Lightning Continues to Cause Fires on Naches Ranger District
Incident: Conrad Lake Fire Wildfire
Continuous lightning storms on the Naches Ranger District have caused multiple fire starts over the past few days. Crews have kept the majority of the fires under one acre and will continue to monitor the areas throughout the week.
The Conrad Lake Fire, previously called the Conrad Complex, was also caused by lightning strikes on August 9th, 2013. This fire is currently within the Goat Rocks Wilderness and is estimated at 400 acres. During the afternoon, smoke from this fire may be visible from Yakima, WA. The Conrad Lake Fire is currently being managed by a Type III Incident Management Team due to the difficult terrain and aggressive fire behavior.
Recreationalist in the Rimrock Lake area may see cattle in the forest or on the roadway as they are moving north away from the Conrad Lake Fire area. These livestock are part of the Tieton cattle allotment. Forest range managers ask the public to drive slowly in this area to avoid livestock.
Another lightning strike ignited a fire in the Oak Creek Wildlife Area on August 9th. Hand crews, engines, and helicopter water drops have halted the fire at 22 acres with no change in acreage since August 11th. Crews will continue to monitor this area until the fire can be confidently called out.
Multiple lighting starts in the William O. Douglass Wilderness have been staffed by rappellers and monitored by additional air resources. Timely initial attack and modern firefighting techniques have allowed fire managers to control many of these smaller fires.
Although the chance of additional lightning is low, warm and dry weather may cause existing lightning strikes to start burning and create fires that were not visible before. The Naches Ranger District has personnel monitoring the district on land and in the air to spot any new fires.
Fire managers thank the public for their cooperation during this time and ask them to continue to adhere to fire restrictions and to comply with any fire area closures. The Okanogan-Wenatchee N.F. aims to limit the impact of the fires on recreation but continues to priority public and firefighter safety.