slopes of the Cascade Range in Washington. https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/okawen/home
Cooperators on the incident include Department of Natural Resources South Puget Sound Region, Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Green River Watershed, Pierce County Sheriff’s Office, Greenwater Fire Department, and Washington State Guard.