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  • #76
    9/10/06

    CLE ELUM, Wash. (AP) - Cooler weekend temperatures slowed
    wildfire growth in Washington state, enabling crews to strengthen
    fire lines before the return of warmer weather later this week.
    Three National Guard helicopters dropped water Sunday on the
    perimeter of a lightning-caused fire burning in central Washington,
    focusing on the south and southeast edges of the blaze.
    The Polallie fire, 15 miles northeast of Cle Elum in the Alpine
    Lakes Wilderness, was 3 percent contained at 900 acres. It began
    Sept. 4. More than 270 firefighters were assigned to the fire,
    which is burning next to areas where spruce budworm has killed many
    trees, creating potential fuel. Minimal fire activity Saturday
    helped firefighters complete structure protection and reduce fuels
    along the Cooper and Fish Lake roads.
    A precautionary evacuation alert remained in effect for
    residents of about a dozen summer cabins, and more than two dozen
    trails leading into the area were been closed.
    In north-central Washington, an evacuation order remained in
    force for 25 to 30 homes and businesses threatened by the Flick
    Creek fire, burning near Stehekin Landing and along Lake Chelan.
    The fire was estimated at 6,511 acres, or about 10 square miles,
    and was 35 percent contained. It has been threatening the town of
    Stehekin at the north end of the lake intermittently since it was
    accidentally started by a campfire July 26.
    The Tinpan fire, about 40 miles northeast of Entiat, was burning
    more than 12 square miles, or 8,197 acres, in the Glacier Peak
    Wilderness. About 108 firefighters were assigned to the blaze.
    The two largest wildfire clusters in the state, the Columbia
    complex and Tripod complex, remained relatively calm, showing
    little increase over the weekend.
    The lightning-caused Columbia complex near Dayton has burned
    more than 159 square miles of wheat fields, brush and forest in
    southeastern Washington and was 65 percent contained. Despite
    gusting winds, fire lines to the east held Saturday and crews
    Sunday began cutting lines in the Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness.
    The Tripod complex, about seven miles northwest of Winthrop in
    north-central Washington, has charred nearly 267 square miles just
    south of the U.S.-Canadian border and was 60 percent contained.
    The Tatoosh complex, 18 miles northwest of Mazama, was estimated
    at 39,470 acres -about 62 square miles - and extends into Canada.
    U.S. and Canadian fire managers also were monitoring the Van
    Peak fire, which had seared 1,034 acres between the Tripod and
    Tatoosh fires and about five miles south of the border.
    The Cedar Creek fire, about 8 miles southwest of Mazama, was 40
    percent contained at about two square miles or 1,500 acres.

    (Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

    Comment


    • #77
      Sept 11th 2006

      STEHEKIN, Wash. (AP) - Residents of this remote community
      watched and waited Monday to see if firefighters could secure lines
      around a wildfire threatening the town.
      About 100 people, mostly tourists, evacuated Stehekin during the
      weekend after authorities issued a mandatory evacuation notice for
      about 25 homes and businesses. The town sits at the end of Lake
      Chelan in mountainous northcentral Washington and is reachable only
      by boat, floatplane, horse or on foot.
      The evacuation closed Stehekin Landing, the main dock for boats,
      as well as the post office, a visitor center operated by the
      National Park Service and several rental cabins and businesses.
      The Flick Creek fire has intermittently threatened the town
      since it was accidentally started by a campfire July 26. The fire
      has burned more than 11 square miles, about 7,300 acres, on the
      east shore of the lake.
      Heavy winds during the weekend pushed the fire closer to
      Stehekin, coming to within 25 yards of the Golden West Visitor
      Center. A heavy inversion slowed the fire's progress Monday,
      allowing firefighters on the ground to attack it directly, said
      Mick Mueller, U.S. Forest Service spokesman. But the inversion also
      grounded helicopters, which hampered firefighting efforts.
      About 60 residents reside miles from the dock on a one-way road.
      Those residents remained under notice they might have to flee if
      the fire grows, Mueller said.
      "It's not so much about fire front movement, and immediate
      threat to the homes. It's the road," Mueller said. "If the fire
      hooks around and cuts off the road, there's no other way out of
      there."
      Regular ferry service to Stehekin was canceled Monday until the
      mandatory evacuation order is lifted. Lake Chelan Boat Co., which
      operates ferries on the lake, will run limited sightseeing trips
      that do not dock in Stehekin, business manager Cindy Engstrom said.
      At the state's largest fire, the Tripod complex northwest of
      Winthrop, U.S. and Canadian crews worked to connect containment
      lines at the north and northeast corner of the fire. The fire has
      burned to within one mile of the Canadian border on its northern
      flank.
      An estimated 270 square miles, or 172,319 acres, have been
      scorched by the lightning-sparked blaze. About 1,500 firefighters
      were assigned to the fire, which was 65 percent contained Monday.
      Residents in the north Cascades community of Mazama remained on
      notice they may have to evacuate if the Cedar Creek fire grows. The
      fire was burning about eight miles southwest of town, but was 40
      percent contained. The fire, started by lightning, has burned about
      2½ square miles, or 1,564 acres.
      U.S. crews also were monitoring the nearby Tatoosh and Van Peak
      fires, which were also sparked by lightning. Last week, the Tatoosh
      fire burned into Canada, where firefighters were actively attacking
      the blaze. The fire has burned more than 61 square miles, or 39,470
      acres.
      The Van Peak fire stood at 1,034 acres about 25 miles northeast
      of Mazama.
      Nearly 200 firefighters were managing the Tinpan fire in the
      Glacier Peak Wilderness Area, which was being allowed to burn
      within established boundaries. The fire has burned about 8,197
      acres.
      Farther south, the Polallie fire near Cle Elum grew to 905 acres
      and was 7 percent contained. A hotshot crew from Vale, Ore.,
      constructed fire lines west of the Waptus River along the southern
      perimeter of the fire. About 310 firefighters were assigned to the
      blaze.
      The Columbia complex in southeastern Washington near Dayton was
      75 percent contained Monday, although 1,053 firefighters remained
      on the scene.
      Investigators determined that 30 structures were destroyed by
      the blaze immediately after lightning sparked it Aug. 21. They
      included one full-time home, five seasonal residences and seven
      abandoned buildings.
      Also Monday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Monday
      lifted an outdoor burn ban for the Colville and Kalispel Indian
      reservations, as well as the Umatilla reservation in Oregon and the
      Fort Hall reservation in Idaho. The EPA had ordered the burn ban Friday due to
      heavy smoke
      conditions.

      (Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
      Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
      Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

      *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
      On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

      Comment


      • #78
        9/12/06

        By SHANNON DININNY
        Associated Press Writer
        STEHEKIN, Wash. (AP) - As smoke billowed from a nearby hillside
        and firefighters cut trees and brush along a dead-end road, fire
        managers expressed cautious optimism Tuesday that they would be
        able to contain a threatening wildfire before it damages this
        remote community.
        About 60 residents remained under notice they may have to
        evacuate if the Flick Creek fire grows, but their greatest concern
        was the economic impact the wildfire was having on the town.
        Located in mountainous northcentral Washington, Stehekin sits at
        the end of 60-mile-long Lake Chelan and is reachable only by boat,
        floatplane, horse or foot. The town is surrounded by wilderness
        area, the North Cascades National Park and U.S. Forest Service
        land, and residents have created a haven for tourists looking to
        escape busy lifestyles.
        Miles of trail and a lack of communication with the outside
        world - Stehekin residents do not have telephone service - have
        made the scenic area a popular destination.
        The Flick Creek fire, however, has blackened more than 11 square
        miles next to town, to within yards of the National Park Service
        visitor center, a post office and several other buildings.
        Authorities ordered a mandatory evacuation of the boat landing,
        effectively halting tourism in the valley.
        Cliff Courtney, who runs the local lodge, estimates he is losing
        $3,000 per day as long as the mandatory evacuation is in effect.
        The 35 rooms at the lodge sat empty Tuesday.
        "Until this, it was a terrific summer," he said. "I think
        with what we have done and where we're going, we have a good plan
        for the next few days with the fire."
        Another business owner, Kathy Dinwiddie, asked during a public
        meeting if there wasn't some creative way to boat tourists to an
        alternative area, particularly those tourists who might like to
        visit and also be "entertained watching a national disaster."
        Dinwiddie owns Silver Bay Inn, which rents four rooms.
        "As soon as it is reasonable and safe to lift the (evacuation),
        we will do that," said Bill Paleck, North Cascades National Park
        superintendent. "We appreciate the inconvenience, the financial
        cost, the problem this whole thing is creating."
        Residents were far more receptive to fire managers than a day
        earlier, when some heatedly criticized firefighters' efforts to
        contain a fire that has raged for nearly seven weeks.
        Courtney conceded he asked some "pointed questions" at that
        meeting.
        "We have some questions that are valid questions," he said,
        but added that any concerns could wait to be addressed after the
        fire is out. At that point, fire managers and residents should
        review the efforts made to learn from any possible mistakes and
        prepare for the future.
        The fire was holding in an area called Imus Creek, away from the
        single road leading into the Stehekin Valley, where it reaches a
        dead end.
        Between 75 and 100 firefighters battled the blaze Tuesday, along
        with three helicopters that continually dropped water on hot spots.
        The bigger problem has been the shortage of firefighting
        resources across the West, said Susan Husari, regional fire
        management officer for the National Park Service.
        "I've rarely seen resources stretched this thin. There's so
        many geographic areas that are so busy simultaneously," she said.
        Elsewhere in Washington, fire crews continued to build fire
        lines around the Polallie fire in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area,
        about 15 miles northwest of Cle Elum in Washington's central
        Cascade Mountains.
        Firefighters burned nearby vegetation to slow the fire's spread,
        and helicopters dropped water on the perimeter to cool the blaze.
        The fire has burned 1,014 acres, and was 27 percent contained.
        Farther north, The Tripod complex continued to creep toward the
        Canadian border less than one mile away. The state's largest fire,
        the blaze has blackened an estimated 270 square miles, or 172,956
        acres. The fire was 65 percent contained.
        More than 1,400 firefighters battled the fire.
        Residents in the North Cascades community of Mazama remained on
        notice they may have to evacuate if the Cedar Creek fire grows. The
        fire, started by lightning, has burned 1,608 acres southwest of
        Mazama, but was 40 percent contained Tuesday.
        Crews also were continued to monitor the nearby Tatoosh and Van
        Peak fires, which were also sparked by lightning. The Tatoosh fire
        has consumed 77 square miles, or 49,378 acres, while the Van Peak
        fire stood at 1,034 acres about 25 miles northeast of Mazama.
        Nearly 200 firefighters were working the Tinpan fire in the
        Glacier Peak Wilderness Area, which was being allowed to burn
        within established boundaries. The fire has burned about 8,197
        acres.
        At the Columbia complex in southeastern Washington near Dayton,
        fire managers reopened part of one road to allow access to an
        estimated 70 seasonal cabins. Crews continued to burn vegetation
        not yet consumed by the blaze to slow its growth.
        The fire has burned 161 square miles, or 103,100 acres, since
        lightning sparked it Aug. 21. More than 1,000 firefighters battled
        the fire, which was 80 percent contained.

        (Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
        Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
        Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

        *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
        On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

        Comment


        • #79
          September 13th

          By SHANNON DININNY
          Associated Press Writer
          STEHEKIN, Wash. (AP) - Even fire managers concede that residents
          are anxious, frustrated and in some cases angry that a wildfire
          continues to threaten this remote mountain community nearly seven
          weeks after it was started accidentally by a campfire.
          Even so, residents praised the latest plan for battling the
          Flick Creek fire, despite loss of their thriving tourism trade.
          "I think with what we have done and where we're going, we have
          a good plan for the next few days with the fire," said Cliff
          Courtney, who operates Stehekin Valley Ranch.
          Early Wednesday, winds pushed the fire beyond Imus Creek,
          forcing fire managers to put everyone in the entire Stehekin Valley
          on notice they might have to leave. That notice affects about 100
          residents, up from the previous 60.
          The outlook Wednesday was for cooler temperatures in the 70s,
          but westerly winds of 20 to 25 mph also were forecast, with evening
          gusts to 35 mph.
          "The gusty winds have to put us into a defensive posture. We're
          going to have to be reactive," said U.S. Forest Service spokesman
          Mick Mueller. "On the other hand, the direction of those winds is
          in our favor."
          North Cascades National Park officials also closed Weaver Point
          Campground on the western shore of Lake Chelan for firefighters'
          use, Mueller said.
          Fire crews could get a break later this week. The National
          Weather Service forecast much cooler temperatures and rain Thursday
          and Friday for the east slopes of the North Cascades.
          Stehekin sits at the northern end of 60-mile-long Lake Chelan in
          mountainous northcentral Washington and is reachable only by boat,
          float plane, horse or foot. The town is surrounded by wilderness,
          the national park and Forest Service land.
          Miles of trail and a lack of communication with the outside
          world - there is no telephone service - have made the scenic area a
          popular destination.
          The Flick Creek fire, however, has blackened more than 11 square
          miles to within yards of the National Park Service visitor center,
          a post office and several other buildings.
          Authorities ordered a mandatory evacuation of the boat landing,
          effectively halting tourism.
          Courtney estimates he is losing $3,000 per day as long as the
          mandatory evacuation is in effect. The 35 rooms at his lodge sat
          empty Tuesday.
          "Until this, it was a terrific summer," he said.
          Kathy Dinwiddie, who rents out four rooms as owner of the Silver
          Bay Inn, asked during a meeting Tuesday if there wasn't some
          creative way to boat tourists to an alternative area, particularly
          those tourists who might like to visit and also be "entertained
          watching a national disaster."
          "As soon as it is reasonable and safe to lift the (evacuation),
          we will do that," said Bill Paleck, North Cascades National Park
          superintendent. "We appreciate the inconvenience, the financial
          cost, the problem this whole thing is creating."
          Residents were far more receptive to fire managers than a day
          earlier, when some heatedly criticized efforts to contain a fire
          that has been burning for nearly seven weeks. Courtney said he
          asked some "pointed questions" at that meeting.
          "We have some questions that are valid questions," he said,
          adding that those concerns can be addressed after the fire is out,
          when fire managers and residents should conduct a review to learn
          from any mistakes and prepare for the future.
          Between 75 and 100 firefighters battled the blaze Tuesday, along
          with three helicopters that dropped water on hot spots.
          A critical problem has been the shortage of firefighters across
          the West, said Susan Husari, regional fire management officer for
          the National Park Service.
          "I've rarely seen resources stretched this thin. There's so
          many geographic areas that are so busy simultaneously," she said.
          Elsewhere in the state:
          -Crews continued to build fire lines around the 1,014-acre
          Polallie fire, which was 27 percent contained in the Alpine Lakes
          Wilderness Area, about 15 miles northwest of Cle Elum in the
          central Cascade Range. Firefighters burned nearby vegetation, and
          helicopters dropped water on the perimeter.
          -Farther north, more than 1,400 firefighters battled the state's
          biggest burn, the Tripod complex, which continued to creep toward
          the Canadian border about a quarter-mile away. The blaze has
          blackened about 270 square miles, or 172,956 acres, and was 65
          percent contained.
          -Residents of Mazama remained on notice to evacuate if the Cedar
          Creek fire grows. The lightning-caused fire has burned 1,608 acres
          southwest of the North Cascades town and but was 40 percent
          contained.
          -Crews monitored the nearby Tatoosh and Van Peak fires, also
          sparked by lightning. The Tatoosh fire has consumed 81 square
          miles, or 52,237 acres, and has burned well into British Columbia,
          while the Van Peak fire stood at 1,405 acres about 25 miles
          northeast of Mazama.
          -Nearly 200 firefighters were working the 8,197-acre Tinpan fire
          in the Glacier Peak Wilderness Area, which was being allowed to
          burn within established boundaries.
          -More than 1,000 firefighters battled the lightning-caused
          Columbia complex near Dayton in southeastern Washington as fire
          managers reopened part of a road to about 70 seasonal cabins. Crews
          continued to burn vegetation not yet consumed by the blaze to slow
          its growth. The fire has burned 161 square miles, or 103,100 acres,
          since it started Aug. 21 and was 80 percent contained.

          (Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
          Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
          Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

          *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
          On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

          Comment


          • #80
            By SHANNON DININNY
            Associated Press Writer
            CONCONULLY, Wash. (AP) - Smoke still rises from smoldering
            stumps in north-central Washington, months after a wildfire roared
            through 274 square miles of state and federal land.
            To protect the hundreds of miles of scorched roads, trails,
            river channels and wildlife habitat from erosion, the U.S. Forest
            Service hopes to spend $28 million over the next two years to
            complete what may be the most expensive rehabilitation project it
            has ever undertaken.
            "The flames have died down, and the firefighters have gone
            home, but the work is just beginning," said Doug Jenkins, a Forest
            Service spokesman.
            The large fire - the result of two fires joining after being
            sparked separately by lightning in July - burned 175,184 acres just
            south of the Canadian border, briefly threatening the hamlets of
            Conconully and Loomis, tucked away in the thick Okanogan and
            Wenatchee national forests.
            The forests, devastated by a bark beetle outbreak, provided
            ready fuel. In some areas, all the ground cover or duff - small or
            downed trees and branches, bushes and shrubs - burned away.
            Standing trees are but scorched sticks, their root systems beyond
            repair. Soil has been seared to a fine, gray ash. Twenty-three
            percent of the fire zone burned severely.
            The recovery effort doesn't try to replace what's been damaged
            by the fire, but to reduce further harm to now-fragile land that is
            exposed to the elements. The team - composed of engineers,
            botanists, biologists and cultural resources specialists, among
            others - evaluates hazards and develop a recovery plan.
            The Forest Service already received $14 million to begin the
            work this fall before heavy snow falls, and hopes the rest of the
            money will be approved next year to complete the project.
            Work includes clearing downed trees and cutting hazard trees
            that have been weakened and could fall on 259 miles of road and 70
            miles of trail inside the fire lines. Culverts must be rebuilt, and
            in some cases enlarged, to handle runoff from snow and rain in the
            coming months.
            Erosion poses the biggest risk, resulting in landslides and
            sediment loading in streams important to threatened and endangered
            fish, said Mel Bennett, a forest hydrologist assigned to the
            recovery team.
            An estimated 270 truckloads of straw have been delivered to the
            fire area alone. It will be dropped by helicopter in 1-ton bales
            over the heaviest burn areas. The straw provides cover from rain
            and snow for scorched soil.
            Less severely burned areas are to be fertilized to help damaged
            plants recover. Roughly 7,000 acres are to be seeded with sturdy
            grasses, and workers will clear such noxious weeds as diffuse
            knapweed and Dalmatian toadflax that could choke out emerging
            plants.
            Terry Lillybridge, a plant ecologist on the team, estimates a
            50-50 chance of success.
            "The success of seeding depends on what happens next spring,"
            he said. "You end up with a rainstorm that might not normally be a
            problem on a vegetated slope, become a problem. Maybe in a case
            where 80 percent of the rainfall might soak in, maybe 80 percent
            comes downstream instead."
            For Jenkins, Bennett and Lillybridge, the operation is the
            largest they can remember after many years with the Forest Service.
            "It's the biggest I've been associated with in my recent memory
            - at least in the last 30 years," Bennett said.
            The most expensive post-fire rehabilitation effort came after a
            blaze in Colorado's Pike-San Isabel National Forest, which consumed
            133 homes en route to scorching 215 square miles in 2002, said
            forest spokeswoman Cass Cairns. The recovery cost was $18.1
            million.
            The Washington fire won't be contained until the area sees three
            days of rain equaling a half-inch or 5 inches of snow.

            (Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
            Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
            Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

            *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
            On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

            Comment

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