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Contact: Kerry Olson, 360 854-7302
The Panther Creek Fire (pdf 118k) is located within Ross Lake National Recreation Area. The fire was detected on June 28. It was started by lightning during a series of electric storms that moved through the area in June.
The fire is approximately 123 acres in size and is burning in a heavily forested area in extremely steep terrain on the east flank of Ruby Mountain above Panther Creek.
During the Independence Day weekend, hot, dry weather caused the fire to grow downhill towards Panther Creek.
A weather system moved through the region late July 5 and was predicted to bring lightning and light rain. The lightning did not materialize though temperatures cooled and humidity rose keeping the fire cool.
Due to the steep and dangerous terrain, firefighters are not on the mountain at the wildfire. The fire is being closely managed by North Cascades National Park’s fire management team. Prominent smoke on east slope drainage on Ruby Mountain, July 5. (NPS Photo) The fire is burning in an area of North Cascades National Park Complex which is a fire adapted ecosystem. While wildfire is a beneficial natural process to the Park’s diverse ecosystems, the safety of firefighters and protecting the public, as well as any infrastructure, are park management’s first priorities.
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. Smoke from the fire can be seen from Highway 20 and from Ross Lake. Park visitor facilities have not been affected.
For current fire information, contact the North Cascades Visitor Center in Newhalem (206-386-4495), the Wilderness Information Center (360-854-7245) in Marblemount or visit www.nps.gov/noca/parknews/ To learn more about wildland fire in the National Park System go to: www.nps.gov/fire/fire/fir_wildland.cfm
To see photos of the Panther Creek Fire, visit http://www.flickr.com/photos/northcascadesnationalpark/sets/72157620908850558/