Colockum Tarps Fire Update August 10, 2013 0900 Hrs
Incident: Colockum Tarps Wildfire
Heavy lightning last night starts new fires, some more lightning expected today Colockum Tarps Fire nearly contained; firefighters finishing mop-up and standing by to assist in new, nearby fire starts
Wenatchee, Wash. – Firefighters were in the final phases of mopping up the burnout of the west perimeter of the 80,184-acre Colockum Tarps Fire yesterday when the predicted Red Flag Warning materialized last night, hitting southwest Washington and Cascades with lightning and increased wind. One lightning strike started a fire just north of the existing fire – west of the Columbia River and East of Kingsbury Road – that has now grown to approximately 1,400 acres (about two square miles).
Fire managers at the Colockum Tarps Fire are supporting the new, nearby fire with resources at the request of local, cooperators managing the new start. Initial attack resources, including dozers and engines, have mobilized to provide support. Incident meteorologists predict more lightning later today.
The Red Flag Warning was issued yesterday as the combination of dry fuels and incoming weather were predicted to be an aggravating factor to creating wildfires be it dry humidity, lightning, and/or strong winds, that would help quickly spread any wildfire. In this particular case, today it’s lightning that is the biggest threat to starting new fires. Light precipitation was received along the west perimeter of the two week-old Colockum Tarps Fire where burnouts had been conducted earlier this week. That perimeter has cooled down substantially, according to nightly infrared flights. Fuels are still burning throughout the interior of the fire, but these patchy, smoldering fuels and pockets of trees are not considered a threat to any of the established fire lines surrounding the fire area. The fire is 95 percent contained today. Firefighters are finishing mop-up in the Colockum Tarps Fire inside containment lines as crews and heavy equipment is being demobilized from the incident.
A Type III incident management team under the direction of Bob Marshall will assume authority for the Colockum Tarps Fire on Sunday, August 11, 2013 after a day of shadowing the current Washington Interagency Incident Management Team #4.
All Level 3 Evacuation areas near the Colockum Tarps Fire have been reduced to Level 2. Evacuation orders for the new fire north of the fire have not yet been determined. The map of Kittitas County current evacuation areas is available at http://tinyurl.com/jvz3x3u.
Many roads in the area, including the Naneum Road between “four corners” and the Colockum Road, continue to be closed. All current road closures will remain in effect through the weekend, with a reevaluation of these closures scheduled for Monday, August 12.
The Colockum Tarps Fire has been burning since Saturday, July 27, 2013, through dry grass, sagebrush and timber growing in steep drainages along the western shore of the Columbia River, 11 miles southwest of Wenatchee, Washington. It was human caused and grew rapidly.
Smoke rising from the interior of the fire may continue to be visible through August. A public information office is established in Ellensburg at the Washington Department of Natural Resources for concerns or questions about the fire at 509-925-0911.
Fire Facts – Saturday, August 10, 2013 – 0900 HOURS
Fire Size: approximately 80,184 acres Percent Contained: 95%
Evacuations: Levels 1 and 2 remain in effect in Kittitas and Chelan Counties. There are numerous road closures in the vicinity. In Kittitas County, sheltering is available for people or animals through the Red Cross as the need arises. Please contact the Emergency Operations Center at 509 933-8305 or KittCom at 509 925-8534.
Fuels: Grass, brush, with timber at the higher elevations
Air Resources: 2 Type I, 4 Type II, and 1 Type III.
Crews: 2 Type I crews; 12 Type II crews
Engines: 54 Dozers: 3 Water Tenders: 16
Total Personnel: Approx. 649
Cost to Date: $9.1 million