South Puget Sound Region-Department of Natural Resources
Enumclaw Washington, September 14, 2017 - The Sawmill Creek Fire is currently 915 acres with 0% containment and has increased 64 acres over the last few days.
On the North Zone of the Norse Peak Fire, firefighters continue their efforts to improve roads, remove fuel around the fire and build indirect 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 building control lines and adding sprinkler systems. Crews continue to reduce fuels around homes in preparation for structure defense.
The fire continues to threaten the watershed for the City of Tacoma, industrial timberland, DNR protected lands, and the United States Forest Service lands. On the Sawmill Creek Fire, the fire continues to slowly burn down to Highway 410, representatives from Incident Command, Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, Pierce County Department of Emergency Management, and the Fire Chief of Greenwater identified a plan for awareness and evacuation areas.
A weak area of low pressure will help usher in some drier air today and keep afternoon temperatures fairly cool. After good overnight humidity recovery, the valley locations expect to drop to the mid 30’s to low 40 percent range which is about 4 to 6% down from Wednesday. Highs will be mainly in the 60’s. Northerly flow with upslope/up valley winds will predominantly be seen over most areas of the fire with northeasterly winds at ridgetops around seven mph. Warmer and drier conditions will be seen Friday and Saturday ahead of a strong area of low pressure that looks to bring widespread rain late Sunday through Monday.
Incident Personnel 450, Crews 15, Helicopters 2, Engines 16, 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 is 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 Washington 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.