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Williams Flats Fire

Unit Information

Colville Agency
Bureau of Indian Affairs
Washington
Nespelem, WA 99155

BIA Shield

AM 8-12-2019 Update

Williams Flats Fire Wildfire
News – 8/12/2019

Beginning August 12, Information Updates will only be provided once per day. All further updates will be published and disseminated in the mornings.

Williams Flats Fire

Acreage: 44,670 Containment: 45% Current Fire Information: Plans to transition the fire from the current Type 2 to a Type 3 team continue with transfer of command expected to take place Thursday, August 15. The storms over the last few days have been both beneficial and challenging. Large amounts of rain caused localized flash flooding washing out several roads. A helicopter will be conducting an overflight of the immediate fire area to assess damage to the roads and fire suppression areas. A portion of today’s efforts will revolve around repairing roads to provide safe access to the work areas. The west and southwest flanks of the fire are secure and repair work will continue through the day. Along the north flank, a dozer line was constructed including the area beneath Whitestone Lookout. The Structure Protection Group has finished preparations around homes and structures in the Four Corners area. On the south flank, firefighters will attempt to finish a containment line with approximately 1.5 miles remaining to tie in with the main line if they are able to access the area. On the northeast, efforts will be made to reopen storm damaged roads to provide access to the fire. Initial attack firefighting resources are available to respond to any new fire starts though the likelihood of ignition after the recent heavy rains is expected to be minimal. As operations continues to assess the size of the firefighter workforce versus the overall need units are expected to continue to demobilize and return to home stations or other fires as required. The Spokane Tribal Police have provided a rescue boat for emergency evacuation of injured firefighters. Lundstrom Butte Fire Acreage: 10 – Final Containment: 100% Current Fire Information: The fire is in patrol status.

Resources: Total personnel assigned –953: 7-type 1 hand crews, 6-type 2, 7 type 2 IA hand crews, 2-heavy helicopters, 2- medium helicopters, 1-light helicopter, 4-ambulances, 37-engines, 12-dozers, 1-masticator, 4-skidgenes, and 26-water tenders. Right sizing of the fire suppression resources is beginning with demobilization of resources in response to operational needs.

Weather: A dry westerly flow will remain over Washington through Wednesday. This morning will remain mostly cloudy and will transition to partly cloudy by early afternoon. Temperatures will reach 74-77° for a high with winds from the southwest 5-10 mph.

Air Quality: For the latest information regarding smoke and air quality see https://wasmoke.blogspot.com

Evacuations and Closures:

Evacuation notices issued for homes near the Williams Flats Fire by the Colville Tribes Emergency Services and the Ferry County Sheriff’s Office have been revised as follows:

Level 1:

· Goat Ranch/Hellgate area

· Areas south of Wilmont Creek (including the southern part of Ninemile-Frosty Meadows Road and along the Silver Creek Road)

Level 3:

· Areas south of Four Corners,

· On or near the shoreline of Lake Roosevelt along the Ninemile-Hellgate Road.

The Kuehne Road area is not under any evacuation orders however, due to heavy fire traffic in the area, Kuehne Road access is restricted to residents and landowners only.

Traffic restrictions from traffic control points remain in effect; residents of the area will be allowed past the traffic control checkpoints to return to their homes. Non-residents of the restricted areas will be turned away to minimize traffic through active firefighting areas.

In order to promote public safety, the Colville Tribes Emergency Services has instituted several road closures with limited entry for the Williams Flats Fire area. The restrictions will allow firefighters to work safely along Silver Creek Road and elsewhere in advance of the fire. Traffic control points are being established at: o The junction of Silver Creek Road and Ninemile-Hellgate Road, also known as the “Four Corners”; o The junction of Olds Creek Road and the Ninemile-Frosty Meadows Road; and o The junction of Silver Creek Road and Kuehne Road. Only residents will be allowed through the control points to their residences within the affected areas. If the fire approaches Silver Creek Road, or if smoke restricts visibility to the point that firefighters are at risk, only fire and other emergency vehicles will be allowed through the traffic control points. If stopped and asked to turn around by Tribal employees at a traffic control point, please remember that they are trying to keep you and the firefighters working along the roads safe.

Helicopters are dipping and fire boss planes are scooping from nearby Lake Roosevelt for suppression efforts and need space to work. The public is asked to avoid these aircraft activity areas on the water. The area is being patroled by the the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation Law Enforcement.

A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) of 10 miles surrounds the Williams Flats and Lundstrom Fires. The area is required for the large aircraft to safely manuever when dropping retardant. Please refer to the Notice to Airmen before flying near the area.