Cougar Creek Fire Update 8/24





Cougar Creek, Lost and Bannock Lakes Fires Friday, August 24, 2018 Acreage: 40,388 Containment: 40 percent Personnel: 907

Burning operations continue on the west flank of the fire. Heavy air tankers may be flown today.

Cougar Creek Fire: Yesterday, crews working on the western flank of the fire near Chiwawa Pines made good progress. With support from helicopters, firefighters executed burn operations, pushing low intensity fire back toward the main fire front. This process removes ground fuels without harming mature trees. When the main fire reaches the pre-burned area, there is no fuel remaining, and the fire’s progress is halted. Today burning operations will continue on the west side. Hand crews and heavy equipment will build and secure containment lines to protect private property in the Chiwawa Pines and Plain areas. If weather conditions support the mission, fixed wing air tankers may be used today to place lines of fire retardant outside the western flank of the fire. This retardant will serve as an additional barrier to prevent spot fires from becoming established.

Along the southern and eastern sides of the fire, crews continue to mop-up and monitor the fire-line. Assessment of structures in the communities of Chiwawa Pines, Shugart Flats and Plain will continue today. Dozers and other heavy equipment are working to construct secondary containment lines above the communities. Assessment of structures in the upper Entiat River Valley will also continue, and crews will scout the area to identify locations for additional contingency lines as a precaution.

Although active fire behavior was observed yesterday on Cougar Creek, firefighters have been successful in keeping the fire with in containment lines and growth has been minimal. The fire is currently 40,388 acres. The majority of growth in acreage is attributed to burning operations along the perimeter.

Lost Fire: The Lost Fire is being monitored by air using Distributed Real Time Infrared (DRTI). The fire remains at 80 acres.

Bannock Lakes Fire: Burning in a remote section of the Glacier Peaks Wilderness, the Bannock Lakes Fire has grown by 9 acres and is now 485 acres in size. The fire is burning among large rocky outcroppings and isolated clusters of timber in steep, inaccessible terrain. It is being monitored by air and satellite. 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 www.pcta.org.

Weather and Fire Behavior: Today a northwesterly flow will bring breezy conditions and higher relative humidity to the fire area. Temperatures will be lower, with highs in the 70s at lower elevations and 60 to 65 degrees above 5,000 feet. Relative humidity will range from 35 to 40 percent in the valleys and 40 to 45 percent at ridge tops. These conditions will moderate fire behavior and create opportunities for firefighters to extend and secure containment lines.

Traffic Safety: With over 900 firefighters engaged in the suppression effort, the amount of fire equipment on roads represents a potential hazard for passenger vehicles and pedestrians. Eight water tenders are shuttling water to the helicopter base near Fish Lake. These vehicles carry 3,000 gallons or more, that equates to 24,000 pounds of water. Tenders are heavy and require extra distance to stop. Residents and visitors are asked to give all fire apparatus room to work and to be especially cautious when the trucks are backing. The operator may not be able to see you, so keep at a safe distance.

Cougar Creek Fire Evacuation Levels:

Plains Area Chelan County implemented Level 2 (GET SET) evacuation notifications for the Chiwawa Loop Road from Plain to the intersection with Chiwawa River Road, on both sides of the roadway. This includes Chiwawa River Pine Community, Shugart Flats Community, and all roads that intersect with the Chiwawa Loop Road. The community of Plain will remain at a Level 1.

Entiat Area Level 2 evacuation orders remains in place from Stormy Creek MP 16.6 to the end of the Entiat River Rd. For more information, call the Chelan County Emergency Management at 509-667-6863 or visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CCSOEM. An American Red Cross shelter, at 14916 US 97A in Entiat, is on standby. The Red Cross can be contacted at 509-663-3907.

Smoke: Breezy conditions have helped to improve air quality, but at times smoke will be present. Individuals with respiratory problems are encouraged to acquire N95 masks. These masks are provided by the Chelan County Sheriff's Office and are available at local fire stations. For more information on smoke and public health, visit: www.wasmoke.blogspot.com or https://bit.ly/2J22754 (Spanish).

U.S. Forest Service Closure Orders: Cougar Creek and Lost Fires: https://bit.ly/2MkmKew Bannock Lakes Fire: https://bit.ly/2nezyF6 Whitepine Fire: https://bit.ly/2nesWqg Area businesses are open. Please consider showing your support by shopping in the local community.

Incident Management Team: Pacific Northwest Incident Management Team 3 (Type 1) continues to work closely with cooperators from the US Forest Service, Washington Department of Natural Resources, Entiat Rural Fire District 8, Chelan County Fire District 3, 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., Washington Department of Transportation, American Red Cross, Chelan Public Schools, and Chelan Public Works. 19 Firefighters from Australia are supporting.

Fire Information: Phone: 509-664-9210 (8 a.m. to 8 p.m.) Email: cougarcreekfireinfo2018@gmail.com Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6053/ Facebook: facebook.com/CougarCreekFire#WaWildfire #CougarCreekFire Interactive Map: https://bit.ly/2MnFB9j - END –

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                    Lake Wenatchee Fire & Rescue 

21696 Lake Wenatchee Hwy, Leavenworth, WA 98826

     509.763.3034 | M-Th 8:00-3:00 | Email: lwfr@nwi.net

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