July 17, 2014
Contact: Lone Mountain Fire Information
July 17, 2014 9:00 a.m., Marblemount, WA – The Lone Mountain Fire, about five miles northwest of Stehekin, Washington in high rugged mountains of the Boulder Creek drainage, has grown to 200 acres. That includes a spot fire of about 40 acres that started across Butte Creek from the main fire.
The blaze is burning up and away from Stehekin in brush, standing dead trees and fallen dead trees with a few islands of mature live forest.
Firefighters have a couple advantages in protecting Stehekin. The North Cascades National Park crews have been thinning trees and prescribed burning in the valley and on the flanks of the mountains in recent years, reducing the fire hazard to the community. And wildfire has also reduced today’s hazards: the Lone Mountain Fire started where the Boulder Butte Fire burned in 1994. The Rainbow Bridge Fire burned four years ago in the mountains between Stehekin and what is now the Lone Mountain Fire.
However, the park’s strategy for this fire is not taking that safety margin for granted: for extra protection, incoming crews will be putting in fire line and hose lays between the community and the fire.
“I feel confident that we will be able to provide the Stehekin Valley bottom protection at the mouth of Boulder Creek, given our fuel treatments and recent fire in the area,” said North Cascades Fire Management Officer Dee Townsend.
The Boulder Creek Trail is closed from Hooter Camp to War Creek Pass, and the rest of the Boulder Creek Trail will likely be closed soon. Firefighters on scene Thursday morning included 10 smokejumpers, a helicopter, and about 10 Park Service fire fighters. Two fire observers keep a constant watch on the blaze, tracking changes. One hand crew is on the way and two 20-person crews are ordered up, but many fires are burning in the Pacific Northwest. Firefighting resources are scarce, and other fires have higher priority.
Because of the extreme mountain terrain and because aircraft and firefighters were already dedicated to other blazes, initial attack was not successful when it was first discovered. Lone Mountain Fire is expected to continue to grow, adding smoke to the Stehekin and Methow valleys.
For more Lone Mountain Fire information, contact Lone Mountain Fire Information