Daily Update 9-17-12
Incident: Table Mountain Wildfire
Table Mountain Complex
FIRE INFORMATION WEBSITE: www.inciweb.org/incident/3269
INFO PHONE: (509) 260-1538
On September 8, a lightning storm moved through much of eastern Washington. Approximately 4,000 strikes were recorded with more than 300 strikes developing into fires to date. Local resources from the United States Forest Service (USFS), the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, (WA DNR), Kittitas County Fire District 1, 7, Snoqualmie Pass Fire & Rescue, Kittitas Valley Fire & Rescue, and the Kittitas County Sheriff's Office continue as part of the fire suppression resources fighting the fires and conducting evacuations.
With the number of dormant lightning strikes turning into fires the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest and Kittitas County resources continue working extended periods of time to protect homes and property, resources serving the area were heavily impacted. On September 15, the state-declared mobilization plan was authorized providing personnel, equipment, and other logistical resources from around the state. Multiple fires within the Yakima Complex grew significantly and the complex is now divided designating the Table Mountain fires as a separate complex with an additional incident management team now managing the Table Mountain Complex.
Yesterday, the Washington Incident Management Team 2 (WA-IMT2) transitioned with Incident Commander Bob Johnson's Type 2 Team. As of September 17, at 6:00 a.m., Incident Commander Rex Reed and the WA-IMT2 assumed command of the Table Mountain Complex fires. The fires are burning predominately on USFS and DNR land with scattered homes and structures within fire landscape. All fires east of Highway 97, south of the Chelan-Kittitas County line, west of the Columbia River and north of I-90, are under the umbrella of the Table Mountain Complex with more than 25 fires burning.
Today, fire crews will focus on the three largest fires: First Creek, Lions Rock and Diamond Head. As the day begins to warm, fire and smoke activity will increase. Operations personnel for the team will continue to assess and prioritize the fires with public and firefighter safety as the highest priority on the Table Mountain Complex.
The First Creek fire is approximately 4 miles east of the town of Liberty. Several evacuations and road closures for the Liberty area are in place:
Level 3 - Williams Creek Rd., Harkness Rd., Pine Gulch Rd. east of Red Top Rd., Cougar Gulch Rd. Boulder Creek Rd., and the Liberty Mountain Association community
Level 2 - Liberty Rd. from US97 to Boulder Creek Rd. (the end of the county road), this includes the town of Liberty and any driveways connected to Liberty Rd. up Boulder Creek Rd., Pine Gulch Rd. west of Red Top Rd. including Red Top Rd., Lauderdale junction north of Mineral Springs on the eastside of US97 - only residents directly connected to US97, Upper Green Canyon Rd., the top of Naneum drainage, Wilson Creek, and the Sun East housing development at the top of Robbins Rd.
For additional information on the evacuation levels log onto the Kittitas County Emergency Operations Center website at: www.co.kittitas.wa.us. You can then go to the Kittitas County response page and click on Interactive Maps.
Road Closures: USFS and DNR roads - Reecer Creek Rd. at the Snowpack, Wilson Creek Rd. at the end of the county road, Coleman Canyon Rd., Schnebly Canyon Rd., and Cook Canyon Rd. Additional roads include - Liberty Rd., Williams Creek Rd., Harkness Rd., Pine Gulch Rd. east of Red Top Rd., Cougar Gulch Rd., Boulder Creek Rd., Upper Green Canyon Rd., Sun East Rd. at the top of Robbins Rd., and Elk Springs Rd.
Due to the many fires burning throughout Central and Eastern Washington, heavy smoke continues to fill the valleys and drainages. Fires producing potentially harmful smoke can be of concern to elderly, young children, and anyone with respiratory health conditions. The public is urged to limit outdoor activities and to take precautions by staying indoors until smoke conditions improve. For more information on air quality: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/air/local.html.
The public is asked to stay clear from the road closure areas and to minimize traffic on roads accessed by firefighting crews. Fire danger remains high across Washington State. Be sure to check with your fire agencies for local fire restrictions, forest and state closures.
The Washington Incident Management Team 2 appreciates your support and patience while firefighters work to manage the Table Mountain Complex. No injuries have been reported on this fire.
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