Miriam Fire Update
Fire Information Line: 360-481-0031
August 24, 2018 – 9 a.m. Acres: Miriam Fire – 4,144 Clear Fork Fire -47 Percent Containment: 30% Start Date: 07/30/18 SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Area Closures are issued and placed for the protection and safety of the public and firefighters. Area Closures have been in place on the Okanogan-Wenatchee and Gifford Pinchot National Forests for area, trails, and roads near the Miriam and Clear Fork Fires since August 8 and 15th. Yesterday, two people entered the Area Closure and fired rifles in the direction of our firefighters. This caused fire operations to halt in the ski area and that section of fireline to be evacuated until the situation could be resolved. It is unlawful to enter these areas. An interactive map on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest webpage, allows for determining if your favorite hunting or hiking area is within an Area Closure. See the following website for more information and interactive map https://tinyurl.com/yb67jobt For your safety, please refrain from entering these closures. Personnel/Resources: 2-Type 2 hand crews, 3 Type 2 IA hand crews,1-camp crew, 1- heavy lift helicopter, 1-medium lift helicopter, 1-light lift helicopter, 9-engines, 1-dozer, 7-water tenders, 2-mastacators and 1-forwarder processor for 295 total personnel. Location: Two miles east of White Pass Ski Area, within the Goat Rocks Wilderness on the Naches Ranger District, 13 miles east of Packwood, WA. Cause: Lightning Values at Risk: White Pass area and ski resort; homes and organizational camps at Clear and Rimrock Lakes; Wilderness; late successional reserve; northern spotted owl and other wildlife habitat; bull trout habitat; and state highway 12. Estimated Incident Containment or completion: 9/30/2018
Current Situation on the Miriam Fire: The Miriam Fire remains a full suppression fire. Yesterday morning, a spot of heat was identified on infra-red map from the previous night’s detection flight. The spot was outside of the containment lines east of Tieton Meadows and on the east side of the Tieton River. The smoke was too dense for the air attack plane to leave Yakima to investigate therefore firefighters hiked into the area to verify the spot. Firefighters verified a 3 ½ acre burned area. Helicopters were called to the location and began to drop buckets of water to keep the spot fire in check. In other areas of the fire, intense heat remains in both Miriam and Hell Creeks, on the ridge below Shoe Lake, and along Tieton Meadows. These locations are burning within the containment lines and closely monitored. Firefighters continued to monitor the containment line extended from Forest Road (FR) 1207 to Tieton Meadows searching for additional spot fires. The FR 1207 road/containment line is in patrol/mop up stage. Vegetative debris generated from preparing 1204 as contingency lines is on-going. The chipping activity is ongoing along FR 1200-540. Structure protection group has completed removing firefighting equipment from the organizational camps. A large contingent of firefighters are prepared to defend the White Ski Pass lodges if the fire reaches the area. Foldable tanks of water and hoses with sprinklers have been laid out and prepared along High Camp Lodge. Fire managers have a high confidence these areas are secure. Firefighters are remaining vigilant and ready to respond to any increased fire threats and new fire starts. Current Situation on the Clear Fork Fire: A low intensity ground fire continues to spread gradually due to the rolling of burning debris on steep slopes. This fire will continue to be monitored closely with aerial resources. Weather and Fire Behavior: A dry, cold front moved through the area last night bringing cooler temperatures and gusty winds. Temperatures are forecasted for 65-70 degrees with relative humidity of 40-45%. West/northwest winds of 8-12 mph and gusts to 18 mph are expected. Dry cold fronts are a watch-out situation for firefighters with dry air and gusty winds. Fire activity in open timber will be low with pockets of moderate activity. Burning will be intense in areas of dense, large diameter fuels. Evacuations: Evacuation levels remain the same. The need for these levels are evaluated daily. Please see the Yakima County Office of Emergency Management Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/yakimacountyoem for a full description.
Closures: Area Closures are in effect on the Okanogan-Wenatchee and Gifford Pinchot National Forests. Find maps and a list of affected sites at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6066/ Fire managers are aware of the upcoming hunting seasons and closures will be assessed frequently. Increased fire restrictions have been implemented on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. Please see https://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/fire-restrictions for a full description. The Pacific Crest Trail is closed from Elk Pass to White Pass. A detour is available. Please see the Pacific Crest Trail Association website at https://www.pcta.org/discover-the-trail/closures/ for current closure maps.
A Temporary Flight Restriction remains in place over the two fire areas as a safety precaution to aerial firefighting resources. Please consult the notice to airmen for specifics.
Local businesses remain open. Please consider showing your support by shopping in the local communities.
Nationally an estimated 90% of wildfires are human caused. In some states, this number increase to 95% or more. Learn more about the One Less Spark Campaign at http://www.readyforwildfire.org/one-less-spark-campaign
Locally, fire danger is very high to extreme so please be careful with any sparks and burning materials while enjoying the outdoors. Please use extra caution while parking at trailheads to avoid areas of tall grass. Those towing trailers are cautioned to shorten safety chains to prevent dragging and generating sparks.
For Online Miriam Fire Updates visit:
Inciweb at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6066/
Miriam Fire Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MiriamFire
Incident Management Team: Northwest Incident Management Team 8, Incident Command Doug Johnson.