Storm front expected to arrive later today, bringing with it needed rain, erratic winds, lightning
Manastash Ridge Fire now 2,320 acres burning in high elevation forest near Cle Elum, Washington
Cle Elum, Wash. – The 2,320-acre Manastash Ridge Fire, mapped by infrared flight, continues to burn in the high-elevation forest in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forests, 12 miles southwest of Cle Elum, Wash. There was limited fire growth on the fire perimeter yesterday, but erratic winds and potential lightning from a storm moving through the area later today may increase fire behavior – even though the storm is predicted to bring some much-needed rain.
Yesterday, firefighters had a successful day keeping the south side of the Fire along the bluffs secure. Crews also started preparing Forest Service Road 3100 (Manastash Canyon Road) as a contingency fire line north of the Fire, and continued to scout for better locations for containment line closer to the fire perimeter. Today, operations will continue to work on securing the contingency line and continue evaluating line construction closer to the current fire perimeter.
Ensuring the safety of firefighters working in this rugged area is the top priority. Proposed suppression actions keep firefighters safely away from the fire, allowing time for limited resources to complete fire lines. Firefighters were advised by Larry Nickey, incident commander for the Washington Interagency Incident Management Team #4 that has been managing the fire since last Thursday, to be extremely careful as personnel evaluate taking a more direct attack on the fire if increased relative humidity allows.
Road and trail closures have been expanded to an additional area closure in the Manastash Ridge area due to fire operations in the area. It is prohibited to be within the closure area of Township 18N, Range 14E Sections 3, 10-14, 24, 25; Township 18N, Ranger 15E Sections 8, 10, 16, 18,19-36; Township 17N, Range 15E Section 1-4. Included in the area closure are Forest Service Roads 3100 (Manastash Canyon Road), 3120, 3111, 3111-115, 3111-117, and Trails 1366, 1345, 4W311, 1350, 1385, 4W306, 694. To ensure public and firefighter safety, visitors need to drive carefully and stay out of closure areas. Only firefighters, Forest Service or other agency personnel, and law enforcement are allowed access to closure areas. A detailed list of the closure boundary and other road and trail closures is available on the closure section of this Inciweb page.
A community meeting about the Manastash Ridge Fire, including the closure orders, will take place at the Thorp Fire Station at 7pm on Monday, August 26, 2013. The fire station is located at 10700 N Thorp Hwy in the town of Thorp.
The Manastash Ridge Fire was started by lightning along with approximately 30 others on August 9. All of the local fires started on August 9 except this one and the Conrad Lake Fire were controlled by initial attack forces.
The Manastash Ridge Fire, burning at 6,000 feet elevation in subalpine fir/whitebark pine forest types, became active on Monday, August 19. Jumpers and rappellers attempted to make use of natural rock barriers, helicopter water bucket drops and some retardant to slow fire spread. Retardant dropped along the east flank of the fire and along the rim of the Ridge Wednesday was not effective in stopping the spread of the fire because gusty winds were producing ¼-mile spotting. Reconnaissance efforts continued last Thursday and Friday to find access points and potential containment line.
The Washington Interagency Incident Management Team #4 is also managing the Conrad Lake Fire. The Conrad Lake Fire, located 35 miles southwest of Naches, covers approximately 1,000 acres and is currently 25% contained. The low containment level is due to the fire having so much open line in the wilderness. Yesterday the Conrad Lake Fire is started to slowly back toward Phantom Lake. Smoke will continue to be visible today. Management of the Conrad Lake Fire is in a monitoring phase with 150 people assigned.
Road closures near the Conrad Lake Fire include National Forest Roads 1000, 1204, 1205, 1200-725, and the 1070 between its junctions between the 1000 Road and 1070-595 Road. Trail closures include Bear Creek Mountain Trail #1130 and Conrad Meadows. Area closures include Rimrock Peninsula Recreation Area and 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.
Visitors should be aware of closures and monitor web sites or call Manastash Fire Information at the new fire information phone number (509) 964-2138 for the latest closure information.
Fire danger remains very high. Please check the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest website for the current campfire restrictions. To stay informed of changing air quality conditions, view http://wasmoke.blogspot.com/
Date of Origin
Friday August 09th, 2013 approx. 10:00 PM
T18, R15, Sec 30, 14 Miles West of Cle Elum, WA
Timber (litter and understory)High Load fuel. Sub Alpine Fir with continuous canopy closure, fields of talus.
Fire creeping in ground fuels with few short crown runs.
Crews worked in Div Z to secure areas of concern. Area trails and forest roads closure in process.
Continue to establish anchor points and conduct reconnaissance. Finalize approval for area closure.
Acreage change is primarily attributed to more accurate mapping.
20 gusts mph W
Okanogan - Wenatchee National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
215 Melody Lane
Wenatchee, WA 98801
Phone: 509 964 2138
Manastash Ridge Fire Update Sunday August 25, 2013 0900 Hrs
News - 1:33 hrs. ago
Public Meeting Monday August 26 at 7:00pm Thorp Fire Station
Announcement - 2 hrs. ago
Manastash Area Closure August 24, 2013
Closure - 14 hrs. ago
New Phone Number for Fire Information
Announcement - 17 hrs. ago
Fire Perimeter 08-23-2013
Fire Perimeter 08-22-2013
Requires Google Earth
Source: USGS Rocky Mountain Geographic Science Center
Follow this Incident
Article RSS Feed
Google Earth Network Feed