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Posted Monday 8/31/15 10:54 AM
Mother Nature showed her soft side over the weekend with more favorable fire weather conditions.
That came as a relief for firefighters battling the Wolverine and First Creek Fires...
Posted Monday 8/31/15 11 am
The lines are holding . .
That's the good news coming out of this morning's briefing on the Okanogan Complex Fire. Spokesman, Andrew Hostadt says the containment lines were tested by strong winds over the weekend but with cooler and more humid weather he says crews appear to have the upper hand . .
Hostadt says crews will be focusing alot of attention on the area of fire to the northeast of Lake Chelan near Alta Lake where homes are still threatened.
Posted Sunday noon
Despite strong winds Saturday, fire managers say growth was minimal. Rain, cooler temperatures and higher humidity are helping crews on the Okanogan Complex Sunday as they work to secure containment lines. Even with the rain, dense and large vegetation remains dry in many areas. The Tunk Block Fire (161,440 acres, 10 percent contained) Fire managers say crews made good progress building containment lines in the northeast corner of the fire Saturday. Structure protection in the Crawfish Lake area remains a high priority. Fire managers from the Okanogan Complex, and the nearby North Star Fire are coordinating firefighting efforts, as those fires are expected to grow together. The North Star Fire, to the east of the Tunk Fire, is estimated at 200,000 acres and growing. The Lime Belt/Blue Lake/Beaver Lake Fire, nearly 127 thousand acres (126,791) is 15 percent contained. Fire managers say crews worked Saturday night to protect structures on the northern end of the Lime Belt Fire and on lines keeping the fire from spreading north through the steep terrain of the Sinlahekin Valley to Loomis. Twisp River (11,831 acres, 98 percent contained): Crews have completed construction of containment line around the fire perimeter. Mop up and monitoring continue. Nine Mile Fire (4,720 acres, 98 percent contained): The fire is largely contained and in patrol and monitor status.
Posted Saturday 10-45p.m.
Latest report from fire managers..........CURRENT FIRE SITUATION: Despite strong, gusty winds, fires in the Okanogan Complex remained within containment lines Saturday. An unusually strong front pushed southerly winds through the fire area. However, those winds were not quite as strong in some area of the complex as had been expected. In addition, portions of the complex received measurable amounts of rain and cloud cover helped to moderate fire behavior. The red flag warning for high winds expired at 7 p.m. Meteorologists predict a chance of wetting rains on portions of the fire early Sunday morning. Cooler temperatures and higher humidity are also expected to aid the firefighting effort. Tunk Block Fire (161,440 acres, 10 percent contained): Fire crews and dozers made good progress in securing containment lines on the northeastern end of the fire. Structure protection crews continued efforts to protect homes within the fire perimeter near Crawfish Lake. On the southern end, fire managers from the Okanogan Complex and the North Star Fire were coordinating efforts, with the expectation that the two fires would grow together. Lime Belt/Blue Lake/Beaver Lake Fire (126,791 acres, 15 percent contained): Crews continued work on the northwestern corner of the fire, where they are securing containment line in the Sinlahekin Valley. This effort is a high priority for fire managers, who want to keep the fire from spreading to Loomis on the north end of the valley. Firefighters managed to keep the fire from moving, with the help of bucket work by helicopters. Firefighters also worked to secure containment line on the western edge of the fire. On the southwestern corner, dozer crews worked to build containment line in an effort to steer the fire toward the Tripod Fire scar. Twisp River (11,831 acres, 98 percent contained): Crews have completed construction of containment line around the fire perimeter. Mop up and monitoring continue. Nine Mile Fire (4,720 acres, 98 percent contained): The fire is largely contained and in patrol and monitor status. EVACUATIONS Information on evacuations is available from the Okanogan County Emergency Operations Center at 509-472-7348 and on its Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Okanogan.County.Emergency.Management ROAD CLOSURES Information on road closures is available from the Okanogan County Emergency Operations Center at 509-472-7348 and on its Facebook page (link above). Additional information about closures is available from the Washington State Department of Transportation at www.wsdot.com/traffic/trafficalerts
Posted Saturday 08/29/15 3-45p.m
Updates on evacuation levels from Okanogan Co. Emergency Management Facebook......
A be ready to evacuate level TWO has been ordered for an area starting at Alta lake, going north across the Methow River, to Watson Draw, to French Creek, to Texas Creek, then west to Ross Road, to State Route 153, then crossing the Methow River, to Puckett Crest, then south to Libby Creek, Gold Creek, South Fork Gold Creek, McFarland Creek, Squaw Creek, Black Canyon and back to Alta Lake. Level TWO is a be prepared to evacuate NOTICE. Persons should be aware of their surrounding and ready to leave the area immediately. This notice has been issued due to the fire advancing from Gold Creek, due to the heavy winds predicted for today, August 29, 2015. With wind activity, fires are predicted to move rapidly. Persons should evacuate sooner, rather than later. Evacuate out of the area, proceeding to the Brewster area. Shelters are open in Pateros
Posted Saturday 08/29/15 11-45 a.m.
Firefighters are bracing for gusty winds, 35-60 miles per hour possible this (sat) afternoon and early evening. On the Okanogan Complex, fire managers say those winds could cause significant growth on the Tunk Block and Lime Belt Fires. They also expect the Tunk Block Fire to merge with the North Star Fire to the east over the n ext few days. Efforts on the Tunk Block Fire, which has burned nearly 160 thousand acres (158,892) will be to build and secure containment lines on the northern and southern ends of the fire. The fire is estimated to be 10% contained. On the southern end the fire spotted over Highway 155 Friday. The Lime Belt/Blue Lake/Beaver Lake Fire, 15% contained, is estimated at over 125 thousand acres (126,782). Firefighters focused this weekend on the northwestern corner of the fire, working to secure line in the Sinlahekin Valley in an effort to keep the fire from spreading to Loomis on the north end of the valley. Good news on the Twisp River area of the complex, the nearly 12 thousand acre blaze (11,831) is 96 percent contained, although high winds may cause some torching and flare ups today. The Nine Mile Fire, 4,720 acres, is 95% contained. Overall the complex, over 300 thousand acres (302,225) is 23 % contained.
Posted Saturday 08/29/15 9am
The latest evacuation levels for the Okanogan Complex as of 4:40pm Friday Areas under Level 3 evacuation include: · Aeneas Valley, Crawfish Lake, Disautel – west to Omak, Kartar Valley, Moses Meadows, Nespelem – north to Aeneas Valley, North of South Nanamkin on Hwy 21, Owhi Flats, Tunk Area, North, Middle, South Forks Gold Creek Rd, Gold Cr. Rd. Areas under Level 2 evacuation include: · Buzzard Lake Rd, Chiliwist, Conconully, Gardener Creek Rd @ Ferry Co., Leader Lake, Loomis, Nespelem and Nespelem HUDs, Pine Forest, Pleasant Valley,Twisp River and Twisp River Drainage, S. Nanamkin Cr. - South to Cache Cr. Turnoff at Hwy. 21,, West Fork Area of Salmon Creek/west of city limits Areas under Level 1 evacuation include: · Alta Lake, Brewster, Carlton, Chesaw, Clarkston Mill, Colville Agency, Havillah, Malott, Mazama, Molson, Okanogan, Omak, Omak Flats, Oroville, Pateros, Riverside, Twisp, Sun Mtn, State Frontage Rd outside of Tonasket, and Tonasket, Twisp, Winthrop, Wolf Creek – all of the Left Fork and the Right Fork to Green Rd.
Posted 8/28/15 Friday 9:54 am
The largest wildfire in Washington state history grew by more than 22 square miles overnight, and firefighters are worried about high winds predicted for this weekend.
The Okanogan Complex of wildfires was listed at over 300-thousand acres (472 square miles) this (Friday) morning, after windy conditions Thursday pushed the fire on a couple of runs. It is only 12 percent contained.
Fire spokeswoman, Lisa Machnik (MAK-nik) says crews will be working on all four corners of the fire today . .
Temperatures are lower and humidity higher today and some light sprinkles were reported, which is good news for firefighters. But thunderstorms with high winds predicted for this weekend could fan the flames
Officials say the fire has destroyed at least 45 primary residences, 49 cabins and 60 outbuildings. Three firefighters died battling the fire last week, and a memorial service for them is planned for Sunday in Wenatchee at the Town Toyota Center. You can hear it live on News Radio 560 KPQ.
Posted 8/26/15 Wednesday 10:19 an
The Wenatchee Valley College at Omak campus remains closed today. The campus has been closed since last Thursday, Aug. 20.
If air quality remains at the hazardous level for the remainder of this week, they expect to keep the campus closed.
Students and employees should check the WVC website (wvc.edu) and Facebook page for updated information.
Summer quarter classes ended Tuesday, Aug. 18. Fall quarter classes begin Monday, Sept. 21.
Posted 8/26/15 Wednesday 10:15 am
The air battle resumed yesterday afternoon in Okanogan County after the smoke inversion lifted allowing helicopters and air tankers to do their job.
Okanogan Complex Fire spokesman, Rick Isaacson . .
Isaacson says the mood was upbeat this morning at base camp after crews reportedly made significant progress . .
Isaacson says there is a chance of rain this weekend but thunderstorms forecast ahead of the rain could be a problem in terms of new fire starts.
The fire has consumed over 288-thousand acres and the complex of fires is 15 percent contained.
Posted Tue 8/25/15
Okanogan Complex Fire managers report 15 percent containment but they stress that the fire continues to spread and more homes are threatened.
Fire spokesman, Rick Isaacson says scores of homes in the Aeneas Valley area outside of Wauconda are threatened . .
Additional resources including more boots on the ground as crews are being moved from Chelan County to the Okanogan.
Isaacson says the thick smoke that shrouds the area has reduced visibility to the point that fire-retardant air tankers have been grounded.
He reports that crews have made progress on the Twisp River Fire with new lines built in the area where three firefighters were killed last week.
The Okanogan Complex Fire has so far spread to over 256-thousand acres but that number and the number of homes lost is expected to grow over the next few days.
Posted Sunday 08-30-15
Hundreds of family members, friends, co-workers and community members attended a memorial service Sunday for the three firefighters who died while battling the Okanogan complex of wildfires...