Update-September 11, 2020
For Immediate Release
Incident Commander: Eric Knerr, Northwest Team 7
Fire Information Phone: 530-475-4701
[Inchelium, WA] Three fires actively burning in a mix of timber and brush on the Colville Indian Reservation comprise the Inchelium Complex: the Fry Fire, the Inchelium Highway Fire, and Kewa Field Fire. All three fires are being managed for full suppression. The cause of the fires remains under investigation. Crews remain focused on point protection with an emphasis on structures and natural and cultural resources, and minimizing the footprint on all three fires. A night shift is assisting with holding and securing fire lines, with additional resources being added as they become available.
Current Situation: On the Fry Fire yesterday, fire lines remained secure on the north, east, and southern flanks. On the west flank crews worked to improve fire line. Another successful day was had on Inchelium Highway Fire with direct line completed across the entire north flank. Crews also picked up several small slopovers on the west flank. Retardant drops and fire boss water drops were used when visibility permitted to slow the spread of Kewa Field Fire. Overnight, the northeast flank of the fire pushed its way to the ridge above Stray Dog Canyon.
Fry Fire (500 acres): Crews will continue to mop up the western edge and hold and secure the north, east, and southern perimeter. A Level 2 evacuation is in effect for residents living near Twin Lakes and Meteor Road including North and South Twin.
Inchelium Highway Fire (6,507 acres): Firefighters will continue to reinforce and further secure all flanks and, when available and visibility permits, utilize aviation assets to support ground forces. A Level 2 evacuation is in effect for residents near Hall Creek Road and Seyler Valley Road.
Kewa Field Fire (10,079 acres): Work will progress to secure containment along the 1049 Road, and suppress an area of slopover that occurred across the road. Work will also continue to secure an anchor point on the southern flank. A new division has been formed for the Stray Dog Canyon area and charged with exploring containment opportunities and determining what actions will be needed to protect structures in the area with the fire’s advance towards the canyon. A Level 3 Evacuation is in effect for Stray Dog Canyon south to the Kewa Fire area. A Level 2 Evacuation is planned to go into effect in the area extending two miles north of Stray Dog Canyon.
Weather and Fire Behavior: Stable conditions going through the weekend will result in warm daytime temperatures in the 80’s and low relative humidity. West winds will develop and settle in Friday morning with breezes expected during the afternoon hours. A decrease in air quality is likely as smoke moves in from west of the Cascades. Although forecasted winds are light, a potential remains for significant fire behavior.
Road Closures: The Seyler Valley Road north of Bridge Creek is closed, and Hall Creek Road is closed. Bridge Creek Road remains open.
Evacuation Levels: For the latest evacuation information see updates from Colville Tribal Emergency Operations https://www.colvilletribes.com/five-active.
COVID-19: COVID-19 mitigations are being taken to limit exposure risks to firefighters and the Tribal community per CDC guidelines.
Size in Acres:
Water Tenders: 3
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