Monday, July 14, 2008

Fire news roundup, July 14

Washington state fires-

A fire that was discovered Saturday evening 11 miles northeast of Trout Lake grew to 6,000 acres today. The Cold Springs fire on the Gifford Pinchot National Forest will be managed by the central Oregon incident management team. Forest Service employees helped 200 hikers walk down off the nearby Mount Adams as the fire burned on the south end of the mountain. Extreme fire behavior caused firefighters to be pulled off the fire on Sunday.

Update @ 2000 MT: the Cold Springs fire is now 8,000 acres and 0% contained.

The Willow Lakes fire southeast of Soap Lake has burned 6,400 acres.

The Badger Mountain fire eight miles north of Wenatchee has covered 14,722 acres and is 60% contained, with 160 homes under evacuation orders.

The Spokane Valley fire, east of Spokane, which earlier burned 13 houses, is looking better, at 1,006 acres and 70% containment. The cause of the fire is listed as "hold over recreational fire". The person responsible has been identified, but the name is not being released.

Nebraska fire-

The Oregon Trail Days fire in Scotts Bluff National Monument burned 287 acres on Friday. It spread toward the base of Dome Rock and threatened the city of Gering's water tank and a nearby home. The fast moving, wind driven fire sweep across the south half of the monument pushed by 20 mph winds. Initial attack resources were able to contain the fire to the monument. Wildland fires this large in this little national monument in western Nebraska are very rare.

This photo was taken in 2002 during a prescribed fire at Scotts Bluff NM.

Martin Mars-

The Canadian-owned Martin Mars amphibious air tanker, which holds 7,200 of water, has returned to northern California after spending the last six days on the Basin Complex fire in the Big Sur area. It landed on Lake Shasta at 2 p.m. yesterday, but won't begin fighting fires until today because its support vehicles had not arrived from the Big Sur area yet.

Martin Mars support vehicles at Lake Shasta, June 29, 2008. Photo by Eric Cassano, ShastaLake.com

National Guard firefighters-

National Guard troops from "Task Force Pick" today were assigned to the Lime complex of fires near Hyampom, Hayfork, and Platina, California today. They trained on the Telephone fire over the weekend.

State record for acres burned-

The fires in California have broken the record for the most acres burned in a single year. More than 1,700 wildfires have scorched the state this season, burning a total of 829,000 acres, or nearly 1,300 square miles, as of Monday morning. This figure includes fires on both state protected lands and National Forests.

Aussie firefighters arrive in U.S.-

The 45 firefighters from Australia and New Zealand arrived at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise yesterday to prepare for their assignment on the California fires. They will be working two 14-day assignments with a break in between. The entire expedition for them, including travel, briefing, fire assignments, and R&R, will last about 40 days.

Some of the positions they will be filling include Division Supervisors, Task Force Leaders, Helicopter Managers, and liaison personnel.

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