*** Cooler temps and rain allow crews to work on rehabilitation and suppression. ***
Summary: Keeping crews dry in light of weather conditions was the priority for the High Cascades Complex East Zone yesterday. Rain is expected to decrease dramatically over the next few days, allowing operations to re-engage the fire. Despite the weather, crews were able to complete one mile of road grading on the North Pelican Fire and remove 5,000 feet of hose and associated water pumps on the Blanket Fire. With the amount of rain and snow on the landscape, operational tactics will begin to focus on suppression rehabilitation efforts. Suppression rehab involves repairing constructed fire line, areas cleared of vegetation to control the fire, to minimize erosion and return the landscape to a more natural looking condition. Often, as with this fire, suppression repair work is done by firefighters even before the fire is contained. Rehab work also includes fixing fences, roads and drainage structures damaged during fire operations.
Fire crews work closely with resource advisors from the forest and park service to protect cultural resources, threatened, endangered and sensitive species habitat, high resource areas, campgrounds and infrastructure during this process. Methods for rehab work ranges from scattering excess brush and vegetation along the dirt lines to removing soil berms created during dozer operations. The ultimate goal is to mitigate impacts caused during fire operations.
Fire acreage remains steady.
North Pelican: 3,589 acres, 73% contained
Blanket Creek: 33,322 acres, 23% contained
Spruce Lake: 15,826 acres and 22% contained
Weather: Showers will diminish through Thursday with a drying and warming trend beginning Friday.
Closures: Forest Managers are reevaluating area closures, but until that decision is made, a number of area road and trail closures are in place. For specific closure information, visit https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5503. Roads in the National Park may be closed due to weather, visitors are urged to check conditions before heading out. The West Rim Drive is closed until Friday at 4:00 p.m. due to construction. All concession facilities and services remain open for visitors to the Park. Motorists and visitors to the area also need to be aware of delays on Highway 230 between Union Creek and the junction with Highway 138 due to road construction.
Press release from the High Cascades Complex