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Update on Okanogan Complex Fires 9/13/2012
The Okanogan Complex received several new resources yesterday to continue to work on the three fires in the Methow Valley. Containment progress has been made on the complex but fire managers are still maintaining the Level 3 evacuation in the Gold Creek area.
Road restrictions are still in place on North Fork Gold Creek Forest System Road (FSR) 4340, South Fork Gold Creek FSR 4330, Benson Creek Road FSR 4150, FSR 4150-300, and 4150-200. Road closures provide for public safety and allow emergency vehicles safe access. Trails from Foggy Dew and Crater Creek are also closed at this time.
The gradual warming trend is expected to continue today and tomorrow in the complex area. Relative humidities are expected to be in the teens. The combination of lower humidities, higher temperatures, and a Haines Index of 5 could lead to increased fire activity in the afternoon.
Recent fuel treatments have greatly contributed to firefighter progress on the landscape. Commercial thinning and under-burning treatments completed by the Methow Valley Ranger District have made it possible for firefighting personnel to safely and effectively work in the area. The Leecher fire dramatically slowed in areas that received under-burning treatments this spring.
Public and fire fighter safety continues to be high priority. Firefighters have been successful in protecting all structures. Safety concerns in the area include the steep terrain, snakes, mine shafts and other mining remains, and deer on the roadway.