conrad fire update
U.S. FOREST SERVICE FIRE UPDATE
Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest
215 Melody Lane
Wenatchee, WA 98801
For immediate release:
August 12, 2013—7:45 a.m.
Public Information Officer Michelle King, 509-653-1420
Naches Ranger District Front Office, 509-653-1401
Type III Incident Team Assumes Management of Conrad Complex
Naches WA-- On August 10th a lightning storm started multiple fires on the Naches Ranger District, including the Conrad Complex.
The Conrad Complex is located North of Conrad Meadows, west of the South Fork Tieton River, and approximately 8 miles south of Rimrock Lake. As of Sunday evening, the fire is estimated to be approximately 300 acres.
Forest Service fire crews have been battling the fire since ignition, however, steep terrain and dry fuel conditions have made suppression efforts difficult. Fire behavior was aggressive on Sunday, despite favorable weather conditions.
To relieve local fire management staff, an Interagency Type III Incident Management Team has been assigned to manage the Conrad Complex. Participating agencies include US Forest Service, WA State Department of Natural Resources, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and Yakima County.
Due to the potential for large fire growth, the public is asked to comply with local area closures. Concerned for public safety, fire managers request the public to avoid using Forest System Road (FSR) 1000, south of its junction with FSR 1040 around Minnie Meadows, and FSR 1070 between its junction with FSR 1000 to its junction with FSR 1070-595.
Fire managers understand this is a popular recreation area and ask for Forest-user cooperation at this time. Firefighters are working diligently to minimize acres burned and limit the impact to recreation. In addition, all agencies are in agreement to mitigate firefighter exposure and ensure crews’ safety.
Fire restrictions remain in place on the Naches Ranger District. Only gas fires or stoves are permitted. Campfires or other ignition sources are not permitted. For more information, contact the Naches Ranger District Front Office at 509-653-1401.
Current Situation: Fire growth Sunday was again minimal, as the fire continued to slowly back downhill towards established control lines. Good work was done to strengthen these control and contingency lines, as well as continue to plumb portions of the fire line for the application of water. Fuels reduction along contingency lines was a primary focus for firefighters yesterday. This was accomplished through chipping and cutting of brush, shrubs, and standing dead material. Containment is now being estimated at 12%. Containment is a gauge of confidence that fire managers have that the fire will not escape established lines, or in this case continue to move unchecked.
It will be slightly warmer and drier today, but overall, the fire weather remains favorable for firefighters. The Haines Index is 3, which is very low. The Haines Index is a gauge of atmospheric instability and dryness of the air from 2 (very low) to 6 (high). The higher the index, the higher the chance of active fire behavior and fire growth.
The fire is still mostly within the Goat Rocks Wilderness with a few acres outside the wilderness but still on the National Forest. A priority has been placed on keeping the fire from advancing south onto private lands. Base camp is at the Peninsula by Rimrock Lake. The roads in the area of the fire and around the Peninsula are closed as well as some campgrounds accessed by roads that are now closed. See below for details on those closures. State highways 12 and 410 are open.
Background: This fire started by lightning on Friday August 9 and is burning eight miles south of Rimrock Lake and 35 miles southwest of Naches, WA. There are flight restrictions within a seven mile radius of the fire and at the Tieton Airstrip which is at the east end of Rimrock Lake. The Tieton airstrip is closed to general aviation. No campfires are allowed on National Forest lands. The fire is located mostly in Sections 15 and 22 of Township 12 N, Range 12 E.
Weather: Slightly warmer today. Max temp on the fire 80 degrees, minimum humidity 30%. Winds light 6-10 mph from the west, gusting to 18 mph after 1400 hrs.
Road Closures: National Forest roads 1000, 1204, 1205, 1200-725, and the 1070 between its junction with the 1000 to its junction with 1070-595. Trail Closures: Bear Creek Mountain Trail #1130. Conrad Meadows is closed. Area Closure: Rimrock Peninsula Recreation Area including the boat launch. There is no access from the 1200 road onto the 1200-711, 1200-712, 1200-713, 1200-714, 1200-715, 1200-716, 1200-725, and 1200-653 roads.
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