UPDATE – July 17, 2017 at 1:35 p.m.
From Okanogan County Emergency Management
CANYON CREEK FIRE UPDATE: Currently there is only one level 2 evacuation area in place. It is between Canyon Creek to the North, SR 153 to the West, Vinten road to the South, and a line between Vintin road and Canyon Creek to the East.
Go to WWW.okanoganDEM.org to view County Wide Advisory MAP. State Route 153 is now open with one lane piloted traffic from Carlton milepost 22 to milepost 25. The other lane is for fire and utility units to continue to work.
As of July 17, the Canyon Creek Fire is at 1,192 acres, with 10% containment. The fire is producing smoke internally, the smoke is staying in the valley due to light winds.
Original Post (July 16, 2017) – Canyon Creek Fire 10% contained, with 80-100 homes under Level 2 and 3 evacuation notices
Officials provided a press release updating the information regarding the Canyon Creek Fire located in Okanogan County near Carlton.
According to the press release, the fire began on July 15 at 12:18 p.m. along Highway 153. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. The fire that started 1 mile NE of Carlton is now approximately 1,000 acres in size.
By the end of Sunday, July 16 the fire is 10% contained along the western edge. There have been 200 personnel working on this fire with other resources including 25 engines (with 15 more coming), 5 hand crews, 11 tenders (3 more coming), 3 dozers and 3 aircraft.
The fuel has primarily been grass, heavy brush and light timber. Tow structures have been lost at this point, one being an abandoned house and the other being an outbuilding.
Here is the full text of the press release provided on July 16 by the Southeast Washington Incident Management Team One.
Carlton, WA – The Canyon Creek Fire started Saturday, July 15 at 12:18 p.m. and is located 1 mile NE of Carlton near HW 153 on the east side of roadway, which burned north and east just past Taylor Rd. Initial fire spread was quick through dry grass and heavy brush induced by Red Flag Warning weather conditions. Containment is expected to be 10% by end of day today.
If it were not for the quick actions and coordinated efforts of initial attack local crews (Okanogan County District 6, DNR and Forest Service) many homes would have been lost, and fire spread much more substantial. Last night, these same crews along with state resources brought in today stopped fire progression on the west and south sides. The east and north sides continued to spread overnight onto Forest Service land 100 acres past the ridge. Currently, there are 2 helicopters, 1 fixed-wing aircraft, 1 dozer and 1 hand crew working diligently to stop this northeastern progression.
Level 2 and 3 evacuations are still in place as of 3:30 p.m. for 80-100 homes which will be reassessed this evening. Red Cross has one Evacuation Shelter at the Twisp Community Center. Highway 153 is still closed north of Carleton due to falling trees, rocks and power lines. Crews and PUD are on scene working to clear debris and restore power.
Incident Commander Mikal Barnett and the Southeast Washington Interagency IMT were given management responsibilities by local agencies at 6 a.m. Sunday morning. Current resources include 5 hand crews, 25 engines, 11 water tenders, 3 bulldozers, and 3 aircraft. We hope to take advantage of the lower temperatures and winds from the northwest to suppress fire progression.
The public is asked to assist firefighters by considering their outdoor activities. Make sure chains and other metal parts aren’t dragging from your vehicle which cause sparks. Check your tire pressure because driving on an exposed wheel rim can also cause sparks. In addition, be careful driving through or parking on dry grass or brush as hot exhaust pipes can the grass on fire, and you may not even notice the fire until it’s too late.
UPDATE as of 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 16, 2017 (Posted by SE WA Interagency IMT One)
Good progress was made Sunday constructing containment lines with bulldozers and hand crews. We hope to have these lines in place around the entire perimeter of the fire by tomorrow (Monday) night. This is not the same as containment percentage which implies secured line with no chance of fire spreading over line.
The dozer and hand lines should reduce the risk of fire growth, but there will still be smoldering areas that could possibly escape the containment line. Crews will continue to strengthen lines which will reduce the risk of fire escape.
By the end of Sunday evening, the team hopes to have 10% of the perimeter contained preventing further spread. The Level 3 evacuations are expected to be reduced to Level 2 by tomorrow. Highway 153 is planned to be reopened tomorrow with lane restrictions.
CANYON CREEK FIRE INFORMATIONAL MEETING:
Do you want to hear what’s happening with the Canyon Creek Fire? Come meet with Southeast Washington Interagency Incident Management Team One and the local agencies to learn what is occurring on the fire lines and how it all works.
WHEN: Monday, July 17th, 7:00 p.m.
WHERE: Twisp Valley Grange Hall
344 West 2nd Ave, Twisp WA
(Compiled by Christine Eagar)