Morning Update for Mills Canyon, Chiwaukum Creek and Kelly Mountain Fires – July 18th 2014 ^NH

A community fire briefing is scheduled for 6:30pm Friday July 18, 2014 at the Plain Community Church.  Saturday, evening, fire officials will host another community briefing; this one at Cascade High School in Leavenworth, Washington.  
Mills Canyon:  Progress continues as firefighters work to tighten containment lines, focusing on mop-up and patrol.  Afternoon winds test firelines.  Air and ground resources responded to a small flare-up within the fire perimeter on the north end near the Entiat River.  A night shift was assigned to Mills Canyon Fire.
Chiwaukum Creek Fire:  Firefighters are working along the north flank with dozers and retardant.  Fire growth was toward the southeast.  While there has been spotting across Highway 2, the main fire remains west of the Highway.   Firefighters are connecting roads with dozers to be used as fireline and have tied off to a spot on the Wilderness boundary.  Structure protection groups are in place and state mobilization resources continued to arrive in support of structure protection efforts.  There was a night shift assigned to the Chiwaukum Creek Fire.
Kelly Mountain Fire: Helicopter bucket work supported efforts of the eight smokejumpers assigned to this 65 acre fire.  Retardant drops helped when fire activity increased late in the shift yesterday.  The Fire is burning in subalpine fir near the Entiat ridgeline.  The fire has natural barriers on two sides.
Today, another weak cold front will move through the forecast area.  Temperatures are expected to cool another 3-6 degrees and relative humidity will be up 4-8 percent from yesterday.  Winds are expected to be west to northwest withspeeds 15-20 miles per hour and gusts 30 miles per hour.
Today’s Operations
The safety of firefighters and the public remains the highest priority.  PNW Team 3 is prioritizing the risks amongst the fires they are managing and supporting neighboring incidents as appropriate.
Mills Canyon Fire: Firefighters are working to increase the probability of success by strengthening containment lines and mopping up.  Winds will continue to test firelines; providing opportunities to identify hotspots and further strengthen the lines.  Rehabilitation work is occurring on portions of the fire area where it is safe to do so.
Chiwaukum Creek Fire:  Firefighters will provide structure protection along the highway and will keep working to identify and establish contingency lines.  Crews and equipment that are excess to the needs on Mills Canyon Fire will move to the Chiwaukum Creek Fire and additional resources have been ordered.
Kelly Mountain Fire:  The eight smoke jumpers are working to contain the fire; taking advantage of natural barriers on two sides.
Response to Mills Canyon began on July 8, so some resources are beginning to ‘time out’.  Fire resources are typically kept on assignment for up to 14 days.  The crews timing out will be replaced with incoming crews.
Air support for each of the fires includes National Guard helicopters and is based out of Fromm Field and the Fish Lake Helilbase.
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 or follow them on twitter @ChelanCountyEM.  Links to those sites and other helpful fire information is available on InciWeb at
Highway 2 is closed at the time of this update.  Current State Highway Closure information is available on their twitter feed @wsdot.
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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