Cougar Creek Fire is at 30,000 acres

by Richard Uhlhorn

The Cougar Creek Fire has grown to 31,062 acres, but the 1225 personnel assigned to this fire have it 28 percent contained.

A public meeting was held at the Performing Arts Center last night for those residents and visitors who are interested and/or concerned about the fire activity.

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Chelan District Ranger Kari Grover-Weir took the time out of a public meeting at the Performing Arts Center to report on the Cougar Creek Fire at the Chelan City Council meeting on Tuesday evening.

Kari Grover-Weir, Chelan Ranger, visited the Chelan City Council meeting last night and reported that the fire is almost to Ardenvoir. “It’s burning on the east side of the Entiat River and we are really concerned about that,” she said. Crews have been putting in hand lines to hold the fire line.

She also told the Council that the smoke “unfortunately, is going to be with us for awhile.” She stated that the smoke isn’t just from the Cougar Creek fire, but from fires all around the region and into California.

Grover-Weir also told the Council that Incident Team 5 has put a Level I evacuation notice on Navarre Coulee and First Creek as a safety measure. This is not an evacuation notice and is only to let people know that they should prepare in case the fire blows up and evacuation is inevitable.

Asked if the Team has long range spotters on line in case of a high wind event, Grover-Weir stated that they were keeping a close eye on fire spotting. “The ash you are seeing in the valley is cool.” Ash was noted floating in the lake on Tuesday.

Incident Team Report –Wednesday – 8/15/18

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Burnout operations will continue on the Cougar Creek Fire as long as the weather continues to be moderate. (File Photo ©Richard Uhlhorn – 1994 Tyee Complex)

Yesterday, the Cougar Creek Fire had moderate uphill, flanking and backing runs. The light winds and an inversion continued moderate fire behavior which allowed crews to perform burn out operations to improve the depth on the most vulnerable portions of the fire lines.

This morning’s weather report have winds following upslope/up valley but will become breezy in the afternoon as westerly winds move across the Cascade Crest. These winds will hold through Thursday, especially at the ridge tops. Temperatures will be in the mid-80s to low 90s around the 3,000 foot level.

Today’s planned action includes constructing fire lines when and where appropriate, and can be accomplished safely. Crews will prepare and improve roads, trail systems, dozer scars, and exisiting contingency lines in preparation for burnout operations.

They will perform and hold burn out operations and safely permit to secure the southeast portion of the fire perimeter. They will also be providing structure defense for threatened structures.

Residents and vistors to the Lake Chelan Valley should recognize the health hazards of the continued smoke event that will probably remain in the Valley for several months.

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