Update: Newby Lake Fire

As of 7 a.m. Thursday morning, July 9, the Newby Lake fire had grown to 2501 acres with zero containment. It continues to burn northwest of Loomis, Washington; mostly in timber up against rocks.

Rick Acosta of the USFS said 367 people were on it, including four 20-person Hot Shot crews and seven other Type 2 crews. Two Type 1 helicopters, seven Type 2 helicopters, two Type 3 helicopters, two engines and four dozers are currently being used. Acosta reported Hot Shot crews attempted yesterday to build a direct line against the eastern edge of the fire to keep it from reaching further into the Loomis State Forest, but the behavior of the fire did not allow for that to happen. Acosta said firefighters are working in elevations of up to 8,000 feet in steep, rugged terrain. They will be clearing brush and prepping some of the old fire lines from the 2006 Tripod Fire to tie in to in the event the weather, wind and terrain does not allow for the firefighters to be put on direct line to the fire. Crews had to be pulled away yesterday from the direct lines, as it was too dangerous with increased fire activity.

Agencies coordinating to suppress the fire are WA DNR, USFS and the British Columbia Ministry of Forest Lands and Natural Resource. The lightning cause fire started July 2, in British Columbia south of Keremeos in the Snowy Creek Protected Area. It traveled south toward Arnold Peak in the Pasayten Wilderness on the U.S. side. Acosta said as soon as it came into the Pasayten Wilderness, the USFS declared they would suppress it immediately; however, they had trouble getting resources at the beginning due to the fire in Wenatchee. Before crews arrived, they used helicopters to do water bucket drops. Crews arrived Tuesday, and they have been building forces since then. The majority of the firefighters are being moved today from the Incident Base in Tonasket to a camp outside of Loomis, to cut down on travel time. For updated information, go to inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4344/.

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