East Wenatchee, Washington | Crystal Fire
Incident Summary | A wildfire broke out near the Pangborn Airport in East Wenatchee in Douglas County on September 1, 2018. Earlier this morning, the fire was observed as active and surrounding the hillside and moving downward towards the airport.
Fire Size | At the time of resources being dispatched, the fire was at around five acres but less than two hours later the fire had reached a whopping 2,500 acres! (According to WildCAD)
An Engine sits at the bottom of the hillside while crews behind are working on hose lines and appear to be doing some mop up work. (They are not pictured here). (c) NW Fire Blog
Fire Fuels | Grass and brush are fire fuels.
Cause | No word on the cause but it is under investigation.
Resources | State Fire Mobe was approved and en route around 1100 hours PDT. Initial resources included AHTANUM 20 BLM-13 CREW-52 CREW-74 E-6695 BLM E-6696 BLM were dispatched around 0537 hours this morning.
OUR Fire Chasing Activities | We arrived around 1430 hours PDT, at or near the same time the IC requested the two rotors which he wanted to work a little area making drops before being released from the incident.
They were ordered to go to Pangborn Memorial Airport in East Wenatchee and hold.
Crews appeared to be working with hose lines and mop-up work while were checking out their fire tactics and activities. These crew members are at the bottom of the hillside where the fire scorched the landscape and came literally a few steps from the back doors of many homes.
Updates | Here are some of the Updates released by other Agencies. (We apologize for our delayed responses while we were mobile – we had some technical difficulties in the field).
* 0537 | Units dispatched. Fire reported at 5 acres with 0% containment status.
* 0715 | WA Fire Marshal’s Office (WSP) states fire is now at 2,500+ acres.
* 1100 | State mobe resources along with a Type 3 IMT are approved and en route. The IMT is expected to assume control of the fire later in the afternoon.
* 1130 | 2 helicopters are assisting on the wildfire. There are no additional evacuations, however, road closures are in effect for 10th Street NE from N Lyle to N Stark. The perimeter around the fire is N of 10th Street between N Lyle Avenue and Keane Grade.
* 1255 | 2 helicopters and 4 SEATs are making drops over the fire line. A 5th Air Tanker is on order. The Douglas County Sheriff Office (DCSO) Marine unit is at Hydro Park assisting with dipping activities at both above and below Rock Island Dam.
One of two rotors at Pangborn Memorial Airport.
* 1321 | WA DNR retweets the DCSO resource order tweet.
* 1533 | DCSO announces all road closures have been lifted as of 1500 hours. Level 2 evacuations notices remain in effect for about 40 homes on N Nickel Lane, NE Olympic Drive and NE 10th Street from N Nile to N Stark Avenue.
* 2145 | The Type 3 IMT unit took over fire control at 1600 hours and the official size of the fire is said to be at 2,000 acres.
Smoke still billows out in the canyon. Crews are in mop-up operations.
Fire Chasing Activities | What we observed while out in the field.
* Fire Conditions | Lots and lots of Beetle Kill trees with down and dead debris, extremely dry conditions.
* Burn Scars | We drove through several burn scars on Hwy 97 towards Wenatchee on both sides of the highway.
* Air Quality | It was very smoky in the Quincy Valley where there are many vineyards.
* Fire Tactics | We arrived in time to see crews working on mop-up and see that the fire behavior appeared to be smoldering with some hot spots.
* Mutual Aid/State Mobe Resources | An engine strike team from Clark County Fire District passed us in the opposite direction in Quincy while we were leaving the Crystal Fire scene.
Fire burned the area near vineyards, orchards, homes and the airport. (c) NW Fire Blog
* Aircraft Resources | Visiting Pangborn Memorial Airport and seeing two SEATs and two Rotors. There may have been additional aircraft there but it was not visible to us.
* Additional Aircraft Resources | A visit to one of our many places we like to photograph and this was the Moses Lake Air Tanker Base. We spied two Air Tankers 101 and 103 from Erickson, VLAT Tanker 912 and a lead plane that all took off and were being dispatched to an unknown wildfire.
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