Manastash Ridge and Conrad Lake Fires News UPDATE August 31, 2013 0900 Hours
Unburned pockets of vegetation within fire perimeter. Credit: Dean Warner, Fire Behavior Analyst WIIMT#4
Larry Nickey, Incident Commander Brian Gales, Deputy Incident Commander WIIMT #4 http://126.96.36.199/nwcc/t2_wa4/index.htm
Manastash Ridge Fire Information: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3697
Conrad Lake Fire Information: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3629
Fire Information Center New Phone Number (509) 964-2138 Hours:7 AM-9 PM
Warmer weather is here for the weekend Firefighters continue fortifying direct and indirect containment lines around the Manastash Ridge Fire.
Cle Elum, Wash. – All indirect fire line should be completed by end of shift on Sunday, as well as the direct fire lines on the East and West flanks of the Manastash Ridge Fire. Firefighters have constructed direct lines on these flanks by reducing fuel loading along the fire’s perimeter. Heavy equipment, such as excavators, is also being used.
Access roads that lead into the fire area are being improved by heavy equipment such as water tenders and graders. Today they will focus on Forest Roads 3300, 3120 and 3111 that also access the Taneum Creek area. For public and firefighter safety it is extremely important that everyone drives slowly and with caution.
The 2,352-acre fire is currently 15% contained. Containment percentage remains low because of unburned fuels within the fire perimeter. Due to the hazards presented by unburned vegetation and snags, firefighters have been unable to completely secure direct control lines. Acreage of the fire has been the same for the last three days; however unburned vegetation that remains within the perimeter could begin to burn more actively with warmer and drier weather. There remains a potential for unburned fuel to ignite and, with gusty winds, produce spotting beyond the fire’s perimeter.
Once hand crews complete the lines, vegetation between the fire’s edge and the line will be burned out if weather is favorable. Fuel moisture needs to be just right in order to carry the fire for burnout operations without burning too hot and escaping the lines. A North wind and ideal relative humidity will be needed for a burnout. Incident Commander Larry Nickey made it clear that burnout operations will not begin without the right conditions. Success of the burnout will also depend on retaining critical resources.
Deputy Incident Commander Brain Gale’s briefing message this morning focused on the good work being done and firefighter safety. “I continue to be impressed with the crews working on this fire, the leadership they show and the job that they are doing,” he said. In terms of safety he mentioned, “Our situational awareness must be heightened with the warmer and drier weather.”
The Washington Interagency Incident Management Team #4 is also managing the 1,096-acre Conrad Lake Fire. The Conrad Lake Fire, located 35 miles southwest of Naches, is currently 30% contained. On Monday September 2, the Conrad Lake Fire will transition to a Type 4 organization and will be managed again by the Naches Ranger District.
To protect firefighter and public safety, the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest has closed the vicinity of these fires to public access. Details of the closure boundaries, lists of closed roads and trails, and relevant maps are available on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forests website. Only firefighters, Forest Service or other agency personnel, and law enforcement are allowed access to closure areas. Although reevaluated daily, these closure levels are unlikely to change for several days.
Fire danger remains high. Please check the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest website for current campfire restrictions. To stay informed of changing air quality conditions, view http://wasmoke.blogspot.com/
Manastash Ridge Fire Facts – Saturday, August 31, 2013 – 0900 HOURS Fire Size: approximately 2,352 acres Percent Contained: 15% Evacuations: No homes or structures threatened. Manastash Ridge Closures Summary: A detailed list of closures is available on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest website. On the Naches Ranger District this includes Forest Service Road 1701 before the Funny Rocks Area and the 1900 road system leading north from Little Naches to Quartz Mountain. On the Cle Elum Ranger District, the area closure prohibits being within the boundaries of the posted closure including Forest Service Road 3100 (Manastash Canyon Road) west of the Forest Boundary. Fuels: Heavy ground and ladder fuels, high elevation subalpine fir and whitebark pine forest. Air Resources: Aircraft available to the Manastash Ridge and the Conrad Lake Fires are being shared. Two air attack platforms, one Type I helicopter, two Type II helicopters and one Type III helicopter. Crews: 5 Type I crews and 11 Type II hand crews. Engines: 2 Dozers: 3 Water Tenders: 5 Road graders: 1 Total Personnel: 532
Conrad Lake Fire Facts – Saturday, August 31, 2013 – 0900 HOURS Fire Size: approximately 1,096 acres Percent Contained: 30% Evacuations: No homes or structures threatened. Conrad Lake Closures Summary: 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. Fuels: Timber litter and understory, meadows. Air Resources: Aircraft available to the Manastash Ridge and the Conrad Lake Fires are being shared. Two air attack platforms, one Type I helicopter, two Type II helicopters and one Type III helicopter. Crews: 1 Type II hand crew Engines: 2