East Fork & Center Creek Trail Fire Update

September 19, 2020

East Fork Fire: Firefighters improved and added depth to the containment line south of Flea Flat, north to Mill Park. Crews added depth through successful low-intensity hand-fired ignitions, slowly guiding the fire to planned containment line as it burned away built-up fuels. Protection measures were taken on a bridge near Moon Lake as fire continued burning towards Brown Duck Basin. Fire suppression repair began on the southwest fire perimeter. Close monitoring of the fire above Rock Creek Road continued. On South Fork Rock Creek Road, crews felled and bucked up hazard trees, contributing to firefighter and future public safety.  High in the wilderness the fire is burning at varying intensities and leaving pockets of unburned forests.  

Center Creek Trail Fire: The Center Creek Trail Fire is showing limited fire behavior and currently poses no threat of moving south toward the wilderness boundary. 

Today’s Operations: High winds in Raspberry and Mackentire canyons will continue testing direct and indirect lines Crews will monitor and mop up perimeter from Bear Hollow Road to Mountain Sheep Pass. Indirect line is being constructed near West Fork Rock Creek to prevent fire spread south towards Stillwater Reservoir. Monitoring hot spots continues on the fire’s western edge east of Stillwater Reservoir. 

Suppression Repair: This work is now a major component of the firefighting effort. As fire management objectives continue to be met, crews working with hand tools and heavy machinery will repair damages and minimize potential soil erosion and other impacts resulting from fire suppression activities along dozer lines, handlines, roads, trails, staging areas, safety zones, and drop points used during fire suppression efforts. 

Weather: A cold front arrived this morning, accompanied later today with increasing southwest winds bringing smoke from the west coast. At high elevations, temperatures will rise up to 55∞ and at lower elevations up to 65∞. Mostly cloudy with scattered showers after 12:00, with up to 1/8 inch of wetting rain possible, both contributing to higher relative humidities. By afternoon expect south/southwest winds sustained at 12-15 mph with gusts up to 28 mph. Weather tonight will dip down to 40∞. 

Safety: Closures are in place for the protection of the public and for firefighters. Even when it seems the fire is far off in the distance and posing no danger, a critical combination of high winds, low humidity, dry fuels, and warm temperatures can quickly increase fire behavior. We ask that the public respect all closures

Resources: 3 Helicopters, 27 Engines, 7 water tenders, 1 Hotshot crew, 1 Type 2 Initial Attack handcrew, 2 dozers and 3 Wildland Fire Modules. Currently 278 firefighters are assigned to the East Fork Fire. The Center Creek Trail Fire has 25 firefighters assigned.

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