Colockum Tarps Fire Update July 31, 2013 0900 Hrs
Incident: Colockum Tarps Wildfire
New Level 3 Evacuation Notification. The Kittitas County Sheriff is currently working to notify people in the Upper Park Creek, Secret Canyon, Hill Top, upper sections of Little Caribou, Sheep Creek and Trail Creek that Evacuation Level 3 is now in effect in their area. This means that residents should leave the area immediately, being cautious for firefighter and law enforcement traffic. A shelter is being set up in Ellensburg at the Mercer Creek Church. Please refer to http://www.co.kittitas.wa.us or call the county’s Emergency Operations Center at 509 933-8305 for additional updates.
Wenatchee, Wash., – On Tuesday afternoon, crews responded to increased winds that pushed the fire to the south and west. Engine crews were redirected to help strengthen existing fire lines and construct new ones. Four helicopters, two single engine airtankers “SEATs” (scooper aircraft) and one large air tanker (a modified DC-10) were also used to drop water and retardant to slow the spread of the fire. Two Type 1 (Hotshot) crews worked to check the spread of the fire along the Bonneville Power line on the west side of the fire. One Type 1 crew was transported by boat across the Columbia River to construct line westward from the river. For the next few days an elite Washington DNR fire crew and these three hotshot crews will be camping close to their work areas. Fire officials are watching forecasted thunderstorm activity the next two days and the potential for dry lightning and erratic winds that could push the fire in many directions.
This morning, winds from the east at 5-10 miles per hour have been pushing the fire toward the west. This has elevated evacuations of residential areas to the west of the fire. See above.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Kittitas County Sheriff issued a Level 3 Evacuation Notification for an area along the west side of the Columbia River from the county line to Scammon Landing and Skookcumchuck Creek. The Chelan County Sheriff reduced the Level 3 Evacuation for areas north of the fire to a Level 2 ‘be ready to go’ pre-evacuation notification. Roads north of the fire are open for local use only and residents are cautioned to be on the lookout for heavy fire traffic in the area.
People who are affected by smoke can obtain current air quality monitoring information is available online from the WA State Department of Ecology at https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/enviwa/.
Fire Facts – Wednesday, July 31, 2013 – 0900 HOURS
Fire Size: approximately 59,316 acres Percent Contained: 8%
Evacuations: In effect in Kittitas and Chelan Counties County. Numerous road closures in the fire vicinity.
Fuels: Grass, brush, with timber at the higher elevations
Air Resources: One light, two medium, and one heavy helicopter. Two SEATs (scooper aircraft). Additional fire retardant drops on order.
Firefighting Crews: Three Type 1 crews and six Type 1 crews Total Personnel: Approx. 400
Engines: 15 Dozers: 5 Water Tenders: 5