While factors continue to challenge the operational effort, firefighters made use of the inversion, which kept the fire intensity low. They made good progress on several fronts of the fires. Smoke trapped under the inversion prevented air resources from being used yesterday, except for in the north on the First Creek Fire. Visibility deteriorated in the late afternoon and all helicopters safely returned to base.
The high pressure system is expected to continue throughout the week and winds may increase to 20 miles per hour. The air quality is not expected to improve, with the worst conditions in the late evening and early morning hours.
The Byrd Canyon Fire, located just north of Entiat, is also in patrol status. It is 80% contained and approximately 13,981 acres in size. Resources are being transitioned to other fires in the area as they complete their assignments.
The First Creek Fire, located 10 miles west of Lake Chelan, is approximately 1,242 acres. It is burning in very difficult and steep terrain. Helicopters are supporting firefighters on the ground and reinforcing the hand line on the western perimeter with bucket drops. Crews working from the top on the eastern perimeter bumped down the slope picking up hot spots. Scouting and construction of contingency lines have been completed. A Level 3 evacuation remains in place for First Creek and Granite Falls Creek. This fire is 30% contained.
The Pyramid (413 acres) and Klone Fire, (656 acres) north of Entiat are burning in timber that was severely impacted by disease and insects. Crews on the Klone fire will continue to work with local resource advisors to minimize impact to sensitive and/or threatened resources in the area. Firefighters are protecting the recreation cabins by clearing vegetation, wrapping fire protective material around the base of the cabins and installing sprinklers on or near the cabins. Fire line improvements along Entiat Road, County Road 19 will continue.
The Incident Management Team continues to have initial attack responsibility for all wildland fires within Chelan County. Resources will be mobilized when there is a new start.
The area is extremely dry and conditions are right for rapid fire growth on existing fires and new fire starts. All outdoor burning is restricted and campfires are only allowed in designated campgrounds and in the wilderness on National Forest Lands in Chelan County.
The Incident Management Team would like to express appreciation to the community for your support and help in our efforts to suppress these fires. It is vital that the community cooperate with evacuations, road closures, and avoiding areas of high traffic for fire suppression.