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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

NV-HTF Washington Fire 13562 acres, 0% cont. 10 miles south of Markleeville, GBCC Team 4


Washington FireNV-HTF-030251 Humboldt-Toiyabe NF. IMT2 (Wilcox). Ten miles south of Markleeville, CA


Evacuations: Several campgrounds along Highway 4 to the north end of Markleeville have been evacuated. In addition, Highways 4 and 89 in the Monitor Pass area are closed. Turtle Rock and Indian Creek campgrounds are closed. As a precaution, Markleeville residences have been advised to prepare for an evacuation if the need arises, however, no mandatory evacuations are in effect for Markleeville at this time.

Smoke is dispersing to various areas surrounding the fire. Use precaution when driving, keeping in mind that visibility could be limited. Visit http://www.cdc.gov/Features/Wildfires/ for information regarding the potential effects of wildfire smoke. 

Washington Fire
Credit: http://www.kcra.com/
Update 6-24-15 0730:  he fire is being managed by Type 2 Great Basin Incident Management Team 4(Wilcox)

Update 6-23-15 1130:  The Washington Fire is burning 8-10 miles south of Markleeville, CA. The fire is being managed by Type 2 Great Basin Incident Management Team 4. Size has been estimated at 16,544 acres since initial attack efforts began on Friday June 19 at around 7:00 p.m. There are approximately 11 helicopters, 8 air tankers (including two DC-10's available in the area), 17 engines, 3 water tenders, 15 crews, and 22 overhead; making a total of approximately 500 personnel assigned to the fire. The containment number of 10% has been reduced to 0% due to winds experienced in the area and unsafe conditions for firefighters in the early stages of the fire.

One minor heat-related injury occurred. Once removed from the fireline, the firefighter was treated and is doing fine.

Firefighters plan to continue direct line construction north of Highway 89, as well as utilizing air and ground support. Continuing protection of cultural and historical sites within, and adjacent to the fire area will also be addressed in today's operational period. The tactical priority is to prevent the fire from reaching Markleeville, CA.

Today's weather is expected to be sunny and hazy, 81-85 degrees. Winds up slope/up valley at 5-10 mph. Ridge top winds are expected to be light in the morning. Vegetation is feeling the stress from over three years cumulative drought and historically low snow-pack in the mountains this past winter.


Update 6-23-15 0900: Incident objectives for today:
• Minimize potential fire perimeter impacts to the town of Markleeville and East Fork Resort
• Reduce the potential of high severity fire effects on the watershed and fisheries resources In Silver King drainage and East Fork of the Carson River
• Minimize fire Impacts to the Leviathan Mine area and drainage
• Take action to minimize fire effects to Slinkard Valley State Wildlife Area

Location: 
Ten miles south of Markleeville, CA. 
ROS: Rapid
ROC: Extreme fire behavior with wind driven-runs and spotting. Numerous structures threatened. Evacuations and road closures in effect.
Cause:  Hold-over lightning strike reignited with recent strong winds
Fuels: Timber. Extremely dry. Vegetation is feeling stress from 3 years of cumulative drought and historically low snowpack in the mountains this past winter. This stress is most evident in the heavier fuels, with timber stands and understory readily supporting fire spread and easily igniting. 100 hr fuels are estimated at 3-4% moisture content. Fire has burned well in Ponderosa Pine forests and Pinyon/Juniper stands. Open shrub fields on slopes have burned nearly completely with riparian corridors also burning well. Above 7000' feet herbaceous fuels are still holding some moisture from green-up and resisting fire spread without strong winds. 
Fire behavior: Fire runs from the weekend have been under the influence of strong winds associated with passage of a cold front. As winds decrease under building high pressure, fire spread will transition to being fuel and slope driven. Hot, dry conditions along with critically dry fuels set up for active fire behavior in the coming days, especially in the low and mid slopes along the drainages of the East Fork Carson River. 
Weather: High pressure will bring a warming trend through the rest of this week with lighter winds and better overnight recoveries. Winds will be generally light and terrain driven with modest east flow at ridge level tonight. Light wind pattern continues for the next few days with east ridge winds at night peaking out Thursday night. Warming trend continues into the weekend with near record high temperatures Thursday and Friday. Chances of thunderstorms return to the forecast by Friday and Saturday. 
Smoke production from fire spread in the early part of the bum period could linger with light transport winds and eventually shade out areas later in the day

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****REMINDER**** Every fire has the ability to be catastrophic. The wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed. Growing numbers of communities, across the nation, are experiencing longer fire seasons; more frequent, bigger, and more severe, fires are a real threat. Be careful with all campfires and equipment.
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