Daily Update 9-21-12
Incident: Okanogan Complex Wildfire
Continued warm, dry weather and extremely steep, rugged terrain are hampering firefighting efforts, both on the ground, and from the air on the Buckhorn and Goat Fires. The Hunter fire is now in patrol status and the Leecher fire had one spot fire yesterday, but crews are mostly mopping up and rehabilitating fire lines.
The Goat fire is burning almost 24 hours a day with the majority of fire activity to the south and southwest. This kind of fire behavior is unusual this late in the season. The fire also continues to move east, but remains above the bluffs. Crews are focusing on building and strengthening hand and dozer line along the south and east flanks to protect private land and property. Helicopters have been working steadily, dropping both water and retardant to support ground efforts.
Firefighters make headway on the Buckhorn Fire as it persists moving to the west. Overnight temperatures on the ridges in Gold Creek were above 60 degrees, allowing continued fire expansion. Crews are working day and night to anchor the line on the southwest and northwest corners of the fire, hoping to safely meet the fire as it progresses towards the Middle Fork of Gold Creek. Work continues in the interface between homes and the forest and crews have been successful in preventing any structural damage.
The 17 water tenders assigned to this incident provide critical support to suppression efforts by providing water to engines providing structural protection, as well as watering gravel and roads. Watering the roads is critical to operational safety by reducing dust, ensuring good visibility, and keeping road surfaces from deteriorating.
With extreme and often unpredictable fire activity in the area, fire managers continue to emphasize that public and firefighter safety is always top priority. Adhering to evacuations and closures will help insure everyone makes it through this fire season safely.
Fire at a Glance
Size: 7,331 total acres
Hunter - 211
Leecher - 1,320
Buckhorn - 3,800
Goat - 2,000
Location: southern Methow Valley in Washington state.
Cause: Buckhorn, Leecher and Hunter - Lightning (9/8/12)
Goat Mountain - Under Investigation
Evacuations: Level and Area
Goat Fire: Residences west of Golf Course Drive; the south portion of Alta Lake, west side of lake and south of Alta Lake Park; residences in Antoine Creek
Buckhorn Fire: South Fork Gold Creek Residences
Goat Fire: Residences on Quiet Valley Road
Buckhorn Fire: Middle Fork and North Fork Gold Creek residences
Fire Information Number:
Monitor real-time air quality: