Suiattle Fire Update: August 4th, 2017

Fire Behaviors on the Suiattle Fire

Darrington ,WA – The Suiattle Fire, 10-miles Northeast of Darrington, Washington has grown to an estimated 200 acres since it started on July 30th, 2017.   There are currently  318 personnel on scene including 2 camp crews, 7 hand crews, 2 dozers, 9 engines, 5 water tenders, two type 3 Helicopters, 2 type 2 Helicopters and one Type 1 Helicopter.  The Fire is 15% contained at this time.

Estimated Suiattle Fire Map-Photo: Incident Command

Richy Harrod, Incident Commander, said Fire behavior was more active on Thursday than the previous two days. The smoke layer continued to moderate fire behavior in spite of the critical fire weather.  The Western containment line of the fire was strengthened, providing greater protection of Forest Road 26 in anticipation of weekend recreation traffic.  Fire Crews continued to make progress on the Northern and Southern containment lines.  Crews were able to make significant progress on the ridge-tops of the Eastern containment line, partly due to a successful burn out operation in the Southeastern corner of the fire.

Suiattle Fire Hot Spots-Photo: Incident Command 

Firefighters continue to “mop-up” hot spots as shown above.    Fire Crews continued to patrol the fire overnight.

As of Friday morning, the current heat spell continued to dry out fuels. The heat combined with the rugged terrain is also affecting the firefighters abilities to directly attack the fire.   Today, crews continued to improve the containment lines with dozer work and hand line construction, mopping up as they go.

Fire crews continued to remove brush along the containment line East of Forest Road 26 to secure the road.

Additional tenders and engines arrived on Thursday and gave fire crews additional resources to supply water to the hose-lines.

Helicopter crews and hand crews are giving the area of Tenas Creek Canyon critical attention.  Helicopters are being used as needed to focus on the steep slopes in the Northeastern corner of the fire.

The Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest issued a closure order for an area around the fire.  The Suiattle River Forest Road 26 remains open but drivers are urged to reduce speeds and be aware of fire equipment operating in the area.

As of 4:00 p.m. Friday, Incident Commander Richy Harrod gave the following fire update.  A thick band of smoke produced by the extensive wildfires in British Columbia moved over the Suiattle Fire today. The smoke filtered the sunlight and produced lower temperatures and relative humidity 10-15% higher than forecasted.   These weather conditions reduced the fire behavior and allowed firefighters to continue building suppression lines on the East side of the fire from the North and South toward Tenas Creek. On the West, North and South flanks firefighters and equipment continued to strengthen existing fire lines to protect the Suiattle River Road corridor.

Forest Supervisor Jamie Kingsbury at Public Briefing in Darrington. Photo- Incident Command

Forest Roads 2640, 2650 and 2660, as well as Boulder Lake Trail #740 and Huckleberry Ridge Trail #780 remain closed.

Vehicle traffic in the area of the active fire suppression efforts put visitors and firefighters at risk. Visitors are encouraged to use alternate routes for recreation access points away from the fire.

Thank you poster made for the Firefighters by children from Kids Place Early Learning Center


About the Author

Chris Nelson
I'm a long time Skagit County Resident. I believe in doing the right thing and helping others when you can.

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