The Wildfire Log: AK DOF’s Swan Lake Fire

UPDATE 1 – June 24, 2019 – Monday

Credit: BLM Fire Service

Additional Type 1 and Type 2 crews are bolstering efforts to establish control lines on the eastern edge of the Swan Lake Fire.

Type 1 and 2 crews en route to establish control lines on the East flank of fire.  Credit: AK Fire PIOs


A wildfire is burning on the Kenai Peninsula, about 6 miles northeast of Sterling, Alaska. The fire is also said to be inside the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.

About 32,300 acres of timber and short grass has already been destroyed.

The fire was ignited by lightning  on June 5th, around 1852 hours AKDT or 1952 hours PDT.

CALL 9-1-1 OR 800-237-3633 |  Report a Wildfire

Fire crews have gained a 9% containment status.


Fire behavior has been reported as active with flanking, group torching and short-range spotting.   The fire is mostly being carried by Black Spruce, while minimum activity has been spotted in hardwood fuels.

There is a 40-50% mortality in Spruce stands.

TRAFFIC ALERT | Sterling Highway has very low visibility and poor air quality.

You will be seeing these signs on the Sterling Highway. | Credit: BLM AK Fire Service


  • Personnel:  Total of 379 fire personnel.
  • Assets:  11 crews including Yukon and 5 NW Hotshots (Winema Hotshots, Wolf Creek Hotshots and Lakeview Hotshots), 8 engines and 5 helicopters.
  • Command:  AK IMT.
  • Incident Cooperators:  Kenai Pen OEM, AK DOT, AK State Troopers, Homer Electric Association, Granite Construction, BLM AK Fire Service, Fish & Wildlife Service, Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.
  • Air Resources:  Aircraft are dipping out of Silak and Hidden Lakes.

AK Governor Mike Dunleavy thanks all first responders and firefighters for protecting homes,, businesses, and residents.    Courtesy: Gov Dunleavy


Transmission Lines

Homer Electric Association has de-energized a 115,000 volt transmission line to help reduce potential starts, as temps rise and dry conditions continue in the fire prone area.

FIRE FACT | Wildfires can create their own Fire Weather.

Credit: NWS Anchorage

Recreation Areas

Heavy smoke is pouring over the Sterling Highway.  Though the roadway is open, many recreations areas are now closed along the highway.

The Swan Lake Fire in Images:

Canadian Air Scoopers. | Credit: Swan Lake Fire PIO

Crews continue prep work on June 18, 2019.   Credit: BLM AK Fire Service

Crews continue firing operations to secure line on June 19, 2019. Credit: AK Forestry.

Heavy fog and smoke caused delays on the Sterling Highway on June 21.

A trail of traffic backs up on the Sterling Hwy due to a thick layer of smoke fog hangs in the air.                   Credit: AK Fire PIOs

Damage Assessments

The fire is currently threatening homes, private properties, the community of Sterling and the highway, utility right-of-ways and infrastructure, along with natural gas pipeline and infrastructure.  Additionally, it is causing a threat against shelter cabins and a Moose Research Center.

There has been a total cost-to-date of $3.4 Million for fire suppression and containment expenses.

(c) 2019 NW Fire Blog – Updated @ 2015 hours PDT

The Wildfire Log: Elmer City Fire Command Transferred



Monday, June 24, 2019

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Photo Courtesy: Grant County Sheriff Office on behalf of NOAA

Incident Summary | A wildfire started on Sunday, June 23 , 2019, around 1547 hours PDT, which is located about 4.7 miles north of Elmer City, Washington State from an unknown cause. Some residents and eyewitnesses have their own speculations but the cause is still being investigated by the Fire Service and they have not released any type of preliminary at the time of this post.

FIRE FACT | 96 new wildfires were reported as of Sunday, June 23, 2019

Size, Containment Status | The fire has destroyed 3,500 acres of grass, sage and bitter brush.  Fire crews have reached a 60% containment status.

FIRE FACT | 5 wildland fire suppression crews have been deployed to Alberta, CAN.

Resources | There are still 100 personnel assigned to this incident along with 3-20 person crews, 7 engines, 3 dozers and 2 Type 2 Tenders.   Command was turned over by the Mt. Tolman Fire Center over to the NW IMT Team 3 at 1800 hours this evening.

Air resources included: 5 fire bosses, 2 air attacks, 2 Type 2 Helicopters.

During the initial fire attack, Firefighters from the Colville Indian Reservation, WA DNR and other mutual aid resources converged upon the area to fight the initial five-acre-fire-turned-wildfire.  They  would deploy every available resource from hand crews, water tenders, air tankers, dozers and a large number of personnel and assets with them and quickly bringing the wildfire to a halt.  It was a difficult wind-driven fire but they worked quickly, efficiently and effectively.

FIRE FACT | 2 new large wildfires have started, but 4 contained.

Evacuations | All Level 3 evacuation orders in the Rebecca Lake HUD and Buffalo Lake areas have been lifted.

Road Closures | None.

Updates | This will be our last and final update, unless more information is received or the fire activity increases.

(c) 2019 NW Fire Blog – Updated @ 1900 hours PDT

The Wildfire Log: Colville’s Elmer City Fire



Sunday, June 23, 2019

Incident Summary | A wildfire has ignited this Sunday afternoon at a meat smoker near a garage of a structure in the 3500 block of Hwy 155 north in between Belvedere and Elmer City, Washington.  (unconfirmed by our verified fire sources pf the exact cause but info being reported by a 3rd party on a fire related site).

The fire is burning on the Colville Indian Reservation and fire personnel along with assets are working to stop the fire from damaging or destroying any of their structures.

No photo description available.

GOES-17 satellite data showing a fire between Elmer City and Nespelem, Washington. | Credit: NWS – Spokane

Resources | Resources include 2 helicopters from Omak and Colville (H340, 344), WA DNR, Colville Fire, Redding air tanker (on a load and return) and hand crews. Various fire districts.

Evacuations | Those in the Rebecca Lake community are under evacuation.

Fire History | There have been a rash of fires that have hit the Elmer City area.  Here is a timeline of some of those previous fires.

October 3, 2018:  A fire started inside the Grandview Trailer Park just outside of Elmer City.  4 mobile homes are destroyed. 2 are damaged.  Residents are devastated, including one local artist who loses his art studio. Fire resources who responded were:  Elmer City, Colville Confederated Tribes, U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, Mount Tolman Fire Center, Coulee Dam, Grand Coulee, Electric City and Douglas County responded.

Photo Credit:  Okanogan County Emergency Management Agency.

Image may contain: sky, outdoor, nature and water

Sept. 11, 2016:  SR 155 @ SR 174 is closed due to a 2nd fire. Parts of Grand Coulee communities are at a Level 2 evacuation.  Fire heads down towards the Elmer City Post Office in this photo.

Photo Credit:  Grant County Sheriff Office.

August 16, 2012:  An Okanogan County sheriff deputy trades his badge to help with firefighting.

Current Social Media Reports | Here are some eyewitness accounts and what others are saying across all Social Media Channels:

“Can see smoke 1 mile N of the Grand Coulee Dam.”

“Fire started downhill near the river and worked its way east/southeast and now due east. “

Fire may have started behind a fruit stand on Hwy 155 and north of Peter Dan Road.”

(c) 2019 NW Fire Blog – Updated 2045 hours PDT


The Wildfire Log | 243 Fire | WA | 4


UPDATE 4 – 6/7/2019 FRIDAY – @2300 PDT

Incident Summary

The 243 Command Fire started on Monday night on June 3, 2019, near Hwy 243 and Wanapum Dam.

Photo Credit | GCSO

A more pinpointed area lists the fire about 20 miles away the Gorge in Washington State.

Those travelling to the Gorge this weekend were reassured by the Grant County Sheriff’s Office that the fire was far enough away from them on their way to this venue.  Many were worried but would later rest reassured by GCSO.

Photo Credit | GCSO

Fire behavior was reported as wind-driven and with a high rate of spread and spotting.  It quickly ran easterly through the Lower Crab Creek Canyon were it was being within its northern and southern ridges.


There are still 280 total personnel currently assigned to this incident. (earlier in the day).  More will be released as they put out this fire completely.

Photo Credit | Chief Deputy Gregg/GCSO

Current Status

Fire Managers reported on Friday, June 7th around 2100 hours tonight, there was a hot spot the size of 30 (ft) x 30 ft flared up.  There was a little spark among Fire Managers but they were able to deploy engines and fire crews whom were already on-scene to extinguish it.

Most personnel were said to be released from the incident as containment increases and therefore Incident Command (SE WA IMT) would be disbanded but with this new information with the hot spot – the number of personnel on-scene is unknown.

A total of 20,380 acres have been destroyed. Firefighters have reached a 65% containment status.

The cause is still undetermined and under investigation.

Due to the out-of-control wildfire during the last few days, the Level evacuation orders (1, 2, 3) were all lifted as of last night.  A Red Cross evacuation shelter was opened at the Royal Itermediate School was opened but would later be closed due to a low amount of evacuees using the facility.

Damage Assessments

There were three outbuildings damaged according to Fire Officials’ damage assessment report, along with one of three railway trestles as being destroyed.


#243Fire #WAwildfires2019

(c) 2019 NW Fire Blog

The Wildfire Log | 243 Fire | WA | 3


UPDATE 3 – 6/6/2019 THURSDAY @ 2100 hours PDT

Incident Summary

A grass fire – turned – wildfire started on June 3, 2019 from an unknown ignition source near Hwy 243 and Wanapum Dam.  Fierce winds pushed the fire easterly through the Lower Crab Creek Canyon where it was contained between two canyons in the north and south.

Nearby residents were speculating a motor vehicle accident ignited the blaze but we have not received any type of official word yet.  We believe that the investigation of the cause is still on-going by Fire Officials.

Courtesy: @SE_WA_IMT

Current Status

Earlier this morning around 0925 hours, There was 18,774 acres scorched with a 50% containment status. Four aircraft were attached to this incident, along with 350 total personnel.

As of 1630 hours PDT, the Incident Management Team (aka SE WA IMT) released a presser:

Due to more accurate mapping by an airplane, it has been determined that 20,500 acres had been destroyed. Containment of 65% has been successfully reached and some State mobe resources have been released.

All roads have been opened and all evacuation order levels have been removed as of 1800 hours this evening.

Mop-up operations are currently in effect.

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Firefighters working a very long shift. | Credit: GCFD13

Incident Cooperators

Those that help support those on an active major incident are called Incident Cooperators, with some of them called up as Mutual Aid partners.  Here are some of the agencies and organizations that supported the 243 Fire.

  • WA State EMD
  • Grant County Sheriff’s Office
  • Ecology-Central Region
  • Grant PUD
  • WA DNR – sent 2 helicopters, 2 small planes (aka fire bosses), 20 firefighters and 2 strike teams of engines.  They are mutual aid for Bureau of Land Management or BLM.
  • Grant County Fire District 10
  • Grant County Fire District 13
  • Moses Lake Firefighters
  • Lake Stevens FD
  • Arlington FD
  • WA State Patrol
  • American Red Cross

Fire Command was handled by the SE WA IMT and Command Post was established in Royal City.  Some of their challenges were communications issues, technology difficulties, weather conditions, terrain and even those pesky mosquitoes.

Image may contain: car, tree and outdoor

Brush Truck 46 (Arlington FD) was dispatched/deployed to respond to the 243 Fire with Capt Hillis and FF/DO Chamberlin and FF Brown | Credit: IAFF Local 3728

Damage Assessments

There is an unknown number of damaged and destroyed structures at the time of this post.

Image may contain: sky, cloud and outdoor

The Sheriff’s Office stated fire passed 15 SW and Beverly Burke Rd. | Credit: GCSOGreat job to all of the firefighters, IMT personnel, support staffing, non-profit organizations, Sheriff’s Office, State Troopers and others that cooperated on this incident making it a success. We appreciate every single one of you all for your tireless efforts, dedication and persistence in winning over this wildfire. – ed.

#243Fire #WAwildfires2019

(c) 2019 NW Fire Blog – Updated 6/5/2019 @ 1940 hours PDT

The Wildfire Log | 243 Fire | WA | 2


UPDATE 2 – 6/5/2019 – WEDNESDAY

Incident Summary

A raging wildfire that started on Monday, June 3, 2019, near Hwy 243 and Wanapum Dam.  It would quickly spread and put Wanapum Village and the town of Beverly of being threatened, prompting various evacuation orders (Levels 1,2,3) by the Grant County Sheriff’s Office.

The brush fire would turn into a firestorm burning anything in its pathway, including an unknown number of outbuildings that some have described possibly as shops or industrial type businesses.

Fire Fact | This wildfire is the first one ever, where the Grant County Sheriff PIO has sent out emergency messages in Spanish.

It would quickly be wind-driven and move easterly up through the Lower Crab Creek Canyon area and towards Red Rock Road.  Crews were able to stop the forward progression and contain it to the Canyon area.

The area has been mapped more closer to being west of Royal City than Beverly in Washington.

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GCFD13 and GCFD10 responding to the call and this is what they observed | Credit: GCFD13

Fire Resources

There are about 266 total personnel assigned to this fire.

Current ICs are Tony Gilmer and Bob Gear.

Image may contain: cloud, sky, outdoor and nature

Posted 6/4/2019 @ 1150 hours PDT | Credit: Grant County Sheriff Office

Containment Status

Fire has reached a 25% containment status.

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Firefighters worked into the night and morning in an attempt to save structures | Credit: GCFD13


If you wish to DONATE, please donate cash directly to organizations, such as the American Red Cross or other known and verified groups that are helping the evacuees directly. This will best serve your Donation and you are saving so many lives and assisting with those who may have just lost everything!

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Firefighters working a very long shift. | Credit: GCFD13

Incident Cooperators

The SE Washington (State) IMT is currently the Fire Manager of this wildfire.  They are being supported by the following Incident Cooperators:

  • WA State EMD
  • Grant County Sheriff’s Office
  • Ecology-Central Region
  • Grant PUD
  • WA DNR – sent 2 helicopters, 2 small planes (aka fire bosses), 20 firefighters and 2 strike teams of engines.  They are mutual aid for Bureau of Land Management or BLM.
  • Grant County Fire District 10
  • Grant County Fire District 13
  • Moses Lake Firefighters
  • Lake Stevens FD
  • Arlington FD
  • WA State Patrol

Fire Activities

Aviation resources were said to be dipping out of the upper pool (north) of the Wanapum Dam.

It was reported that conditions included high temps, dry fire fuels, steep terrain and high winds.

The fire was reported this morning around 1000 hours PDT, that the fire was heading east and being monitored by Fire Managers due to the thousands of people heading to and from the Gorge amphitheater. It was stated that it will not impact drivers heading to/from that venue.

Weather forecasts by several meterologists are predicting cool clouds and showers but winds will be gusty and there is a slim chance for lightning later this week.

Image may contain: car, tree and outdoor

Brush Truck 46 (Arlington FD) was dispatched/deployed to respond to the 243 Fire with Capt Hillis and FF/DO Chamberlin and FF Brown | Credit: IAFF Local 3728


There have been many resources threatened as the wildfire swept through many commercial and residential areas that included:


  • Farms and agricultural lands

Protected Species

  • Migrating Monarch Butterflies
  • Ground Squirrels


  • High voltage power line poles
  • Train trestles
  • Others as well


Evacuations are still in progress.  You can check for an updated list by visiting the Grant County Sheriff Office on Twitter @GrantCoSheriff for evacuation orders and shelter information

The Red Cross closed it shelter because they only had three evacuees show up over the last few days.  It has been reported that residents are sheltering-in-place as the fire has traveled past them in fire impacted areas.

Damage Assessments

All damaged and/or destroyed structures are unknown at the time of this posting.

Image may contain: sky, cloud and outdoor

The Sheriff’s Office stated fire passed 15 SW and Beverly Burke Rd. | Credit: GCSO


Two closures to make a mental note of and avoid this area are at Beverly Burke Road between SR 26 and SR 243 and Lower Crab Creek Road from SR 243 to SR 26.


Firefighters are mobilized by the State and they are equipped with an abundant cache of drinking water, food and clothing, etc.  The best way to DONATE to these men and women is to show them your appreciation for their efforts.

OR, if you really want to donate on their behalf – the American Red Cross will be happy to accept your donation for those they are helping during this incident or any other wildfire impacted evacuee.

Donations of free drinks, sugary treats and other items may impact a firefighter’s normal healthy routine and could harm their safety. Some ICs have complained that an over abundance of items such as clothing, donuts, cookies, drinks, etc have heeded their Fire Operations. They have to assign others on their team to move and go through the mounds of donations. They are grateful but overwhelmed while trying to run a Fire operation and get the fire out quickly.

Please…. DONATE to a verified organization like the American Red Cross or one of our favorites, Wildland Fallen Firefighter Foundation (WFFF).  And, please do your research – all non-profit organizations or those claiming to be collecting on behalf of fire victims are legal or created equally.

The Command Center does not and will get overwhelmed by all the donations the public donate through the outpouring of support that reign upon their incident. There have been many images showing vast amounts of clothing, stockpiled snacks and fluids that they either have to donate out or may go unused.

This WILL impact the Command as they will have to take unplanned fire resources to manage the donations and this is something that can be so overwhelming while they are working to put the fire out.

This is a disservice to them and the residents that have been impacted by the wildfire.

Social Media

Eyewitness Accounts

Here are some of the footage and photos being posted online.  NOTE: We are not on-scene and do not lie claim to any of the images that are being posted here.  Some of the statements here are also paraphrased unless it is a direct presser being released.

East head of the Fire | Credit:  SE_WA_IMT as of 1937 hours PDT on 6/4/2019

“Some residents are talking about a possible vehicle rollover as the possible cause of the fire but there is no official word yet released by Officials.” – News Media | 1830 hours PDT


(c) 2019 NW Fire Blog – Updated 6/5/2019 @ 1940 hours PDT

MONROE, WA | Apartment Fire Cause Determined | 2

SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wa. | Firefighters from Snohomish County Fire District #7 were dispatched just after 1900 hours PDT, to an apartment fire located in the 14600 block of 179th Ave SE in Monroe.

The Fire Investigator is on-scene and has determined the fire started in the kitchen.  The cause has not been determined at this time, but the FIU Investigator is currently investigating.

Resources on-scene were from Lake Stevens FD, Everett FD, Woodinville FD, Duvall Fire District #45 and Snohomish FD.  Monroe PD assisted with traffic control duties and the transported the injured kitty to a local vet after Firefighters brought it back to life.

A total of 19 residents have been displaced by the impacted by the fire.  The American Red Cross is currently assisting the families.

#SCFD7Fire #MonroeFire #FireSeason2019

(c) 2019 NW Fire Blog – 4/2/2019 @ 2025 hours PDT

MONROE, WA | Firefighters Revive One Furry Life

SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wa. | Firefighters from Snohomish County Fire District #7 were dispatched just after 1900 hours PDT, to an apartment fire located in the 14600 block of 179th Ave SE in Monroe.

Quickly egressing upon the fire, firefighters were able to put the fire out within a short amount of time.  After the fire was tapped, they immediately checked for any hot spots or extensions.

Photo Credit | SCFD7

The fire broke out in the evening on Tuesday, April 2, 2019.

After conducting primary and secondary searches of the apartment unit, they found no humans home but their four-legged family member was found.  Firefighters extricated the unresponsive feline and began giving it oxygen and ultimately saving its life.

All-in-all, there were a total of eight apartment units affected by the fire.

Resources on-scene and assisting with firefighting and containment efforts are from the Lake Stevens FD, Everett FD, Woodinville FD, Duvall Fire District #45 and Snohomish FD.  Monroe PD was also on-scene for traffic control and one of their Officers transported the injured kitty to a local vet in the area.

Photo Credit | SCFD7

It was a well-coordinated effort by all whom responded to this apartment fire.

#SCFD7Fire #MonroeFire #FireSeason2019

(c) 2019 NW Fire Blog – 4/2/2019 @ 1955 hours PDT

California Wildfire Forcing Evacuations | 1

UPDATE 1 – Sunday, October 14, 2018

REDDING, Calif. – The Redding Police Department has issued MANDATORY EVACUATIONS due to a fast-moving wildfire that is threatening multiple housing communities.

The wildfire has been reported to have started from an unknown cause on Sunday, October 14th at 1100 hours PDT.

The wildfire named the MASONIC FIRE is located off of Lake Boulevard and Masonic Avenue in Redding (Shasta County), California.   The wildfire is north of the Sundial Bridge in the Sulphur Creek area.

Photo Credit | California PIO

This FIRE is in the same vicinity where the CARR FIRE was put out.

Social Media (Fire) various accounts are reporting the MASONIC FIRE is now being fueled by 45-mph winds that has destroyed one home.   An electrical substation is being threatened and crews are trying to save it.

Photo Credit | Redding Police

The areas currently being EVACUATED are:

  • Barbara Road
  • Pearl Street
  • Nancy Court
  • Neighborhoods north of Benton Drive to Lake Boulevard
  • West of Market Street

Photo Credit | Redding Police

Areas that should be ready to READY TO LEAVE at a moment’s notice are:

  • South of Benton Drive


  • Shasta-Trinity NF | Engines 51 and 52
  • City of Redding FD
  • Air Attack | N421DF Plane

SCANNER FEED via Social Media

1158 | Per IC, forward progression slowed. Spotting.  Now up to 30 acres.

(c) 2018 NW Fire Blog 

California Wildfire | Snell Fire | 1

UPDATE 1 – Monday, September 10, 2018

Incident Summary

A wildfire named the SNELL FIRE is burning in the Sonoma-Lake Unit (CAL FIRE) service area or about 12 miles southeast of Middletown (Napa County), California.

The cause is unknown and under investigation.

Fire Map on September 9. Credit: Joseph Elfet @MappingSupport


Fire fuels consist of grassy oak woodlands.


There are 1,241 fire personnel assigned to this incident along with 31 crews, 132 engines, 20 dozers, 20 water tenders and 7 helicopters.

Current Status

Fire behavior has been observed as active with uphill runs, single tree torching and flanking.  Firefighters are beginning to make great progress. A cooling trend is expected and to assist crews with fire suppression.

The fire has burned 2,490 acres and there is a 45% containment status.


At this time, many structures including homes are being threatened.  Evacuation orders were in effect but have since been lifted.

Damage Assessment

Firefighting suppression and containment costs have soared to $3.9 Million to date.

(c) 2018 NW Fire Blog