Mills Canyon, Chiwaukum Creek, & Kelly Mountain Fire Update – July 17th 2014 ^NH

Yesterday
Mills Canyon Fire operations went as expected on Wednesday.  Firefighters continued to tighten containment lines, focusing on mop-up and patrol.  .  Fire officials are maintaining staffing levels on the Mills Canyon Fire to ensure the work invested in containing the fire holds as it is tested by winds.  There was a night shift assigned to the Mills Canyon Fire.
Chiwaukum Creek Fire made a large run Wednesday, growing to the east and southeast to about 5,000 acres and spotting across Highway 2.  Firefighters who were attempting to anchor and flank the fire turned their attention to point protection as winds pushed the fire toward homes and structures.  While air support continued throughout the shift, smoky conditions limited the use of air tankers.  50-100 foot flame lengths were seen above the tops of trees.  There was a night shift assigned to the Chiwaukum Creek Fire.
Kelly Mountain Fire, northeast of Entiat, Washington was estimated at about 65 acres Wednesday afternoon.  Eight smokejumpers worked to contain the fire which is burning in subalpine fir near the Entiat ridgeline.  The fire has natural barriers on two sides.
Weather
While slightly cooler, today’s weather is expected to be similar to yesterday with unstable conditions, high temperatures and low humidity.  The dry cold front predicted to move through the Pacific Northwest will cool temperatures by 10-12 degrees and raise relative humidity slightly.  Wind speeds of 15-20 miles per hour, with gusts to 30 are predicted.
Today’s Operations
The safety of firefighters and the public remains the highest priority.
Mills Canyon Fire will maintain the contingent of resources assigned yesterday.  They will continue working to increase the probability of success by strengthening containment lines and mopping up.  Patrol will continue as firefighters watch for rolling debris that may threaten firelines.  Rehabilitation work will begin on portions of the fire area where it is safe to do so.
Chiwaukum firefighters will continue focusing on point, or structure protection and will be identifying and establishing contingency lines.  Crews and equipment that are excess to the needs on Mills Canyon Fire have been reassigned and additional resources have been ordered.  Given the predicted weather, yesterday’s fire activity is expected to re-occur. State mobilization resources continue to arrive today to support protection of structures.
Kelly Mountain Fire will be staffed with eight additional smokejumpers, for a total of 16.
Fire managers anticipate the arrival of up to four National Guard Helicopters today.
Evacuations Information
Evacuations and closures are dynamic.  Changing throughout the day as the fires move or as suppression efforts succeed in lessening the threat.  Chelan County Emergency Services has established facebook and twitter sites where they post pertinent closure and evacuation information.  For the most current closure or evacuation information please check their site at www.facebook.com/pages/Chelan-County-Emergency-Management/188543097925415 or follow them on twitter @ChelanCountyEM.  Links to those sites and other helpful fire information is available on InciWeb at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3937/.
Highway 2 is closed at the time of this update.  Current State Highway Closure information is available on their twitter feed @wsdot.
Shelters
Red Cross has set up a shelter at the Baptist Church in Leavenworth.  A large animal shelter has been set up at the Chelan County Fairgrounds.  Entry is at Tillicum’s back gate off of Kimber Road.  There are no buckets for watering so please bring your own bucket.
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