South Puget Sound Region-Department of Natural Resources
Sawmill Creek Fire Update for September 16, 2017
Enumclaw Washington, September 16, 2017 - The Sawmill Creek Fire is currently 1098 acres with 0% containment. No structures have been damaged or destroyed.
Firefighters remain on the line today, making their way towards the fires edge, building direct containment lines. Divisions 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 fire continues to threaten the watershed for the City of Tacoma, industrial timberland, DNR protected lands, and the United States Forest Service lands.
State Highway 410 remains closed at SR 123, east of Cayuse Pass; the closure includes Bumping River Road and its associated trails.
Today’s weather brings another day of relatively dry conditions, and winds from the southeast will push smoke towards Enumclaw. Strong low pressure will then move inland Sunday and Monday bringing widespread rain to the area with half an inch to an inch of rain possible by Monday evening.
The Sawmill Creek Fire spans 1,098 acres. That is the size of 57 Seattle Seahawks Complexes, or 1,450 football fields. The fire is located within the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forests, home to Vine Maple, Sword Fern, Douglas fir, Western Red cedar, Alder, and Western Hemlock, wild berries including blackberries, Christmas trees, cones, ferns, firewood, and fungi (including mushrooms). At its lowest elevation, the fire is 1,300 feet, rising to 4,584.
Incident Personnel 378; Crews 12; Helicopters 2; Engines 16; Dozers 3; Injuries 0; Ambulance 1; Watertender; Structures Damaged or Destroyed 0
King and Pierce County Emergency Management offer free notification services to alert residents of emergencies such as severe weather, flooding, unexpected road closures, missing persons and evacuations. For more information or to sign up for alert services visit http://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/emergency-management/alert-king-county.aspx for ALERT King County or https://www.piercecountywa.org/921/Pierce-County-ALERT for Pierce County ALERT.
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.
Fires are named by the first fire resource on scene or by the dispatch center. They will usually be named for the area in which they start; a geographic location, lake, street, mountain peak, local landmark etc. Quickly naming a fire provides responding resources with an additional locator and the ability to track and prioritize the fire.
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. 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. 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.