September 27, 2012 0900 Update
Incident: Cascade Creek Wildfire
Cascade Creek Wildfire Continues Burning on the Western Flank of Mt. Adams
Little Fire Movement, Despite Dry Weather and Fuels
Trout Lake, Wash., The interior of the Cascade Creek Wildfire continues to burn actively, consuming remaining dry logs and torching groups of trees. Its southern and eastern perimeters are well contained and being mopped-up. The northern section burns slowly downhill to the west where fire fighters are preparing containment lines should they be needed to intercept it.
The fire has not expanded significantly in the last two days, backing slowly down the slopes of Mt. Adams and continuing to consume trees, snags, logs and debris within its interior. These fuels are at record-low moisture levels and the weather is unusually dry (with temperatures forecast to reach 70-80 degrees and relative humidity as low as 15-25%). However, the winds are expected to continue to be light, becoming 4-8 miles per hour from the north this afternoon. Upslope air movement will likely serve to slow fire spread, providing additional time for crews that are preparing containment lines below.
Although Forest Road 23 (FR23) is open to traffic, people using it should be alert. Fire-fighting equipment and personnel may be present on the roadway. They are preparing a fire break by removing ground and standing fuels from parts of this road corridor, should it be needed as a contingency line. At times smoke can be heavy causing low visibility. Hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail have also been diverted to FR23 because sections of the trail are currently closed due to fire activity. Drivers are encouraged to use their headlights, travel slowly and exercise caution.
Smoke and air quality have been a periodic concern in this area, especially in the valleys west and south of Mt. Adams during morning hours. A smoke monitor has been installed near Trout Lake. Its recordings can be seen under Site #22 at http://tinyurl.com/9cuwpwp Subtract eight hours from the time listed on the site to indicate the local time. Readings above 300 are extremely unhealthy. People can avoid smoke by staying indoors, limiting outdoor exercise, and seeking an environment with filtered air.
There will be a public meeting at 7 p.m. Sunday September 30 at Jonah Ministries, 31 Little Mountain Road, Trout Lake, Wash. This meeting will be an opportunity to receive updated fire information from the current fire management team and ask questions about the situation.
Fire Facts - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - 0900 HOURS
Fire Size: 15,890 acres
Percent Contained: 40%
Fuels: Heavy, bug-killed timber, litter and understory
Expected Containment: Not determined
Air Resources: Two of each of the following: Light, medium and heavy helicopters; two air attack platforms
Firefighting Crews: 17
Water Tenders: 14
Total Personnel: 624
Total Estimated Cost to Date: $9,559,500