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Contact: Kerry Olson, 360-854-7302
The Panther Creek Fire located within Ross Lake National Recreation Area, was detected on June 28 and was started by lightning during a series of electric storms that moved through the area earlier in the month.
The fire is burning slowly in extremely steep terrain on the east flank of Ruby Mountain above Panther Creek. The fire is approximately 123 acres in size and is burning in a heavily forested area. The fire is expected to grow through the holiday weekend as we experience hot and dry weather.
Due to the steep and dangerous terrain, no firefighters are on the mountain at the wildfire, but the fire is being closely managed by North Cascades National Park’s fire management team. On July 3, North Cascades Smokejumpers and North Cascades National Park fire crews protected the Panther Creek bridge by wrapping the structure with a fire repellent material.
The area where the wildfire is burning, within North Cascades National Park Complex, 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.
The Panther Creek Trail is closed until further notice from the Panther Creek trailhead on SR 20 to Fourth of July Pass. Fourth of July trail and camps are open.
STATE ROUTE 20:
SR 20 is open. Smoke from the fire can be seen from the highway and from Ross Lake. Other visitor facilities in the park and along SR 20 have not been affected.
For current fire information, please contact the North Cascades National Park Visitor Center in Newhalem at 206-386-4495 ext. 11 or the Wilderness Information Center in Marblemount at 360-854-7245.
Photos of the fire can be viewed here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/northcascadesnationalpark/sets/72157620908850558/