Friday wildfire watch: Fire danger is extreme due to wind & cold front

Level 2 Evacuations for Schneider Springs Fire + Extreme danger for Umatilla National Forest, Green Ridge Fire

 

PENDLETON, Ore. — Fire danger is considered extreme across parts of Northern Oregon and South/Central Washington after passing thunderstorms on Tuesday night ignited wildfires and smaller isolated incidents across the inland northwest.

This includes the Schneider Springs Fire, which is located between Nile, WA, and the Bumping Lake area in Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. As of August 6 at 10:10 a.m., the wildfire has expanded to 4,000 acres. There is a total of 23 personnel working to contain the fire, which is involving timber and grass roughly 20 miles NW of Naches, WA.

PREVIOUS: Storms spark wildfires across Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest

Resources are thin due to containment efforts in other parts of the state. Therefore, teams are prioritizing public safety with a long road ahead of them. Earlier projections suggest that the Schneider Springs Fire won’t be contained until October 30, 2021.

This is subject to change based on the potential for national resources to be deployed to aid containment efforts across the United States’ northwest region.

Evacuation levels were last updated at 10:30 p.m. on August 5. Per Yakima Valley Emergency Management, Level 2 evacuations are in place for individuals located west of SR 410, north of The Woodshed, and south of Rock Creek Road (see map in the gallery above).

For continued updates on the fires across the inland northwest, sign up for our Wildfire Newsletter below:


Friday Wildfire Watch: Thunderstorms ignite land in Umatilla Nat. Forest, Yakima County

Windy Pass Fire (August 5)

WINDY PASS FIRE: Roughly 10 miles south of Cle Elum and Lookout Mountain is the Windy Pass Fire, which has grown to roughly 85 acres as of Friday morning. Thus far, 46 total personnel have responded to the scene of this growing threat.

Authorities believe that a cold front passage and winds to the west threaten to expand this wildfire further. However, it’s easier to access than the Schneider Spring Fire, so more resources can access it to work on containment efforts.


Green Ridge Fire

Spot fire that occurred on the evening of 8-5-2021. Photo by Albert Ward, Operations Section Chief

GREEN RIDGE FIRE: After 14 separate lightning strikes were recorded overnight in the Northwest within and around the Green Ridge Fire containment zone, fire crews were tested. Embers were pushed beyond containment lines by gusts of wind, causing spot fire outside the Green Ridge containment lines.

One fire ignited near the Panjab Campground at and another sparked near 46 Rd and Drop Point 261. A total of 336 personnel have worked on the fire, which is now 15% contained since July 7.

Here are evacuation levels, as provided by the U.S. Forest Services’ Umatilla National Forest Division:

Level II Evacuation Notice issued on July 29th, by Columbia County’s sheriff’s office remains in effect for the area: south of the
previous Level I evacuation in Columbia County. The Level II evacuation notice extends east to the forest boundary, including Bald Butte
Mountain and south to the Columbia County-Wallowa County state border. The evacuation notice also extends west to the forest boundary
and north to Chase Mountain. From Chase Mountain, it extends to Middle Point Trailhead to Midway Campground. Additionally, a Level I
evacuation notice remains in effect for the following areas: everywhere north and west of Chase Mountain and Midway Camp in the forest
boundary.

UMATILLA NATIONAL FOREST: The Blue Mountain Interagency Dispatch Center and John Day Interagency Dispatch Center have recorded 50 separate incidents of varying sizes and threat levels since passing thunderstorms occurred on Tuesday night.

Aerial resources are being deployed to aid with efforts, but smoke is expected in the northwest region for the foreseeable future. Fire danger is considered Extreme across the national forest, so public use restrictions are in effect. That means campfires, chainsaws, off-road driving, and smoking are prohibited in Umatilla National Forest.

All lands within the Pomeroy and Walla Walla Ranger Districts are closed from Forest Service Road 64 all the way north to Jubilee Lake.

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