Update-September 15, 2020 

For Immediate Release 

Incident Commander: Eric Knerr, Northwest Team 7 

Fire Information Phone: 530-475-4701 

Email: 2020.incheliumcomplex@firenet.gov

 [Inchelium, WA] Three fires currently burning in a mix of timber and brush on the Colville Indian Reservation comprise the Inchelium Complex: the Fry Fire, Inchelium Highway Fire, and Kewa Fields 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. 

Current Situation: Yesterday on Inchelium Highway Fire crews discovered a small slopover on the northwest flank. It was quickly lined and crews spent the day mopping up and securing the area. The east, south, and west flanks of the fire have been holding, enabling firefighters to focus their efforts in and around homes and structures within the fire perimeter. At Kewa Fields Fire hand crews continued to improve and secure fire lines around the northeast, east, and southeast flanks. The indirect contingency line, which starts on Coyote Creek Road and moves towards the west, was completed should it be needed. All lines on Fry Fire are holding as work continued to mop up further into the fire area. 

Today’s Operations: 

Inchelium Highway Fire (7,147 acres): Crews will continue to mop up and strengthen control lines around structures within the perimeter and improve fire lines on all flanks. A Level 2 evacuation is in effect for residents near Hall Creek Road and Seyler Valley Road. 

Kewa Fields Fire (11,311 acres): Crews will continue to improve and hold containment lines on the northeast, east, and southeast flanks. Aided by moderated weather, firefighters plan to use direct tactics to build fire line along the active fire edge of the slopover south of Cougar Canyon Road. More resources are being shifted to the west as hand crews and heavy equipment advance up the western edge, building line and preparing roads for containment. A Level 2 Evacuation remains in effect in the vicinity of the southwest flank of Kewa Fields Fire in the proximity of Wilmont Creek Road, and the area extending two miles north of Stray Dog Canyon, and within Stray Dog Canyon. 

Fry Fire (482 acres): Some mop up work remains to be done in the drainage to completely secure and contain the fire. A Level 2 evacuation is in effect for residents living near Twin Lakes and Meteor Road including North and South Twin. 

Weather and Fire Behavior: Winds will be light with temperatures in the upper 60s and relative humidity in the 40s. Fire behavior will be persistent but greatly inhibited under the smoke. Snags will likely continue to burn close to the ground, increasing their potential to fall. Any previous undetected spot fires are likely still smoldering and may be difficult to detect. 

Smoke: The weak front that passed through the area last night will do little to lessen the inversion over the area. An upper level high pressure system is expected to further strengthen the inversion. Winds from the south could continue to bring smoke from fires in Oregon and California into the area. 

Road Closures: The Seyler Valley Road north of Bridge Creek is closed, and Hall Creek Road is closed. Bridge Creek Road is open. 

Evacuation Levels: For the latest evacuation information see updates from Colville Tribal Emergency Operations https://www.colvilletribes.com/active-fires

COVID-19: Mitigations are being taken to limit exposure risks to firefighters and the Tribal community per CDC guidelines.

 Quick Facts 

Incident Summaries 

Inchelium Complex 

Approximate 

Size in Acres: 

18,940 

Fire Containment: 

53% 

Incident Commander 

Eric Knerr 

Resources on the fire: 

Crews: 8 

Engines: 19 

Water Tenders: 12 

Dozers: 16 

Helicopter: 2 

Total 

Personnel: 

483 

Structures Damaged: 

13 

Jurisdiction: 

Colville Agency 

Washington Smoke Blog 

https://wasmoke.blogspot.com 

Inciweb https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7177/ 

Facebook 

www.facebook.com/ColvilleTribune 

www.facebook.com/CCTBroadcasts 

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