Today increased winds and thunderstorm activity continued to push the Colockum Tarps Fire in a southerly direction. The fire has crossed Quilomene Ridge Rd near the Columbia River. The fire is also is spreading along fingers of forested drainages along the west side of the fire. In addition to the 400 people already working on the fire, three hotshot crews arrived late this morning and will be assigned to the south end of the fire. Given the remoteness of this southern section, these crews will be “spiking out,” camping out in that area to reduce travel time and exposure to hazards.
Brian Gales, incident commander, stated, “Our aviation resources are focused on keeping this new growth in check as contingency plans are being implemented.” Two “SEATs,” fixed wing aircraft that can scoop water out of the Columbia, are working this afternoon to keep the southern spread in check. The heavy Chinook helicopter is working the timbered area on the west side of the fire. Retardant drops using a DC-10 air tanker have been utilized to slow fire spread to allow ground resources time to establish control lines on the south and west.
Today the Chelan County and Kittitas County Sheriffs are re-evaluating the evacuation levels, particularly on the north end of the fire. Roads to the fire area (from both Kittitas and Chelan Counties) are closed.
While providing for public and firefighter safety, resource protection is focused on structures, three power transmission lines, a natural gas pipeline, two wind farms, timber, cultural resources particularly along the Columbia River, water quality, wildlife habitat and the Natural Area Preserve.
Cooperating agencies include the Washington Department of Natural Resources, Bureau of Land Management, Chelan County Sheriff, Chelan County Fire District 1, Washington State Patrol, Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, Kittitas Fire and Rescue, and the Kittitas County Sheriff.
Fire Facts – Monday, July 30, 2013 – 1500 HOURS
Fire Size: approximately 52,000 acres
Evacuations: Level 3 notification to Colockum, Tarpiscan, Kingsbury, Ingersol Roads.
Level 2 notification Colockum Pass Rd (north of end of pavement), Trail Creek Rd, Sheep Creek Rd, Tucker Creek Rd, Secret Canyon Rd, Ryegrass Ranches Rd, Parke Creek Rd. (north of pavement end including Hilltop Loop)
Closures: Roads to the fire area (Colockum, Parke Creek, Cooke Canyon, Coleman, Schnebly Canyon) are closed.
Percent Contained: 5%
Fuels: Grass, brush, with timber at the higher elevations
Expected Containment: Not determined
Air Resources: One light helicopter, two medium helicopters, one heavy helicopter. Two SEATs. Retardant drops using a DC-10 air tanker are ordered.
Firefighting Crews: 6 type 2 crews and 2 type 1 crews Total Personnel: Approx. 400
Water Tenders: 5"CLICK HERE" for Audio