Manastash Ridge Fire Update Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Incident: Manastash Ridge Fire Wildfire
Cool moist weather continues.Firefighting crews take advantage of subdued fire behavior to build containment lines closer to active fire edge.
Cle Elum, Wash. – The 2,352-acre Manastash Ridge Fire has the potential to spread quickly between lichen-laden tree crowns. However, when relative humidity is high, those fine strands of lichens are much less flammable and fire behavior is subdued. Recent cool moist weather, with one quarter-inch of rain, and the knowledge built over several days of ground and aerial reconnaissance are helping fire crews to safely anchor lines and start containment work close to the fire itself.
“Getting to the stage we can implement these new tactics has truly been a team effort,” said incident commander Larry Nickey. As the fire burned actively initially, crews rapidly built and reinforced extensive contingency fire line by widening and clearing along Manastash Road (FS 3100), approximately 1.5 miles from the torching, spotting fire. As conditions allowed, firefighters have scouted out containment opportunities, helispots and safe access points closer to the fire. Today, six hotshot crews are focusing their work closer to the fire perimeter, building and reinforcing new containment lines tying into natural barriers, jeep and hiking trails.
The fire is currently only five percent contained. Without losing attention to current and expected weather and safe work conditions, swift progress is expected. Success will depend on retaining critical resources and weather. There is a chance of thunderstorms in the area today. Cool, moist weather is expected to continue through Thursday, with a return to warmer, drier weather next week.
To protect firefighter and public safety, the vicinity of this fire has been closed to public access by the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forests. The area closure includes Township 18N, Range 14E Sections 3, 10-14, 24, 25; Township 18N, Ranger 15E Sections 8, 10, 16, 18,19-36; Township 17N, Range 15E Section 1-4. Included in the area closure are Forest Service Roads 3100 (Manastash Canyon Road), 3120, 3111, 3111-115, 3111-117, and Trails 1366, 1345, 4W311, 1350, 1385, 4W306, 694. Details of this closure boundary, a map, and other road and trail closures are available on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forests web site.Visitors need to drive carefully and stay out of closure areas. Only firefighters, Forest Service or other agency personnel, and law enforcement are allowed access to closure areas.
The Washington Interagency Incident Management Team #4 is also managing the 1,066-acre Conrad Lake Fire. The Conrad Lake Fire, located 35 miles southwest of Naches, is currently 25% contained. The low containment level is due to the fire having so much open line in the wilderness. Fire behavior has been minimal, due to cool weather and rain. Yesterday, the Conrad Lake Fire continued backing downhill toward Phantom Lake. Approximately 116 firefighters are mopping up and monitoring the Conrad Lake Fire and have contingency plans ready if fire behavior should change.
Conrad Lake Fire road closure information is available from Manastash Fire Information (509) 964-2138, the Naches Ranger District (509) 653-1401, or the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forests web site.
Fire danger remains very high. Please check the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest website for current campfire restrictions. To stay informed of changing air quality conditions, view http://wasmoke.blogspot.com/
Manastash Ridge Fire Facts – Tuesday, August 27, 2013 – 0900 HOURSFire Size: approximately 2,352 acres
Percent Contained: 5%
Evacuations: No homes or structures threatened.
Manastash Ridge Closures Summary: A detailed list of closures is available on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest website. On the Naches Ranger District this includes Forest Service Road 1701 before the Funny Rocks Area and the 1900 road system leading north from Little Naches to Quartz Mountain. On the Cle Elum Ranger District, the area closure prohibits being within the boundaries of the posted closure including Forest Service Road 3100 (Manastash Canyon Road) west of the Forest Boundary.
Fuels: Heavy ground and ladder fuels, high elevation subalpine fir and whitebark pine forest.
Air Resources: Aircraft available to the Manastash Ridge and the Conrad Lake Fires are being shared. Two air attack platforms, two Type II helicopters and one Type III helicopter. A Type I helicopter and third Type II helicopters are expected today.
Crews: 6 Type I crews and 13 Type II hand crews.
Engines: 5 Dozers: 2 Water Tenders: 5 Road graders: 2
Total Personnel: 491
Conrad Lake Fire Facts – Tuesday, August 27, 2013 – 0900 HOURSFire Size: approximately 1,066 acres
Percent Contained: 25%
Evacuations: No homes or structures threatened.
Conrad Lake Closures Summary: Road closures near the Conrad Lake Fire include National Forest Roads 1000, 1204, 1205, 1200-725, and the 1070 between its junctions between the 1000 Road and 1070-595 Road. Trail closures include Bear Creek Mountain Trail #1130 and Conrad Meadows. Area closures include Rimrock Peninsula Recreation Area and the boat launch. There is no access from the 1200 Road onto the 1200-711, 1200-712, 1200-713, 1200-714, 1200-715, 1200-716, 1200-725, and 1200-653 roads.
Fuels: Timber litter and understory, meadows.
Air Resources: Aircraft available to the Manastash Ridge and the Conrad Lake Fires are being shared. Two air attack platforms, two Type II helicopters and one Type III helicopter with a Type I helicopter and additional Type II helicopter expected today.
Crews: 2 Type II hand crews
Engines: 4 Dozers: 0 Water Tenders: 5
Total Personnel: 116