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Contact: Kerry Olson, 360 854-7302
Overview: Twelve fires ranging in size from a single tree to 350 acres have been burning in the North Cascades National Park Complex since late June. All twelve fires were started by lightning. The total acreage for all fires combined is 646 acres. Five of these fires are being managed with suppression tactics to protect the public, and infrastructure in the area. The other seven fires are being managed for resource benefits.
Current Situation: Yesterday, the Elija Fire and the Panther Fire in Panther Creek were producing light smoke. No smoke was observed from the: Rhode Fire, Crapper Fire, or the Cascade Fire. Lack of smoke production does not mean a fire is out. Fire may remain in the ground, slowly burning the roots of trees and smoldering in the duff layer. Numerous fires are burning in Canada and Washington State causing smoke and haze within the park and surrounding areas.
Today’s dry, hot weather makes conditions right for fire activity to move from the ground into fuels above the ground. Initial attack crews are on alert for new fire starts. North Cascades firefighters will be monitoring the level of fire activity at each fire from road patrols. Firefighters are not on the ground fighting designated suppression fires due to steep, inaccessible terrain. Helicopters are available to assist firefighters by making water drops if requested.
Conditions and Fuels: Fires are burning in fire adapted ecosystems. Fires are in subalpine mixed conifer forests.
Weather and Fire Behavior: Skies will be mostly sunny today with temperatures between 85- 97 degrees. Winds will be light, 3-8 mph. Fire behavior and smoke intensity may increase as a result of this hotter, drier weather. There is a slight chance of thunderstorms late Thursday afternoon and evening.
Resources Assigned to the Fire: Personnel: Park staff supported by single resources
Aircraft: 2 helicopters, one Type 3 (light) and one Type 2 (medium)
TRAIL CLOSURES: The Panther Creek Trail is closed from the trailhead on Highway 20 to Fourth of July Pass until further notice.
HIGHWAY 20: Highway 20 is open. Park visitor facilities have not been affected