#ValleyFire in Lake County, California | Update 5


On Saturday, September 12, 2015 around 1324 hours the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Communications Center received the first report of a fire [now named the Valley Fire] in the area of Cobb Mountain. The fire is located off of High Valley Road and Bottle Rock Road in Southern Lake County, California.

This incident is being reported as a Disaster Event from many sources and being treated as such.


The Administrative Unit handling this fire incident is CAL FIRE Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit


The fire has burned 73,700 acres and is threatening 7,473 structures. Approximately, 585 homes have been destroyed along with a confirmation of hundreds of “other” structures receiving the same fate.

A containment of 35% has been reached.



There are now 3,921 Fire Personnel assigned to this fire incident from a previous level of 2,362..

Equipment & Resources

Fire Engines

Increased to 441 from Tuesday, when they had 258 Engines.

Fire Crews

Increased to 84 on Thursday from Tuesday’s levels of only 54.

Air Tankers

2 have been added.


Increased to 18 from 8 assigned on Tuesday.


Dozers have more than tripled in size from Tuesday’s count of 31 to 72 on Thursday.

Water Tenders

Increased to only 3 more Water Tender to 70 on Thursday from Tuesday’s 67.


  • Lake County
  • Sonoma County
  • Napa County
  • California Office of Emergency Services
  • California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
  • California State Parks
  • Bureau of Land Management
  • CHP
  • Red Cross
  • PG&E


Mandatory Evacuations – Lake County

  • Butts Canyon Road to Napa County line
  • Cobb
  • Seigler Canyon
  • Loch Lomond
  • Middletown
  • Hidden Valley Lake
  • All residences on Bottle Rock Road
  • From Harrington Flat Road
  • All residences on SR 175 (Cobb)
  • All residences on Sr 29 at SR 53 south to SR 29 at Tubbs Lane

Mandatory Evacuations – Napa County

  • Butts Canyon Rd west of Snell Valley Rd
  • Aetna Springs Rd west of Butts Canyon Rd
  • James Creek Rd west of Butts Canyon Rd

Advisory Evacuations – Napa County

  • Pope Valley north of Ink Grade Rd


Red Cross 

  • Kelseyville High School @ 5480 Main Street in Kelseyville
  • Napa County Fair Grounds @ 1435 N Oak Street in Calistoga

Lake County

  • Highland Senior Center @ 3245 Bowers Center in Clearlake
  • Big Valley Rancheria Gym @1002 Osprey Court in Kelseyville


Lake County

  • SR 175 at Red Hill Rd (SR 281)
  • SR 29 at Red Hill Rd
  • SR 29 at Diener Dr
  • SR 29 at Siegler Canyon
  • SR 29 at SR 53 closed for southbound traffic
  • Bottle Rock Rd south of SR 29
  • SR 175 at Dry Creek cut-off

Napa County

  • Aetna Springs Rd at Pope Springs Rd
  • SR 29 at Tubbs Lane
  • James Creek Rd at Butts Canyon Rd
  • Butts Canyon Rd, Snell Valley Rd

Sonoma County [Local Residents Only]

  • Ida Clayton Rd At SR 128
  • Pine Flat Rd ascending addresses from the 11000 block



  • 4 Firefighters with burns
  • 1 Citizen Fatality
  • 585 homes destroyed
  • Hundreds of “other” structures destroyed
  • 9,000 structures currently being threatened


Small Animals Donations

Being accepted at Wasson Memorial Vet Clinic, 3083 Hwy 175, Lakeport, 707.263.5380. [9/15/15]

Large Animal Donations

Being accepted at Main Street Veterinary Clinic, 2530 S. Main Street, Lakeport, 707.263.6232.

Red Cross

Call 1-800-Red-Cross and say “California Wildfires.” OR Text the word “REDCROSS” to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

Stockton Fairgrounds

Volunteers in Stockton are taking donations for fire victims in Lake, Amador and Calaveras counties at the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds. [http://www.capradio.org/articles/2015/09/15/donations-for-fire-victims-collected-at-stockton-fairgrounds/]

Supporting Burn Centers

UC Davis Health System/Burn Unit


Firefighters Burn Institute


Lake County’s State Senator Mike McGuire has launched a donation drive to help those affected by Valley Fire.

A check may be dropped off to the Lake County Fire Victim Donation Drive Up between 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Rattigan State Building, 50 D Street in Santa Rosa. Contact: Karlene Rebich  Karlene.Rebich@sen.ca.gov or (707) 576-2771

The Redwood Credit Union is also collecting funds. Checks can be made payable to Redwood Credit Union and sent to RCU Lake County Fire Relief, c/o Redwood Credit Union, P.O. Box 6104, Santa Rosa, CA 95406.


We Offer our sincere apologies, thoughts and prayers that you all are going through this.  We don’t know why this is happening to you but be reassured we are here for you.  If you are a First Responder and feel overwhelmed, there is 24 hour/365 day support through many organizations.

We recommend @safecallnow.org.  They are a national non-profit organization and understand your pain and what you have seen.  We ask that you seek help, if not for yourself but for your fellow First Responder[s]. Together, we are one big Family that looks out for each other, night or day, 24/7 365 days a year.

For those who are non-responders and may need to talk to someone, reach out to those at the Shelters, churches, to your friends or to a Professional.  We can reassure you, that many care about you and your family and this is something that is affecting those directly and indirectly.  We want to let you know we are here to support you and provide you with any resources or pointing in the right direction to seek assistance.

You all mean a lot to us and we again are so sorry for what you are going through.

If you wish to share your story, you may drop us line at nwfireblog@comcast.net. NOTE: We are not mainstream media and this would be an informal phone call or email – whichever is easiest for you.  Thank you and God Bless.

– Lisa Swenson


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[c] 2015 The NW Fire Blog

U.S. WILDFIRES | By State| August 29, 2015 Saturday


CABIN FIRE:  8 mi NE of Camp Nelson in the Golden Trout Wilderness, Sequoia NF. Start 7/19/15. Lightning. 32 Personnel. 6980 Acres. 96% contained.

Red River Complex Fire [Rattlesnake Fire]. Photo Courtesy: Inciweb

CUESTA FIRE:  East of SR101 between San Luis Obispo and Santa Margarita. Start 8/16/15. Car Fire. 434 Personnel. 2446 Acres. 100% contained.

DEMOCRAT FIRE:  Democrat Gulch, west of Weaverville. Start 8/25/15 @ 1408PDT. Cause unknown. 514 Personnel. 25 Engines. 22 Crews. 3 Dozers. 11 Water Tenders. 128 Acres. 85% contained.

FORK COMPLEX:  Community of Hayfork. Start 7/30/15. Lightning. 294 Personnel. 36,499 Acres. 97% contained.

GASQUET FIRE:  Gasquet Ranger District. Start 8/3/15 Lightning. 755 Personnel. 23,542 Acres. 27% containment.

–> Coon Fire:  5657 Acres. 74% containment.

–> Peak Fire:  9663 Acres. 5% contained.

–>  Bear Fire:  7324 Acres. 14% contained.

–> Feeder Fire:  898 Acres. 100% contained.

HORSE FIRE:  Saddle Mountain Road, 6 miles NE Shelter Cove. Start 8/18/15 @1830 PDT.  Cause under investigation. 499 Personnel. 16 Fire Engines. 14 Crews. 4 Helicopters. 1 Dozer. 6 Water Tenders. 148 Acres. 96% contained. In mop-up mode.

A dozer begins to work.

Dozer Operations. [Photo Credit: Brad Clark]

MAD RIVER COMPLEX:  2.5 mi to the SW of Spanish Mtn & 5 mi N of Hume Lake. Start 7/30/15. Lightning. 288 Personnel. 37,278 Acres. 88% contained.

NICKOWITZ FIRE:  Nickowitz Peak. Start 8/1/15. Lightning. 273 Personnel. 6631 Acres. 55% contained.

RIVER COMPLEX:  New River Drainage near the communities of Dailey Ranch, Hoboken and Denny. Start 7/30/15. Lightning. 531 Personnel. 67,225 Acres. 29% contained.

ROUTE COMPLEX:  Mad River,Dinsmore, Hyampom. Start 7/30/15. Lightning. 657 Personnel. 35,674 Acres. 93% contained.

Falls Creek Fire Aug 25th

Falls Creek Fire / OR [Photo Courtesy: Inciweb]

ROUGH FIRE:  2.5 miles to the southwest of Spanish Mountain and 5 miles North of Hume Lake. Start 7/31/15. Lightning. Fuels:  Timber, chaparral, tall grass. 2033 Personnel. 60,238 Acres. 25% containment.

SOUTH COMPLEX:  Hyampom, south of 299 along the 60 Road. Start 7/30/15. Lightning. 605 Personnel. 29,275 Acres. 65% contained.

SUMMIT FIRE:  near Snow Summit Mountain Resort, south of Big Bear Lake. Start 8/23/15. Cause unknown. 118 Personnel. 55 Acres. 85% contained.

TEXAS FIRE:   Lytle Creek Road x Glen Helen Pkwy.  Start: 8/28/15 0947. Cause unknown. Chaparral. 1 Acre. 0% contained.


BALDY [ID] FIRE:  14 Miles WNW of Elk City. Start 8/10/15.  Lightning. 283 Personnel. 2220 Acres. 9% contained.

plane scoops up water

Plane scoops up water on the Carpenter Road Fire [Photo Courtesy: Inciweb]

BOBCAT FIRE:  15 miles north of Salmon, ID on the Salmon-Cobalt Ranger District. Start 8/14/15 @ 1600 hours. Lightning. 41 Personnel. 237 Acres. 80% contained.

CAMPBELL FIRE:  In the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, 10 miles southeast of Dixie. Start 8/13/15. Lightning. 29 Personnel. 6720 Acres. Unknown % of containment status.

CLARK FORK COMPLEX:  6 miles NE and 9 mi. S of Clark Fork, Idaho; 5 mi. N of Noxon, MT.  Start 8/13/15. Lightning. 323 Personnel. 13,762 Acres. 35% contained.

CLEARWATER COMPLEX:  Most of the Complex is adjacent to Kamiah, ID. Other fire locations are in the vicinity of Kooskia, Craigmont, Ruebens, Greer, Woodland, and Harrisburg.  Start 8/10/15. Lightning.  607 Personnel.  67,992 Acres. 75% contained.

Smoke Collumn

Smoke column on the Carpenter Road Fire [Photo Courtesy: Inciweb]

COUGAR FIRE:   3 mi SW of Warm Lake and 20 mi NE of Cascade. Start 8/13/15 Lightning. 329 Personnel. 1237 Acres. 81% contained.

ELEVEN MILE FIRE:  15 miles west of Challis, in the Yankee Fork Drainage.  Start 8/24/15.  Lightning. 227 Personnel. 8,000 Acres. No % on containment status.

FISHER FIRE:  7 mi N of Craigmont in the Big Canyon area. Start 8/12/15. Lightning. 132 Personnel. 21,640 Acres. 75% containment.

GRIZZLY COMPLEX: In the North Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River drainage, near Grizzly Peak.  Start 8/10/15.  Lightning. 181 Personnel. 15,703 Acres. Unknown Personnel or containment status.

Smoke Collumn

Smoke billows from the mountainside on the Carpenter Road Fire [Photo Courtesy: Inciweb]

LARKIN COMPLEX:  30 miles northeast of Pierce. Start 8/17/15. Lightning. Unknown Personnel or containment status. 4988 Acres.

LOCHSA SOUTH COMPLEX:  South side of the Lochsa River drainage from Warm Springs to the Selway River. Start 8/15/15. Lightning. 5535 Acres. No status on # of personnel or containment status.

MIDDLE FORK COMPLEX FIRES:  North Fork Ranger District. Start 8/11/15. Lightning. 5115 Acres. Unknown personnel, containment status.

MOTORWAY COMPLEX:  Numerous fires 10 miles east of Kooskia, 4 miles east of Pierce, 1 mile north of Syringa. Start 8/14/15.  Lightning. 429 Personnel. 30,974 total Acres. 2% contained.

The moon in the sky visible during night burnout operations.

Moonlight and night burnout operations [Photo Credit: Kyle Miller Wyoming IHC]

–> Jay Point Fire:  1.5 mi W of Powell, 1 mi downriver from Powell Power Station.   Detected 8/17/15. Lightning caused. 148 Personnel. 3753 Acres. 0% contained.

Sunset on the Motorway Complex.

unset on the Motorway Complex. Photo taken on 08/24/15 [Photo Credit: by Kevin Korbel]

MUNICIPAL COMPLEX FIRE:   Clearwater, Lewis and Nez Perce Counties. Start 8/18/15. Human caused. 607 Personnel. 67,992 Acres. 75% contained.

NEW SELWAY 2015 FIRE:  4 miles WNW and 7 miles NE of Elk City. Start 8/10/15.  Lightning. 283 Personnel. 31,691 Acres. 0% containment.

PARKER RIDGE:  7 mi SW of Porthill. Start 7/29/15. Lightning. 82 Personnel. 6252 Acres. 27% contained.

RAPID FIRE:  2 mi SE of McCall, Idaho, E of Jug Handle Mtn. Start 8/14/15. Lightning. 314 Personnel. 5869 Acres. 37% Contained.

–>  Slide Fire:  7 1/4 mi E of Lowell. 3 mi East of the homes on the Selway River. Start 8/13/15. 9953 Acres. Lightning. 148 Personnel.

RED RIVER COMPLEX:  Southern portion of the Red River Ranger District including two Wilderness Areas. Start 8/17/15  Lightning. 11,800 Acres. No # of personnel or containment status.

SCURVY MTN FIRE:  28 miles east and northeast of Pierce. Started 8/21/15 @ 1130. Lightning. 381 Acres.  Unknown personnel & containment status.

TEPEE SPRINGS FIRE:  Located in the area of Tepee Springs and Hazard Creek. 20 mi S of Riggins, Idaho; on E side of Hwy 95. 22 mi NW of McCall and N of Goose Lake. Start 8/12/15 @ 0730. Lightning.  710 Personnel.  40,665 Acres. 30% contained.

Night Ops

Danger lurks in the darkness on the Carpenter Road Fire [Photo Courtesy: Inciweb]

TOWER FIRE:  Wildfire On The Pend Oreille Divide With Fire On Both The Colville And Idaho Panhandle National Forests. Start 8/11/15. Lightning. 755 Personnel. 16,335 Acres. 10% containment.

WASH FIRE:  8 mi E of Lowell. About 5 mi E of houses on the Selway River. Start 8/13/15.  Lightning. 31,608 Acres. Unknown status or personnel assigned.

WILDERNESS COMPLEX:    Selway-Bitteroot Wilderness. Start 8/21/15. Lightning. 8 Personnel. 14,900 Acres. 1% contained.

WOODRAT FIRE:  1  mile N and W of the community of Syringa. Start 8/14/15. Lightning caused. 4654 Acres. 2% contained.

Night photo of burnout operations.

Burnout operations on the southeast side of the Woodrat Fire on 08/22/15. [Photo Credit: Kyle Miller Wyoming IHC]


BEAR LAKE FIRE:  1/2 north of Bear Lake in the West Pioneer Mountains near Wisdom. Start 8/20/15.  Lightning. 200 Personnel. 4117 Acres. Unknown status.

GOAT ROCK COMPLEX:  SW of Libby. Start 8/20/15. Lightning. 78 Personnel. 4492 Acres. 0 % containment.

LITTLE JOE FIRE:  7 miles southwest of St. Regis on the Superior Ranger District. Start Unknown.  Lightning. 120 Acres. 17 Firefighters.

Little Joe Mtn. [Photo Courtesy: Inciweb]

MOUNT SILCOX FIRE:  North of Silcox Peak on the main ridge at over 6,000 feet elevation. Detected by helicopter working on another nearby fire.  Start 8/25/15. No threats to structures. High elevation Fire. Approx 60 acres.

MORRELL COMPLEX:  7 mi N of Seeley Lake. Start 8/14/15. Lightning. 211 Personnel. 795 Acres. 50% contained.

REYNOLDS CREEK FIRE:  4.4 miles East of Logan Pass.  Start 7/21/15. Cause under Investigation. 4850 Acres. 90% containment.

Structure protect group at nght near potentially threatened structures

A Structure protection group patrolling on the night shift during the Okanogan Complex Fires in WA. [Photo Credit: Jeremiah Mushen]

SPOTTED BEAR DISTRICT FIRES:   22 fires. 0% containment. 3566 Acres. Start 8/10/15. Lightning. Located in Spotted Bear Ranger District in the Flathead National Forest..

SQUEEZER FIRE:  Squeezer Ridge north of Swan Peak.  Detected 8/25/15.  Lightning. 80 Personnel. 114 Acres. 0% contained.

SUCKER CREEK FIRE:  Helena NF. 8/10/15. Cause unknown. 150 Personnel. 2850 Acres. 55% contained.

THOMPSON-DIVIDE FIRE:  Glacier National Park & Flathead National Forest. Start 8/9/15. Lightning. 3 fires. 332 Personnel. 18,893 Acres. 14% contained.

TRAILS CREEK FIRE:  2 miles East of Spotted Bear Ranger Station. Start 8/12/15. Lightning. 33 Personnel.  12,250 Acres. 0% contained.

Trail Creek Fire

Trail Creek Fire [Photo Courtesy: Inciweb]

WEST FORK FISH CREEK FIRE: 15 miles southwest of Tarkio.  Start 8/14/15. Lightning. 2900 Acres. No # of personnel or containment status known.

WHIPCRACKER FIRE:  Elkhorn Mountains in the Whipcracker Gulch area (T7N, R1E, Sec 29). Start 8/27/15.  Lightning. 40 Personnel. 12 Acres. 95% contained.

Smoke column from fire activity

Whipcracker Fire. [Photo Courtesy: Inciweb]


CANYON CREEK COMPLEX:  South of the towns of John Day and Canyon City. Start 8/12/15. Lightning. Threatened:  75 homes.  Damaged:  50 homes.  Destroyed:  39 homes, 11 minor structures.  Fuels:  Timber, medium logging slash, and short grass. 759 Personnel. 14 Crews. 9 Helicopters. 67 Engines. 86,929 Acres. 44% contained.

COLLIER BUTTE FIRE:  18 mi E of Gold Beach in Gold Beach Ranger District. Start 8/2/15. Lightning. Threatened: 1 non-residential commercial property. 0 Homes threatened. 155 Personnel. 3 Crews. 2 Helicopters. 6 Engines. Fuels:  Timber, slash and brush. 11,110 Acres. 55% contained.

CORNET-WINDY RIDGE FIRE: 4 mi W of Durkee. Start 8/11/2015. Unknown cause. Destroyed:  4 homes. 21 other structures. 33 Personnel. 1 Crew. 4 Engines. 102,089 Acres. 85% containment.

COUNTY LINE 2 FIRE:  US Hwy 26 MP 100 to 92, just north of Warm Springs. Start 8/12/15. Unknown cause. Threatened:  955 homes, 22 mixed commercial/residentiall. Destroyed: 4 homes, 3 minor structures. 553 Personnel. 14 Crews. 3 Helicopters. 21 Engines. Fuels: Brush, short grass. 66,374 Acres. 72% contained.. 

EAGLE COMPLEX:  20 mi NW of Richland, OR. Start 8/11/15. lightning. Threatened:  21 single residences, 30 minor structures. Destroyed:  1 home.  327 Personnel. 7 Crews. 4 Helicopters. 12 Engines. 12,298 Acres. 25% contained.

ELDORADO FIRE:   5 mi of Unity.  Start 8/14/15. Unknown cause. Destroyed: 1 home, 3 other structures. Fuels: Grass, timber and brush. 32 Personnel. 1 Crew. 4 Engines. 20,635  Acres. 90% contained.

Firefighter in dense smoke with a bandanna over his face.

Firefighter protects his face in the dense smoke on the Okanogan Complex fires in WA. [Photo Credit: Alan Barbian]

FALLS CREEK FIRE:  5 mi SW of Joseph, Oregon near Hurricane Creek Trailhead. Start: 8/22/15. Unknown cause. Threatened:  60 single primary homes. Fuels:  Timber and grass. 168 Personnel. 6 Crews and 7 Engines. 15% contained.

GRIZZLY BEAR COMPLEX:  20 mile SE of Dayton, WA on the Umatilla National Forest, in the Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness, and on private lands protected by Washington DNR and by the Oregon Department of Forestry. Lightning caused. Timber and short grass. 72,421 Acres. Firefighters working on containment and battling increased winds. 558 Personnel. 8 Crews. 5 Helicopters. 31 Engines. Threatened: 400 homes, 35 non-residential commercial properties & 35 minor structures.  Destroyed:  5 homes & 28 other structures. 10% contained.

NATIONAL CREEK COMPLEX:  10 miles SW of Diamond Lake. Start 8/1/15. Lightning. No Threats at this time. Fuels:  Timber litter, light logging slash. 287 Personnel. 2 Crews. 5 Helicopters. 11 Engines. 13,211 Acres. 40% contained.

STOUTS CREEK FIRE:  16 miles east of Canyonville; 1 mile south of Milo, OR. Start 7/30/15. Human-caused; Mowing During Hours Prohibited By Fire Restrictions. Threatened:  158 single residences, non-residential commercial structures. Fuels: Timber (litter and understory), Brush and Medium Logging Slash. 417 Personnel. 8 Crews. 4 Helicopters. 11 Engines. 26,452 Acres. 84% contained.  

WILLAMINA CREEK FIRE:  45 mi SW of Portland, 10 mi N of Willamina. Start 8/19/15. Unknown Cause. Fire Fuels:  Timber and logging slash.  63 Personnel. 5 Crews. 2 Engines. 230 Acres. 97% contained.


ALDER LAKE:  7 mi S of Eatonville. . Lightning caused. Started 7/26/15. 119 Personnel. 3 Crews. 7 Engines. Threatened: 15 residences & 20 minor structures, 253 acres. 10% contained. Current weather conditions: [2225 8/28]. 68F with rain showers. Visibility: 10 miles. Humidity: 68%. Wind:  3NNW.

Alder Lake Fire on 08-24-2015

Alder Lake [Photo Courtesy: Inciweb]

CARPENTER ROAD FIRE:  35 mi NW of Spokane; N and E of Carpenter Road and Mudget Lake Road. Cause still unknown but under investigation. Significant growth to the NE.  New containment lines to be constructed.  Timber and grass.  Threatened:  600 structures and residences; 5 commercial properties & 160 other structures. 575 Personnel. 11 Crews. 53 Engines. 25% contained.

CHELAN COMPLEX:  1 mile S of Chelan.  Cause unknown.  91,172 Total Acres. 52% contained. Threatened:  1330 structures, 150 commercial structures, 650 minor structures.  Destroyed: 21 homes, 23 minor structures. Fuels:  Short grass, brush, timber . 963 Personnel, 21 Crews, 8 Helicopters, 69 Engines.

–> First Creek Fire: 6800 Acres. 25% contained. Threatened:  420 single residences, 73 multi-unit residences, 63 minor other structures.  Damaged:  22 commercial structures. Destroyed:  12 Homes. 7 other structures. 263 Personnel. 9 Crews. 2 Helicopters. 23 Engines.  Water drops & structure protection continue.

–> Wolverine Fire:   3 mi NW of Lucerne. Start 6/29/15.  Lightning. Threatened: 121 single homes, 80 mixed, 75 minor structures and 12 non-residential commercial structures. Fuels:  Timber, brush. 226 Personnel. 1 Crew. 1 Helicopter. 17 Engines. 64,849 Acres. 28% contained.

COMMUNITY MEETING –> August 29 [Saturday] at 7:00pm at the Performing Arts Center, Chelan High School, 215 W. Webster Way, Chelan, WA. #ChelanComplex

COLVILLE COMPLEX:  10 miles radius of Kettle Falls. Stevens and Ferry Counties. Human caused. Threatened: 294 residences & 155 other structures.  Damaged:  22 homes. Destroyed:  2 homes, 16 other structures.  Timber, grass, brush. Active fire behavior with wind-driven runs. 486 Personnel. 12 Crews. 31 Engines. 10,800 Acres.. 48% containment.

Night burn operations on Graves Mountain

Graves Mtn Fire on the Colville Complex / SE Flank. [Photo Courtesy: Inciweb]

 –> Gold Hill Fire:  95% contained.

–> Marble Valley Fire:  96% contained

COUGAR CREEK FIRE:  6 mi NW of Glenwood. Lightning caused. Threatened:  10 homes. 527 Personnel. 11 Crews. 6 Helicopters. 26 Engines. 49,200 Acres. 25% contained. Brush, grass, timber. Extensive bug-killed timber in north half of fire.

KANISKU COMPLEX:  35 mi E of Colville, 15 mi NW of Newport. Lightning caused. Threatened:  218 homes, 1038 commercial along with 490 minor structures. 755 Personnel. 17 Crews. 3 Helicopters. 21 Engines. Fuels:  Timber and old logging slash. 17,510 Acres. 10% containment.

–> Baldy: 515 ac. 80% contained.

— > Grease Creek:  75 ac. 0% contained.

–> Onata Creek:  300 ac. 0% contained.

–> Hall Mtn:  20 ac. 0% contained.

–> Slate Creek: 1 ac. 0% contained.

–> S Fork State Trail – D5.  10 ac. 0% containment.


Capturing Heroes on the Front line [Photo Credit: Alan Barbian]

KETTLE COMPLEX:  26 mi NW of Colville.Colville National Forest, private, DNR. 862 Personnel. 12 Crews. 6 Helicopters. 65 Engines. Threatened:  2600 homes. 70 mixed commercial & residential.  Destroyed: 1 home. Red Cross Shelters: Grace Evangelical Free Church, 851 S. Miner St., Colville —  American Legion, 1057 Highway 395 N, Kettle Falls — the Inchelium Community Health Center, 39 Shortcut Road, Inchelium, WA.

–> Stickpin Fire:  100% contained.

–> Graves Mtn Fire:  1200 Acres. 15% contained.

–> Roy Fire:   No data.

–> Renner Fire: 11,776 Acres.

–>  Marble Valley Fire:  50 mi NW of Spokane. 3087 ac. 85% containment.

NORTH STAR FIRE:  25 miles N of Coulee Dam. Human caused. Threatened: 3,000 homes. 225 commercial & 1,000 other structures.  808 Personnel. 12 Crews. 2 Helicopters. 62 Engines. Fuels:  Timber, heavy logging slash, grass. 190,000 ac. 22% contained.

OKANOGAN COMPLEX:  7-11 miles NE and NW of Omak. Lightning. Threatened: 5140 single residences.  Destroyed: 94 homes, 63 other structures. Fuels:  Timber and short grass. 1831 Personnel. 33 Crews. 7 Helicopters.  173 Engines. 302,224 Acres. 12% contained.

A fire engine is seen as a reflection in the side mirror of a vehicle

Fire reflections on the Okanogan Complex Fires [Photo Credit: Alan Barbian]

UPPER SKAGIT COMPLEX:  Directly North of the town of Newhalem. Lightning. Threatened: 88 mixed commercial/residential.  Damaged:  2 commercial structures. Fuels:  Timber & short grass. 205 Personnel. 3 Crews. 2 Helicopters. 17 Engines.  7978 Acres. 37% containment.

[c] 2015 The NW Fire Blog

Disclaimer:  Photos/Images are not ours and we do not lay claim to them. Photographers have been credited to the best of our knowledge.

Sources:  Inciweb, NWCC, other locations


WA WILDFIRES | Okanogan Complex | August 22, 2015


Complex Fires:  9-Mile, Beaver Lake, Lime Belt [Knobbly merged with this fire, with Blue Lake later also merging into], Tunk Block, Twisp Fire [merged into complex on 8/20/15]

  • Location:  13 miles NW of Omak
  • Start:  8/14/15
  • Cause:  Lightning
  • Acres Total:  124,083
  • Containment:  38%
  • Fuels:  Timber


Fire Behavior

  • Extreme fire with crowning
  • Wind-driven runs
  • Long-range spotting.

Fire Ignition

  • 8/21 Update:  80% expected due to high winds.  Spotting distance could be up to 2-miles.

9-Mile Fire:

  • 8/22 Update: Mop-up & Patrol in progress. 4720 acres.  95% containment.

Beaver Lake: 

  • 8/22 Update: Fire grew significantly overnight to the SE and is at Hwy 20. 14,760 acres. 0% containment.
  • 8/21:  Last 24 Hrs:  grew to 14,760 acres . Fire managers: anticipate very high rates of fire spread in the lighter fuels. Where the fire gets into heavier timber, expect crown fire runs with long range spotting.

Twisp River: 

  • 8/22 Update: Fire crews providing structure protection along the river.
  • 8/21: Grew overnight on 8/21 to 8402 acres. Fire moving down into the valley.   The Fire that faces the Methow Valley will be exposed to strong winds.  W Flank: fire is expected to spread with single and group tree torching. In the Twisp River drainage, winds will vary in speed and direction, resulting in the potential for flare-ups and spotting.9,054 acres. 0% containment.

Lime Belt/Blue Lake 

  • 8/22:  Fire moved SE and crossed over Salmon Creek Rd.65,715 acres.  20% containment.
  • 8/21 Update:  A major run the last 24 hours, gaining almost 20,000 acres to the S & Wt. Fire managers anticipate very high head rates of spread in the lighter fuels, with the fire backing and flanking actively into the wind and on protected slopes. Crown fires with long range spotting is expected where the fire gets into heavier timber.

Tunk Block Fire

  • 8/22 Update: Active fire in the North corner area. 68,066 acres.  15% containment.
  • 8/21:  Fre grew  36,000+ acres, now burning on the Colville Reservation. Fire managers are anticipating very high rates of spread at the fire’s head, potentially resulting in the Tunk Block Fire to join the North Star Fire to the E. Tunk Block is burning in grass and timber about four miles NE of Riverside


Spike Camp @ Concully State Park

  • Costs:  Disbanded due to Costs
  • Governor:  Has requested a Federal Emergency Declaration to provide additional resources to cover some of the costs.



  • Personnel:  820 incl from Canada
  • Crews:  16
  • Type 2 Hand crews: 9
  • Type 21A Crews: 4


  • Engines: 76
  • Water Tenders: 28
  • Type 1 Helicopters: 3
  • Type 2 Helicopters: 3


  • IC:  Ted Pechota
  • Complex Team: Rocky Mtn Type 1 IMT

Fire Mobe 

  • Authorized
  • Effective:  8/17/15

Incident Cooperators

  • USDA Forest Service
  • Dept of Natural Resources [WA DNR]
  • Okanogan County Sheriff Office
  • Okanogan County Emergency Management Office
  • Okanogan Public District #1
  • WA Dept of Transportation
  • American Red Cross
  • WA National Guard
  • Graham FD
  • Multiple FDs, Agencies across the State & outside of WA
  • Canadian resources


LEVEL 3 [Means to leave now, you are in imminient danger or fire is near]

  • Aenas Valley
  • Area NE of Nespelem
  • Concully
  • Malott
  • Twisp River Rd
  • Winthrop

LEVEL 2 [Be Ready to Evacuate a moment’s notice]

  • Okanogan [ as of 1020 Alert now a Level 1]
  • Riverside
  • Tonasket
  • Twisp

LEVEL 1 [Alert only, but beware]

  • Brewster
  • Carlton
  • Chesaw
  • Mazama
  • Molson
  • Omak
  • Oroville
  • Pateros


Red Cross

  • Brewster Middle School
  • Brewster H.S.


  • Okanogan Fairgrounds


Community Meeting

  • Twisp Mayor  Soo Ing-Moody called Meeting
  • 8/22/15 1700PDT
  • Methow Valley Comm Ctr. 201 Methow St


“Eyewitness News, Discussions”

August 22

  • Seattle TV Station: “Fire now 227,226 acres. That’s 27k larger estimate than we got late last night.”
  • Eyewitness [Media]: Incident Command Post has nearly 1,000 Fire personnel based.
  • “There’s an orange tint and haze to everything in Portland” – rockyfierro [@finnslighthouse]
  • Via Seattle local TV Station:  “Impressive news video of fire spread at the Okanogan Fire Complex that claimed the lives of 3
    Firefighters and badly burned 4 more. Fires across the state continue to burn fiercely, but a calmer day of winds in some areas have firefighters hoping to improve lines and go on the offensive in some areas. Resources remain stretched extremely thin and President Obama has issued a disaster declaration in many Washington counties.”
  • DNR Calls for Citizen Volunteer Firefighters;  Firefighting resources are stretched so thin across central and eastern WA that fire resources have been requested from across the United States and even Canada. Now there have been requests for citizen volunteers to respond, but news media stories on this unique request tends to leave out that very specific requirements are being called for.
  • DNR Volunteer Program:  http://www.dnr.wa.gov/WildfireVolunteer – Guidelines are very strict. Please read carefully before visiting or applying.

August 21

  • “Okanogan Complex Fire at 88,000 acres; New Level III evacuations in place”
  • “Fire has been reported at the Okanogan city limits.”@LastAlarmAlert tweeted
  • Local media during a press conference:  “Fires is now 161,633 acres and growing fast.”

On the Loss of USFS Firefighters

  • The Bellevue Firefighters express our deepest sadness at the loss of 3 firefighters in the Okanogan Fire Complex in a burnover on Wednesday. 4 other firefighters reportedly suffered burn injuries and were treated. One of the 4 was transported to Harborview Burn Center in Seattle. We delayed this announcement in part to confirm facts on this tragic event and to account for our own firefighters operating on fires in the area. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and fellow firefighters of those lost and badly injured.

August 20

Strike Teams Deployed

  • Engine 101 as part of a type 1 engine strike team from King County at the Okanogoan Complex last night. Fire conditions were heavy to the say the least. Note: We have very limited posts at this time as our primary moderator is deployed to fires in central/eastern Washington.

On the Loss of USFS Firefighters

  • Western WA Fire Dept:  Our hearts are with the families of those killed but not forgotten: Tom Zbyszewski, Andrew Zajac and Richard Wheeler.

August 19

August 18

August 17

October 10, 2012 – The Okanogan Complex occurred 5 years earlier.

Our prayers, thoughts and support is for all of our Firefighters, Pilots, Fire Managers, Dispatchers, Mutual Support, Volunteers, Incident Cooperators are with you during this tough time with firefighting operations.  We wish you Safety, emotional and mental support and a safe journey to/out off of the fire ground.  Your loved ones are praying too. – Lisa/Editor

[c] 2015 The NW Fire Blog