Nine Mile Fire Update: Fire not started by plane crash

Thirty percent contained, 4673 acres burned

Although a fire started near where this Cessna T-182 wrecked, killing both the pilot and passenger, the fire was contained to the immediate area, according to Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers. The fire was reported by Brandy Rise, who said the plane crashed about 400 yards from the Rise family ranch. Photo by Brandy Rise.

Although a fire started near where this Cessna T-182 wrecked, killing both the pilot and passenger, the fire was contained to the immediate area, according to Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers. The fire was reported by Brandy Rise, who said the plane crashed about 400 yards from the Rise family ranch. Photo by Brandy Rise.

OROVILLE – The Nine Mile fire started on Thursday, Aug. 13, and is located three miles northeast of Oroville. The fire has burned 4,673 acres and is 30 percent contained. The fire moved beyond the United States border and into British Columbia burning 120 acres (48.5 hectares). Approximately 130 fire personnel are on the fire with additional resources ordered. No injuries are reported on this fire.

Washington Incident Management Team 2 assumed command of the fire at 6 a.m. Saturday morning. Managing agencies include Washington Department of Natural Resource and Okanogan Fire District 11. Other agencies on this fire include: Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office and Okanogan County Emergency Management. The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Washington Department of Natural Resources. The fire was not caused by a plane crash, as was initially reported.

The focus for today will be to secure the perimeter and begin mopping up 150 feet in from the fire perimeter. Air support efforts were slowed down due to the wind conditions over the fire yesterday, but expected to fully support firefighting efforts today. An unknown number of structures burned in the fire. Fire crews will be working to assess the situation, identify and confirm the number of structures burned in the fire.

Local initial attack resources diligently worked to gain access into the fire area and were successful in establishing a line around the entire fire perimeter over the last two days. A Level 3 Evacuation Notice was ordered by the Okanogan Sheriff’s Office with several residents needing to leave their homes. A Red Cross Shelter was set up at the Oroville Elementary School overnight. The Level 3 Evacuation Notice was reduced to a Level 1 Advisory on Friday morning allowing residents to return to their homes. The Red Cross Shelter in Oroville is now closed. Due to the fire situation, Highway 97 and 97A have been intermittently closed. Log onto www.wsdot.com/traffic/trafficalerts/ for travel information.

Another cold front with higher wind conditions changing from southwest to northwest is expected today. Fire behavior potential remains high. With any lightning, new fire starts are possible and initial attack crews are preparing for the potential of additional fires.

Washington Interagency Incident Management Team 2 (WA IMT2) would like to thank the public for their support during the Nine Mile fire. Fire danger remains extremely high across the state. Be sure to check your fire agencies for local restrictions, forest and state closures.

For more see: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4517/

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