Cougar Creek, Lost and Bannock Lakes Fires Friday, August 31, 2018
Acreage: 41,704 Containment: 50 percent Personnel: 381
Containment of Cougar Creek Fire continues as some road and recreation sites reopen
Cougar Creek Fire: On Thursday, columns of smoke were again visible from Plain late in the day as drier and warmer conditions caused the fire to become more active within its existing perimeter. Local residents and visitors can expect to see smoke emanating from the interior of the fire until a fire season ending event of rain or snow occurs.
Thursday and Friday, firefighters continue to conduct burn-out operations at portions of the western part of the fire as conditions allow. Although this tactic does produce additional smoke, it is crucial to secure the fire line.
The most active area of the fire is at its northern edge. In this area, crews continue to recon and construct containment lines fire between Signal Peak and Cougar Meadow. This effort is intended to halt the northern progression of the fire and to contain the northeast corner of the fire. Thursday, extensive use of helicopters with water buckets successfully checked the northern spread of the fire. Six helicopters will continue to assist firefighters on the ground as deemed necessary. Mop up of hot spots and patrol of fire lines continues on the eastern, southern, and western perimeters of the fire. Repair of fire containment lines on the eastern and southern sections of the fire progresses.
Fire managers continue to “right-size” the fire- fighting organization as containment advances.
The Entiat River Road, Chiwawa River Road, and all Forest Service Campgrounds along these roads are now open. All trails connecting with the Chiwawa River Road are open. The Shady Pass Road #5900 is also open. Forest visitors are encouraged to view the interactive closure map, located on the Okanogan-Wenatchee NF website before traveling to the national forest. This map shows areas of the national forest that are closed to public use. It is available at tinyurl.com/yb5zs737
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 489 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 www.pcta.org.
Weather and Fire Behavior: A high pressure will promote a dry warming trend Friday through Sunday. Afternoon humidity values are expected to drop below 30 percent and overnight humidity recovery will be fair to poor. Winds will continue to be out of the west and southwest on ridgetops and west to northwest through drainages with afternoon gusts of 15 to 25 mph. A cold front is expected to pass through the region late Sunday into Monday bringing gusty winds and some cooling. High temperatures on Friday are expected to be 76-80 degrees at 1500 feet elevation, and 58-62 degrees at 5000 feet.
Traffic Safety: Fire equipment will be on the roads in and around the fire area. These vehicles may stop in unexpected locations. Please use caution when fire apparatus are present, the operator may not see you in his or her mirrors.
Cougar Creek Fire Evacuation Levels
Plain Area: Effective Monday (08/27/2018) at 9:00am, the Level 2 evacuation status for all of the Chiwawa Loop Road area (including Shugart Flats and Chiwawa River Pines communities) has been lowered to a Level 1 “fire advisory” status. Areas in Plain and Lake Wenatchee which had been at a Level 1 status, are no longer be under any evacuation notification.
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 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: Air quality has been substantially better for the last 72 hours as winds pushed smoke out of the area. However, 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: www.wasmoke.blogspot.com or https://bit.ly/2J22754 (Spanish).
U.S. Forest Service Closure Orders: The Cougar Creek Fire Area closure remains in effect. However, the entire length of the Entiat River Road is now open to the public as well as all campgrounds within the Entiat River Valley. The Shady Pass Road #5900 is also now open.
Area businesses are open. Please consider showing your support by shopping in the local community.
Incident Management Team: Northwest Team 10 (Type 2) 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: firstname.lastname@example.org Inciweb: inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6053 Facebook: facebook.com/CougarCreekFire #WaWildfire #CougarCreekFire Interactive Evacuation Map: https://bit.ly/2MnFB9j