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Fire burning south of Republic, WA

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  • Fire burning south of Republic, WA

    This is a little disconcerting. The large smoke plume is quite visible from outside my office. The most recent information I have is that it is about 100 acres, spreading rapidly, and about 20 miles south of town.

    Everything between the fire and Republic is rugged, forested terrain and winds tend to be up the valley from the south. Right now there is a slight north wind, which is good news, but it probably won't last. I'm really hoping that they get this under control or at least stop its advance.

    Here's what really ticks me off about this: since this is on a reservation, state DNR is not assisting with it and the Tribal firefighters currently have no air support. The reservation ends 13 miles south of town, which means that the fire could conceivably burn 7 miles closer before it would become someone else's jurisdiction! By then it could be completely unstoppable and roll the rest of the way up the valley. Since fire doesn't respect boundaries I see no reason for firefighters to have their hands tied by agencies fighting over territory. Why isn't it just common sense for them to cooperate and get it under control before it grows into a monster? The jurisdictional approach they have now is flat out stupid, and a big contributing factor in last year's Carlton Complex exploding out of control. I pray this doesn't end the same way!

  • #2
    And... just like that, it's 300 acres, and in such a steep, roadless area that they can't get to it from the ground. Without air support it will just keep burning completely uncontained.


    • #3
      it certainly would make sense for them to just put all of the possible resources to work on the fire and try to get it contained and stopped before it gets too large. Just in a half hour between your two posts, the fire has doubled in size.
      Thankfully, you have the wind in your favor; but that is not guarantee that it will not spread anyway.
      It looks like yours is not showing on the Washington wildfire report yet; although there are several others, one near Quincy, and one by Mansfield.
      When there are people ( a whole town full of people and homes) that close; then it should be declared some kind of an emergency, and get the necessary aircraft in to help put that fire out as soon as possible.
      fcphdJim likes this.


      • #4
        Here's the most complete story I have seen so far.

        Judging by the diminished smoke plume before dark, they may actually be gaining on this one with only the minimal aircraft available. It also helps that just south of the current fire is the Devil's Elbow area that burned only last year. Fuel load is pretty light in that area. Hopefully the fire won't run wild overnight, and the increased resources tomorrow can turn the tide.
        Tumbleweed likes this.


        • #5
          "Our" fire is now on the map. This interactive map allows you to zoom in for more detail and select different options for viewing. By default it shows the perimeter of the fire and hot spots around it where embers have ignited other small fires. Our local fire is named "21 Mile Grade" and is in the NE part of Washington. If you select the "Layers" icon on the toolbar and then check the "USA Topographic Maps" box it shows a more detailed view of the topography as well as structures. It is fairly obvious why this is primarily an air operation.

          So far winds are from the north and this is staying relatively small. Multiple tanker planes and choppers are attacking it now. I am cautiously optimistic that it will be contained soon, but still keeping a wary eye on the smoke plume.
          Tumbleweed likes this.


          • Tumbleweed
            Tumbleweed commented
            Editing a comment
            So glad to hear that they are getting this under control before it did a lot of damage, Hopefully, the winds will hold, and they will get the fire completely out soon.

        • #6
          From what I can see, the 21 Mile fire is still on the map, and up to 2,000 acres now. There are also new fires burning near Spokane and Colville; so it looks like the whole state is in for another bad wildfire season.
          With the lack of snowpack, and the hot weather, this situation is not apt to change for the better any time soon.

          Here is a website with a good map that shows the latest fires across the United States. It looks like almost the whole State of Alaska is burning with the wildfires right now.


          • #7
            What??? That is so stupid. What ever happened to helping your neighbor in need? In southern Oregon we call on other firefighter groups for assistance when added man power is needed and they come, I believe Oregon wild fire fighters have also gone to California when they are in need. I hope somebody uses their head a little here and gets things taken care of asap before it gets totally out of hand.


            • #8
              DancingLady it works that way for the rest of the state. What complicates things around here is when it is on tribal land. Then our state firefighters don't come into play unless they are asked by feds. We currently have an inter-agency team working the fire and they have about 20% containment. It should be slowly knocked down over the next few days, unless we get strong winds. I just wish they could all gang up on it right away like they do in other areas, instead of letting red tape slow down the response.