[7/21/21] Wednesday Fire Update

Posted in Environment, Fire and EMS, Wildfire

Cedar Creek Fire The inversion was slow to lift this morning limiting fire growth and use of aerial resources.  A full complement of air resources were available but use was very limited until after 5:00 PM due to visibility.  Once the inversion lifted, fire activity increased. As of this evening, the fire had moved south along Sandy Butte ridge down to near Lucky Jim Bluff. Three strike teams of engines (15 engines) arrived today to assist with structure protection along State Route 20. Firefighters will continue preparations on dozer line along the base of the foothills to the west of State Route 20 working south towards Twisp River drainage. The active fire behavior has prompted the Okanogan County Emergency Management Office (OECM) to declare several evacuation level increases. 

In the northeastern corner, crews plan to secure the Cedar Creek drainage potentially using a burnout operation to tie the fire into State Route 20. The northern and western flanks of the fire saw minimal growth.

The strategy of containment is to use indirect tactics and construct containment lines in areas with a high probability of success. The objective is to keep the fire in the higher elevations above the valley and away from values at risk of private property. The Cedar Creek fire is estimated at 8,443 acres with 11% containment.

Delancy Fire The fire has moved over Delancy Ridge and continues to creep and smolder in steep, rocky, sparsely vegetated terrain and remains unstaffed due to the rugged terrain and scarce resource availability. Fire managers are evaluating values and risks. Containment opportunities are being actively scouted on the east side up Lost Creek Road. The fire is being monitored by aircraft. The estimated size of this fire is approximately 180 acres.

Cub Creek 2 – The Cub Creek 2 Fire is estimated at 32,473 acres with 5% containment. The fire is burning northward with lateral growth east and west influenced by diurnal winds.  Fire growth has been consistent for several operational periods at ¼ mile per hour.  Firefighting efforts have benefited in areas where the fire has merged into past burned areas and areas that have received previous fuel treatments. 

The fire remains split into east and west arms and backing downslope towards the Chewuch River.  The fire burned actively at night and was not significantly different from daytime fire behavior as a result of poor relative humidity recovery, warm night time temperatures, and low fuel moisture.  Firefighting efforts are focused on using terrain features and reinforcing existing containment lines. Spotting up to a ¼ mile is possible.  Winds associated with a cold front will influence fire behavior throughout the night.  Structure protection measures are in place.   

Chuweah Creek – Two spot fires were found and secured in Div-K. Crews are working north from the Div-K/W break constructing direct handline and dozer line around the areas that burned east of the Keller Butte Road and areas that did not burn completely to the Keller Butte Road. T1 helicopters are being used to support the direct line construction. The Governor is scheduled to visit the fire on Wednesday.