The Star - News, views and advertising of the Grand Coulee Dam Area

Coulee Medical Center ER and Walk-In Care

[UPDATE, 12:18 p.m., Aug. 29] Wind and rain hitting fire now

Successful burnouts yesterday; concentrating on saving structures in today's wind

 

Star graphic by Scott Hunter

Weather at 11:22 a.m. Saturday. Click to enlarge.

Information from the newly transitioned incident command on the North Star Fire is somewhat limited this morning, but the fire seems to have topped 200,000 acres. It's about 3.5 miles north of Nespelem and three miles south of Republic with strong winds currently blowing north, plus some rain currently over the fire.

The image here is a composite of wind and rain indications on the Radar Plus app on an iPad.

The North Star Fire Incident Command just out refers people needing road closure information to the state Department of Transportation site, which states as of 12:17 p.m. Saturday, Aug.29:

"SR 155 Both Directions - SR 155 is closed to traffic in both directions from milepost 42 at Nespelem to milepost 79 at Omak due to fire activity. There is no detour available.

Last Updated: 8/28/2015 1:49 PM

From milepost 42 to milepost 79"

[Update]

The incident command report just came out:

Fire Update – August 29, 2015 9:00 a.m. (PT)

Yesterday's Activities: As the smoke inversion lifted, the North Star Fire became more active and smoke plumes from within the perimeter were visible. The fire pushed toward the ridgetops along Highway 21 and was backing downhill.

Winds were favorable for successful burnout operations along the northeast perimeter and crews continued bringing fire southward overnight. Engines patrolled the burnout in the Moses Meadows and Lyma...n Lake area. Firefighters worked to reinforce the line connecting to Cache Creek Road. The burnout and direct dozer line in the Owhi Lake area is holding.

Crews were successful in responding to the small spot fires on the Northwest corner of the North Star Fire. Engine crews provided structure protection in the Disautel area yesterday as firefighters responded to a 100 acre spot fire east of Tunk Block Fire.

Today's Operations: Command of the North Star Fire transitioned to Pacific Northwest Team 3 this morning, other resources assigned to the fire remain in place and additional resources continue to arrive. Objectives include keeping the fire south of Republic, Highway 20 and Aeneas Valley, west of Highway 21 and north of Nespelem and the Kartar Valley. To accomplish those objectives, firefighters are building and improving fireline, conducting burnout operations as conditions permit and are being positioned to provide protection around structures.

Due to weather concerns, our priority will be point protection, which means providing for firefighter and public safety, protecting homes and critical infrastructure.

A map of the heat on the fire last night, as captured with infrared imaging from aircraft. Click to enlarge.

Weather: There is a red-flag warning for high winds in the area beginning mid-day and continuing into the evening. Gusts of 35-45 miles per hour are predicted. Temperatures are expected to be in the upper 60's to mid 70's and the relative humidity level should be between 30 and 45 percent. The southwest wind may push the fire off of the high ridges where it is perched along Highway 21 and firefighters anticipate increased fire activity along the southeast perimeter. The moisture level of fine fuels, like grasses, will increase with the predicted rain, but the heavier fuels need several days of wetting rain to make an appreciable difference in their receptiveness to fire.

Evacuations/Closure Information: Evacuation and closure information is dynamic and changes more frequently than this report is updated. For the most current evacuation information, please contact your closest Emergency Operations Center (EOC):

Colville Tribal Emergency Services 509-634-2105, Okanogan County EOC (509) 422-7206, Ferry County EOC 509-775-3132

National Forest Lands east of Tonasket and south of Highway 20 on the Tonasket Ranger District are closed. Colville Indian Reservation forest and recreational areas are closed.

Highway Closure information is available online: http://www.wsdot.com/traffic/trafficalerts

You might be interested in:
 

Reader Comments
(0)