Firefighters focus on stopping fire’s advance toward Canada

Diamond Creek Fire grows to nearly 27,000 acres

MAZAMA – The Diamond Creek Fire burning within the Pasayten Wilderness and Eightmile drainage is now about 12 miles north of Mazama and 5.5 miles south of the Canadian border, according to the latest updates from the U.S. Forest Service.

Photo by Marshall Wallace, USFS Helicopter at Foster Field helibase is being used to drop water on the Diamond Creek Fire, burning in the Pasayten Wilderness.

Photo by Marshall Wallace, USFS
Helicopter at Foster Field helibase is being used to drop water on the Diamond Creek Fire, burning in the Pasayten Wilderness.

As of Monday, Aug. 14, the fire had grown by 1,788 acres since the previous Friday. On Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017, the fire advanced over Eightmile Pass, into the upper headwaters of Eightmile drainage. Fire managers are trying to stop the fire’s advance north toward Canada and further damage in the Eightmile drainage.

A firing operation was completed from handlines in the Eightmile drainage, south of Billy Goat Trailhead, reducing heavy fuels in the path of the fire. Structure protection assessments have been completed on over 500 structures south of the fire.

The incident received a trace amount of precipitation and cooler temperatures that reduced the fire behavior to active with short rates of spread. An expected trend with low relative humidity will increase fire behavior potential to extreme conditions with long-range spotting, rapid rates of spread, crowning and fire whirls, according to incident command.

Crews will be used in holding operations on the blackened handline in the Eightmile drainage. Contingency handlines and dozer lines will continue to be scouted and constructed. Aviation resources will also be used as needed to keep fire in check in the Drake Creek drainage. Crews will identify locations to plan burn operations. Caution is advised when traveling nearby roadways, due to sometimes heavy fire traffic.

Road closures expanded due to fire activity on Aug. 11. Eightmile Creek (5130) Road is now closed from West Chewuch (51) Road to Billy Goat Trailhead. The Ortell (5220) Road is closed from Cub Pass, at the intersection with the Sweetgrass Butte (5220-100) Road, to the Eightmile (5130) Road. Sweetgrass Butte (5220-100) Road is closed from Cub Pass, at the intersection with Ortell (5220) Road, to Sweetgrass Butte.Falls Creek Road 5140 is closed.