Finally Some Good News for Crystal Mountain Ski Resort, WA Fire Situation

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Crystal Mountain, WA yesterday. photo: paul sowers

The Norse Peak Fire has been threatening Crystal Mountain ski resort in Washington all week.

Spot fires have broken out within the ski resort’s boundaries.

The Norse Peak Fire has caused many evacuations and closed Crystal Mountain, many trails, many roads, many campgrounds, a large portion of Mount Rainier National Park, and more.

Crystal Mountain, WA yesterday. photo: paul sowers

Yesterday, we finally got some good news from Crystal Mountain Fire Chief Paul Sowers:

“The fire up at Crystal has really died down. I basically drove into a cloud coming up at 7 am, and had to remember where the windshield wiper controls were. Fire activity has really slowed down. An Operations supervisor walked up to the Bullion Basin fire and said it is basically smoldering, and he might send a crew in to mop it up. There is still no fire anywhere near Gold Hills, according to the scouting flight.. A crew went up there to make a plan to cut a line around the head of Crystal, and returned thinking it might not be needed. When a wildland guy decides not to cut a line, that tells you that that part of the fire is really a downer. Those guys will cut line around a cigarette butt.

Our structure protection is still in place, but overnight firewatch has been taken over by the wildland team. Sleep well, Greenwater, Crystal, Buckley, Enumclaw, and Browns Point firefighters. You earned it.

Crystal and Gold Hills residents who wish to return to gather belongings may do so. I ask that you check in with the young lady at the bottom of the boulevard, and check out with her as well. We are still under an evacuation order. We will need a day or two to ensure that the fire is no longer a danger to the resort. Try to keep it short, and be out by 6 pm.” – Paul Sowers, Crystal Mountain Fire Chief, yesterday

Norse Peak Fire map updated on September 8th, 2017.

NORSE PEAK FIRE UPDATE:

Norse Peak Fire Update Saturday, Sept 9, 2017

Incident: Norse Peak Fire Wildfire
Released: 8 hrs. ago

9-9-17 Norse Peak Fire Update

Date Started: Aug. 11, 2017 Cause: Lightning Total acres: 49,997 Containment: 12%

Structures Damaged/Destroyed: 0 Injuries to date: 1 (minor) Total Personnel: 402

Fire Resources: 9 crews, 36 engines, 1 helicopter, 3 bulldozers, 9 water tenders

FIRE SUMMARY

The California Central Coast Incident Management Team assumed command of the Norse Peak and American fires on Friday, September 8, 2017.

Fire activity has moderated under current weather conditions and is not expected to change over several days. Cooler, moist air and northeast winds kept the fire in check with minimal growth seen over the last 24 hours. This current weather pattern will continue to help slow the spread of the fire on the Pierce County side and will allow firefighters to make progress along this western edge. Another cold front will begin to move into the area this afternoon bringing an initial dry slot prior to a chance of showers occurring over the fire area tonight. Winds will shift to the southwest tonight with possible 25 mph winds over the ridges. High pressure will begin to build into the area Sunday through Tuesday with a warming and drying trend expected.

Additional resources are beginning to arrive and the Washington National Guard is aiding firefighting efforts. The Guard is in place providing security in and around the fire area and an additional crew is aiding fire crews on the line. There are requests for additional resources.

NOTE: Increase in acreage due to more accurate mapping.

NORSE PEAK FIRE (49,997 acres): Crews worked to bring the fire down to the 410 road on the south side while monitoring for spot fires over the line. Mop-up is occurring in this area. Additionally, crews continued work to remove vegetation and establish handlines in Goat Creek and Silver Creek areas to provide better structure protection for homes. There are hose lays and sprinkler systems in place and active in and around Crystal Mountain and Gold Hill. The fire continues to slowly back down the ridges in these areas. Work on Forest Road 462 is complete and hose lines are in place to use the road as a holding line for the fire’s southwest corner.

AMERICAN FIRE (1,952 acres): Structure protection measures are in place along Bumping River Road from the lake to Ira Ford Lane and firefighters will continue working their way north today.

The American Fire has crested the American Ridge but is hung up on the east side. No growth was seen over the last 24 hours.

CLOSURES: State Route 410 will remain closed from State Route 123 to east of Bumping River Road. There are no closures along 123. Bumping River Road is closed. A modified road closure from 0800-2000 will be in place on Highway 410 from Bumping River Road east to Saw Mill Road to facilitate heavy fuel modification and removal. Campers and residents will be allowed controlled access to the open Forest area up to Bumping River Road

The 1900 Road is closed as are Little Naches and Kaner Flat campgrounds and the Little Naches cabins.

Crystal Mountain Boulevard is closed.

The Pacific Crest Trail closure has expanded. It is now closed from White Pass to Snoqualmie Pass.

The latest Forest Closure Order for the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Fire is in place for the fire area and complete details can be found at https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/okawen/alerts-notices.

The latest Forest Closure Order for Mt. Baker Snoqualmie National Forest is in place and can be found at https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/mbs/alerts-notices.

The White River entrance to Mt. Rainier National Park is closed. Updates for the park can be found athttps://www.nps.gov/mora/index.htm.

EVACUATIONS: In Yakima County, there is a Level 3 Evacuation Order for Goose Prairie along Bumping River Road.

In Pierce County, a Level 3 evacuation has been ordered for the Silver Springs Campground, Silver Creek, Deep Creek, Goat Creek, Alta Community, Pick Handle Basin, Gold Hill Community and the Crystal Mountain Ski Resort area.


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