Cougar Creek Fire Update 8/15

Cougar Creek, Lost, Bannock Lakes Whitepine Fires Wednesday, August 15, 2018 Acreage: 31,062 Containment: 28 percent Personnel: 1,225

Cougar Creek Fire: Firefighters increased containment Tuesday on the Cougar Creek Fire. Firing operations in the Entiat River Valley were expanded Tuesday around the homes and commercial buildings. “It was a very good day. These structures are now surrounded by black, eliminating any threat to the homes,” says Steve Burns, Operations Section Chief. On the fire’s southern edge, there was more success, “We back-burned and have containment line all the way from Sugarloaf Lookout to the Gold Ridge, north of Ardenvoir.” Tuesday night, crews patrolled and reinforced the line along the fires edge. All efforts Wednesday focus on extending and reinforcing containment lines prior to Wednesday’s predicted winds, with gusts up to 20 mph. Depending on the weather, helicopters could be used to drop fire into areas of unburned vegetation to increase the containment lines. Planning Operations Section Chief Shannon Prather points out that much of the terrain around the Cougar Creek Fire is largely inaccessible. “It’s nasty and steep, slippery, and dangerous work. The trees are too thick and tight.”

Lost Fire: Should flight operations resume on Wednesday, a crew will be inserted at the Lost Fire. It is holding at 114 acres and remains in patrol status.

Bannock Lakes Fire: This lightning-caused fire is approximately 17 miles west of Stehekin in the Glacier Peaks Wilderness. The fire is currently around 422 acres. It is burning among large rocky outcroppings and isolated clusters of timber in steep, inaccessible terrain. The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail (PCT) is closed from Suiattle Pass to High Bridge. The PCT detour is from Suiattle Pass to Stehekin. More information and a map is available at Aerial observers continue to monitor the fire.

Whitepine Fire: The Whitepine Fire, in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, is approximately three miles south of Stevens Pass Nordic Center and 19 miles northwest of Leavenworth. This lightning-caused fire remains at 10 acres.

Weather and Fire Behavior: Temperatures are increasing Wednesday. Westerly winds could push smoke off the Cascade Ridge in higher elevations. Clearer skies would allow firefighting helicopters to be used to reinforce containment lines and help with burnout operations.

Cougar Creek Fire Evacuations: · Level 3: Means leave now – Entiat River Road north from Mad River Road to the end of Entiat River Road, Ardenvoir, and Mad River Road · Level 2: Means prepare to evacuate – Entiat River Road from Crum Canyon north to Ardenvoir and all of Crum Canyon Road · Level 1: Means be aware of a potential evacuation – Entiat River Road from 97A to Crum Canyon Road, Oklahoma Gulch Road, Navarre Coulee Road from Hwy 97-ALT to South Lakeshore Road, Johnson Creek Road, and First Creek Road

While the goal is to lower evacuation levels as soon as possible, evacuations remain in effect to provide for firefighter and public safety. After Wednesday’s predicted wind event, fire managers, local cooperators, and Chelan City Emergency Management personnel will discuss lowing evacuation levels.

Call the Chelan County Emergency Management at 509-667-6863 or visit their Facebook page at An American Red Cross shelter, at 14916 US 97A in Entiat, is on standby. The Red Cross can be contacted at 509-663-3907.

Traffic Safety: Due to reduced visibility and an increase in firefighting equipment on the road, the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office has lowered the speed limit to 25 MPH on Entiat River Road between Mad River Road and to the end of the road (approximately near milepost 25).

Smoke: Smoke from the Cougar Creek Fire continues to affect surrounding communities. Individuals with respiratory problems are encouraged to acquire N95 masks. These masks are available at local fire stations, provided by the Chelan County Sheriff's Office. For more information on smoke and public health, go to or (Spanish).

U.S. Forest Service Closure Orders: · Cougar Creek and Lost Fires: · Bannock Lakes Fire: · Whitepine Fire: · Area businesses are open. Please consider showing your support by shopping in the local community.

Transition of Teams and ICP: The team is vacating the Entiat School because children are returning to class, however, a large contingency of firefighters remain stationed at the Entiat Kiwanis Park. The incident command post moves Thursday to the Fish Hatchery in Leavenworth. The California Interagency Incident Command Team 5 (Type 1) transitions command to the Pacific Northwest Team 3 (Type 1) on Friday, August 17.

Incident Management Team: California Interagency Incident Management Team 5 continues to work closely with cooperators from the US Forest Service, Washington Department of Natural Resources, Entiat Rural Fire District 8, Peshastin Rural District 6, Lake Wenatchee Fire and Rescue, Chelan County Sheriff’s Office, Chelan County Department of Emergency Management, Chelan County Public Utility Dept., WA Dept. of Transportation, American Red Cross, Chelan Public Schools, and Chelan Public Works.

Fire Information: Phone: 509-664-9210 (8 a.m. to 8 p.m.) Email: Inciweb: Facebook: #WaWildfire#CougarCreekFire

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