Mills Canyon & Chiwaukum Complex Fire Update – 7/24/14 ^NH

Suppression of these fires is an interagency effort, including Chelan County Fire Districts 1, 3, 8 and 9; Washington DNR; Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, and the Bureau of Land Management.

Yesterday
There was no significant spread due to the amount of precipitation on all of the fires. The fires received between .25” to .5” of rain, depending on where the storm cells moved through. There was a flash flood warning in effect yesterday.

Chiwaukum Creek Fire:   Firefighters could not access the more remote sections of the north flank of fire due to heavy rain, extremely muddy and slick roads. Fire personnel utilized this opportunity to mop up containment lines and prepare for anticipated fire growth due to increasing temperatures in the coming days. East of Highway 2 dozers worked to open up old roads and dozer lines to serve as contingency lines if needed.
100 National Guard personnel strengthened and mopped up fire line along Highway 2.

Mills Canyon:  Firefighters are strengthening containment lines with mop up and rehabilitation to protect the resource.

Kelly Mountain: Firefighters were flown off of the fire on Tuesday due to the anticipated thunderstorms which occurred yesterday. The rain has temporarily reduced fire activity.
Duncan:  Crews that had been working on protection efforts on structures east and south of the fire were pulled out of the area due to debris flows across the Entiat River Road caused by heavy rain. The rain has temporarily reduced fire activity and spread.

Weather
More than 22,000 lightning strikes were detected yesterday in Washington and Oregon. High winds out of the northwest, with gusts of 30-35 mph are forecast for today. Drier and hotter weather is expected to arrive this weekend and temperatures are predicted to be over 100 degrees again by the middle of next week, with very low humidity. This will likely result in an increase of fire activity on existing fires and the potential for lightning strikes that have been smoldering to actively burn.

Today’s Operations
The safety of firefighters and the public remains the highest priority.  PNW Team 3 is continually evaluating operations and activity on the fires they are managing and supporting neighboring incidents as appropriate.  There is concern with the muddy and slick road and fire line conditions on all fires.

Chiwaukum Creek Fire:  Firefighters will continue to hold and secure containment lines on the north and east perimeter, including along Highway 2.  They are also evaluating conditions for resuming the burnout operations on the northeast edge of the fire above Thompson Creek to secure that fireline. The National Guard contingent will resume their work of securing and mopping up along Highway 2. Suppression options are being evaluated on the southern and western perimeters which are partially within the Alpine Lakes Wilderness area.

Mills Canyon Fire: Fire rehabilitation, holding and patrolling lines will continue today. Excess fire resources will continue to be shifted to other priorities.
Kelly Mountain Fire:  The fire will be patrolled by air today.  Ground resources will be flown back in to the fire when conditions improve, possibly as early as tomorrow, to complete fire lines and suppression efforts.

Duncan Fire:  Protection measures are completed on the cabins and campgrounds along the upper Entiat River road. Heavy equipment — feller-bunchers, skidders and chippers – will resume construction of the shaded fuel break from Shady Pass to Entiat River road.

Evacuations  and Other Information

Evacuations remain unchanged today. Chelan County Emergency Services posts updated evacuations and closures on their Facebook and Twitter sites at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Chelan-County-Emergency-Management/188543097925415 or follow them on twitter @ChelanCountyEM.

Fire updates can also be found on the Incident Information System Website (InciWeb) at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3937/.
Highway closures and other information is available through Washington D.O.T. on their twitter feed @wsdot.
Information about flooding and other concerns after a fire moves through can be found at: http://www.centralwashingtonfirerecovery.info.
Smoke information can be found at:  http://wasmoke.blogspot.com/ and on the webcam in Leavenworth at:   http://www.leavenworth.org/news-weather

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