Cougar Creek Fire Update 8/26

Cougar Creek, Lost and Bannock Lakes Fires Sunday, August 26, 2018 Acreage: 41,324 Containment: 45 percent Personnel: 818

Containment Increases to 45 Percent as Smoke Clears and More Rain is in the Forecast

Cougar Creek Fire: Limited fire activity was observed along the perimeter. Burning operations conducted on the western flank to secure line near Chiwawa Pines and the Plain area were effective. Today crews will work to secure and improve containment lines. The spread of fire through roll out along steep slopes continues to be a concern.

Yesterday heavy fuels continued to burn in the interior of the fire. These large diameter dead and down timbers are referred to as 1,000-hour fuels. They are at historically low internal moisture levels and due to their size, changes in humidity and even rain will require 1,000-hours to increase their internal moisture content and make them less receptive to fire. These fuels will continue to smolder and burn until they are completely consumed, or extinguished by a season ending weather event, such as several inches of rain or feet of snow. Smoke may be visible rising from the interior of the fire area until such an event occurs.

Lines along the eastern and southern flanks of the fire are complete and are being actively patrolled. No perimeter growth is expected.

Low clouds and fog may prevent the use of aircraft today. Seven type 1 heavy and 2 type 3 light helicopters are assigned to the fire. These aircraft, and a fixed wing air attack plane are standing by and will be called into service if weather conditions allow.

Today will be rainy with high humidity and will present many opportunities for firefighters to secure and improve containment lines.

Lost Fire: The Lost Fire has been held at 80 acres. Containment lines are complete. The fire will continue to be monitored by air using Distributed Real-Time Infrared (DRTI) and air attack aircraft.

Bannock Lakes Fire: Burning in a remote section of the Glacier Peaks Wilderness, the Bannock Lakes Fire 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 is available at

Weather and Fire Behavior: A moist air mass is established over the fire area. Periodic light rain is expected throughout the day and into the evening. Temperatures at lower elevations will be in the mid to upper 60s and the low 50s at 5,000 feet. Minimum relative humidity will range from 46 to 56 percent at 1,500 feet and will be as high as 74 percent at the ridge tops. Today winds on the fire will be west, northwesterly at 7 to 10 miles per hour, gusting to 18 miles per hour. This evening as the weather system moves out, winds will be northwesterly with sustained speeds of 10 to 20 miles per hour.

Traffic Safety: Rain will make roadways slick and vehicles will require additional distance to stop. Slower speeds are encouraged. Fire equipment on roadways is a potential hazard for passenger vehicles and pedestrians. Residents and visitors are asked to give all fire apparatus room to work and to be especially cautious when the trucks are backing. Keep at a safe distance from fire apparatus as the operator may not be able to see you in his mirrors.

Cougar Creek Fire Evacuation Levels Plains Area: Chelan County continues to be under 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: That portion of the Mad River Road below the fire area, to the Entiat River Road, and the Entiat River Road from the intersection of the Mad River Road, north to Mile Marker 16.5 is no longer under an evacuation order. The Entiat River Road from Mile Marker 16.5, north to its end is now under a Level 1 Evacuation Alert. The 25 mile per hour speed restriction has been rescinded. For more information, 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.

Smoke: Rain has helped to clear the air, but warmer and drier conditions will return by midweek. Multiple fires continue to burn across the region and smoke should be expected to return. Individuals with compromised respiratory systems are encouraged to acquire N95 masks. These masks are being provided free of charge, by the Chelan County Sheriff's Office and are available at local fire stations. For more information on smoke and public health, visit: or

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.

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: Inciweb: Facebook: #WaWildfire #CougarCreekFire Interactive Map:

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