Lightning Fires Update

August 8, 2019

Acres: 1/10 to 54

Current situation: Visitors to the Alpine Lakes Wilderness may see smoke coming from two small lightning caused fires burning approximately 12 to 14 miles west/northwest of the town of Leavenworth. A third lightning-caused fire, Maple Fire, is burning approximately 29 miles northwest of Leavenworth, in the Chiwawa drainage of the Glacier Peak Wilderness.

South Fork Creek Fire burning 12 miles west/southwest of Leavenworth, WA, South Fork Fire has grown 17 acres since July 30.  It’s now 54 acres and fire activity has been fairly benign through the warm weather we have been experiencing this week.  We anticipate today may be the last day of measurable growth before the weather changes this weekend.  Here is an infrared map that we received this morning and a couple of photos below, one from yesterday afternoon and another from this morning. 

No closures are in effect, but hikers using Index Creek Trail are urged to use caution and be aware of the two fires burning in the area (Index Creek and South Fork Creek fires).

South Fork fire 3

south fork fire 4

These fires are located within the Alpine Lakes Wilderness and are being monitored and managed to play their natural role in the environment to preserve and enhance wilderness integrity. This strategy aligns with current policy which allows naturally caused fires to help maintain wilderness character. These fires are burning in an area where fire can benefit the forest, by reducing the amount of fuel on the ground and thus curbing the severity of future fires in the area.

Index Fire and Maple Fire are inactive, and are each less than a tenth of an acre in size.  

A third lightning-caused fire, Maple Creek Fire, is located in the Chiwawa drainage started on July 23 and was initially detected as a single snag burning within the perimeter of an old fire area. This fire is under a confinement strategy with the goal of keeping it confined to a specific area. “The fire is being managed so that it remains inside the footprint of the old 2003 Maple Fire,” Stock said. “This objective was selected to reduce the unnecessary risk to fire personnel. Currently, there is very little fire activity going on.”

See Map links below for locations.

Firefighters will continue to monitor the fires and take appropriate suppression action as necessary, for the right reason, in areas that have the highest probability of success. Fire managers have also set up a webcam on the South Fork and Index Creek fires to eliminate the needs for aerial reconnaissance, reducing exposure. They have also set up a remote automated weather station near the fire to track changes and correlate anticipated fire behavior.

For more information please contact Cary Stock at 509-548-2581.

South Fork - Index Fire Advisory

Maple Creek Fire Advisory

South Fork Creek Fire

Smoke visible from South Fork Creek Fire on August 6, 2019. 


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