Table Mountain Fire News Release(spanish Version Available) - 10/01/2012
Incident: Table Mountain Wildfire
Contact: Public Information Office 1-206-947-9705 or 1-206-947-9737
Hours of Operation: 7:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Date: October 1, 2012 9:00 AM PDT Fire Status Update
Contained: 65 %
Total Personnel: 1,243
News & Events for the Table Mountain Fire:
• A public meeting is planned at Central Washington University for Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. in the Student Union Recreation Center room 202.
• Hunting Season is open. The Washington Department of Natural Resources reopened all state lands to the east of Colockum road including, Colockum, Quilomene, and Whiskey Dick’s Wildlife Areas. State lands in the Naneum State Forest, west of the Colockum Pass Road; remain closed because of fire hazards.
• US 97 – No restrictions. Please check WSDOT website for current information: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/ or call 511.
• Because of firing operations expect increased smoke throughout the day. For more information regarding Air Quality refer to the following websites: http://wasmoke.blogspot.com - http://www.ecy.wa.gov
• The Kittitas County Emergency Operations Center announced changes in evacuation levels. For current information on evacuations contact the Kittitas County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at www.co.kittitas.wa.us or (509) 933-8305.
Table Mountain Fire Operations Summary:
• Burnout operations will continue on the west flank today. Winds will push the burnout operation toward the interior of the fire. The increased winds and associated drier fine fuels may assist (or hamper) firefighters with burnout operations.
• A dry cold front, moving through the area, with associated high winds, will test the fire line.
• On the north, south, and eastern flanks of the fire, crews are concentrating on mopping up and patrolling along the fire’s edge.
• Fire weakened trees, combined with increased winds, pose a health and safety concern for firefighters. Precautions are being taken to reduce the risk.
• A combination of aerial and hand ignition tactics are being used in the successful multi-day burn out near the community of Liberty, Liberty Mountain, and on the western flank of the fire. It is anticipated the burning will be complete tonight, weather depending.
• High wind speeds could limit or prevent air support.
• Structure protection continues in Liberty along with mop up in Reecer Creek.
• Firefighters have created approximately 90 miles of fire line on the Table Mountain Fire (equals the distance from Cle Elum to Seattle).
Closures: Local road closures remain in effect; go to the Kittitas County Emergency Operations Center, Inciweb or the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest website http://www.fs.usda.gov/okawen for current road and area closure information.
Area Closures: As of September 26, 2012, all State lands, east of the Naneum State Forest line to the Colockum Pass Road, are closed due to fire hazards. Forest closures remain in place for the Naneum State Forest and for the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest east of Highway 97.
Forest Service and Department of Natural Resource Road Closures: Reecer Creek Road at the Sno-park, 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., Liberty Mountain Association, 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.
Red Cross Shelter: The shelter at Mercer Creek Church remains open. The church is located at 407 North “B” Street in Ellensburg. The shelter can provide meals, toiletries, showers, or other services.
Animal Shelter: Evacuated livestock and temporary housing for small pets is available. Shelter staff are taking calls from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday-Friday at 509-962-7639. If a need arises outside of normal business hours, please call the Emergency Operations Center at 509-933-8305.
Table Mountain Fire: Started: September 8, 2012 Cause: lightning Location: Cle Elum, WA/Kittitas County Resources: 28 crews, 6 helicopters, 81 engines, 6 dozers, 25 water tenders.
RESOURCE CONCERNS: Multiple historic cabins, archaeological sites, mines, threatened and endangered species, old growth reserves.
WEATHER: High pressure will continue through Monday. West to northwesterly winds will begin gradually increasing early afternoon then pick up substantially in late afternoon and early evening as a fast moving upper trough brushes past to the north through Southern British Columbia. Winds will continue to strengthen through the evening. Strong winds will blow through the night along ridges and in favorably west to east oriented drainages. Maximum humidities will occur late evening then fall through the night at higher elevations as an extremely dry air mass arrives. A dry cold front diving south out of Canada on Tuesday will mix this dry air to the surface keeping relative humidities low despite falling temperatures.
WEATHER OUTLOOK: Mostly sunny and windy with cooler air arriving behind the dry cold front. Strong northwest winds 30 to 40 mph in the morning on ridges becoming northerly midday. North winds will diminish to 15 to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph in the afternoon. High temperatures in the 50s with minimum RH in the upper teens.
TODAY’S EXPECTED FIRE BEHAVIOR: Wind gusts will produce flare ups in heavier fuels leading to single and group tree torching. Although most of the grass/brush areas in the upper elevations have not carried much fire, the lower elevations will carry fire.
COOPERATING AGENCIES & PARTNERS: Washington Department of Natural Resources, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Washington State Fire Marshall, Kittitas County Fire Districts #1, #2, #7, Kittitas County Sheriff, Yakima County Sheriff, National Guard Resources, British Columbia Wildfire and the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.