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Wenatchee Complex Wildfire Update

Fire Update – September 17, 2012, 9:00 a.m. PT

“A public meeting was held last night in Wenatchee. Fire officials briefed more than 100 citizens on the status of the fire.  Yesterday, the First Creek Fire broke through the containment lines on Slide Peak. National Guard helicopters provided numerous water bucket drops in assistance to the Vale Hot Shot crew, who were then able to reestablish the line. The Guard helicopters also helped put out a spot fire nearby.  A combination of factors continue to challenge firefighters: heavy smoky conditions can keep aircraft on the ground, dangerous burning and or standing dead trees, called snags, can fall on firefighters, steep terrain, rolling logs and extremely dry vegetation all contribute to the. Fire fighting dangers.  Today, a high pressure system will move in from the coast and cause an inversion. This creates a “dome cap” which will hold smoke in the communities and valleys surrounding the fires. Light winds in the fire area will be terrain driven (3-6 mph). Temperatures in the valleys will be 70-80 degrees with relative humidities in the mid teens to twenty percent.  More than 300 firefighters have moved to a base camp at Entiat City Park, Entiat, WA. This move will reduce the drive times to fire lines on the First Creek, Byrd and Klone fires.  A swing shift, from 11 am to 11 pm, has been added to assist burn out operations and then hold and monitor the fire into the evening.  The Canyon Fire, directly west of Wenatchee, continues burning in shrubs and grass. Today firefighters will start mop up around structures in Number 2 Canyon on the southern flank. Fire line construction and mop up continue to the north of Horse Lake Mountain. Additional line construction will be completed on the west to tie the fire together to the Number 2 Canyon. The Canyon Fire is approximately 8,277 acres. No structures have been lost. This fire is 25% contained. Up-to-date information on evacuations can be heard on local media in Wenatchee or by checking www.inciweb.org/incident/3258.

The Byrd Canyon Fire, located just north of Entiat, Washington, is 13,960 acres in size. The fire, which is burning in grass and shrub land, is being patrolled and mopped up. High fire traffic and smoky conditions around this fire make this a hazardous driving area. This fire is 45% contained.

The Peavine Canyon Fire, located southwest of Wenatchee in upper Mission Creek/Devils Gulch, is burning in shrub and pine forest. It is 5,255 acres in size. A burnout operation, along Forest Service Road (FSR) 9712 south to Mission Peak, is scheduled for today. Crews will begin mop up after this occurs. An additional burnout is scheduled along the Peavine Canyon control line. This fire is 10% contained.

The Poison Canyon Fire, located south of Cashmere, is burning in shrub and pine. It is approximately 3,478 acres. Hand and dozer lines were put in the area where the fire spotted near Canyon and Mission Roads to prevent the fire from moving into Tripp Canyon and west toward Camas Land. Crews on the southern end of the fire are preparing for a burnout operation. Along other perimeters crews will utilize the road and ridgelines for indirect fire line. Structures protection is in place. This fire is 10% contained.

The First Creek Fire, located 10 miles west of Lake Chelan, is 1,200 acres. It is burning in very difficult and steep terrain. Operations for today are to hold and improve lines and burn out where necessary. Scouting and construction of contingency lines and structure protection is also planned in First Creek and Granite Falls Creek.  A Level 3 evacuation remains in place for First Creek and Granite Falls Creek. This fire is 10% contained.

The Pyramid (377 acres) and Klone Fires, (570 acres) north of Entiat are burning in timber that was severely impacted by disease and insects. Crews on the Klone fire will continue to work with local resource advisors to minimize impact on sensitive and/or threatened resources in the area. Firefighters are protecting thirty seven recreation cabins by clearing vegetation, wrapping fire protective material around the base of the cabins and installing sprinklers on or near the cabins. Fireline improvements along Entiat Road, County Road 19 will continue.

The Bassalt Fire, 70 acres: and Sears Fire, 40 acres, pose no immediate danger to structures.  The Cashmere Mountain Fire, (300 acres), is in an old fire-burned area. It does not pose a danger to structures at the present time.  Fires within the Yakima Complex, in Kittitas County south and west of the Wenatchee Complex, continue to actively burn, with evacuations on going. The Yakima Complex has been divided in two and is now being managed by two Washington State Incident Management Teams.  The Incident Management Team continues to have initial attack responsibility for all wildland fires within Chelan County. Resources will be mobilized when there is a new start.  The area is extremely dry and conditions are right for rapid fire growth on existing fires and new fire starts. All outdoor burning is restricted and campfires are only allowed in designated campgrounds on federal lands. All outdoor burning, including campfires, is banned in all counties east of the Cascades through midnight, September 18. Hunters and recreationists are asked to be aware of and conform to fire restrictions that are in place.

The Incident Management Team would like to express appreciation to the community for your support and help in our efforts to suppress these fires. It is vital that the community cooperate with evacuations, road closures, and avoiding areas of high traffic for fire suppression.”

View entire press release update here.

AMS Inspection Services is a home inspection company based out of Leavenworth, WA, with inspectors in Seattle, Wenatchee and throughout Chelan and Douglas counties.  AMS Inspection performs blower door tests for new construction projects.

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