NORTH COUNTY – The Palmer Fire, now 17,988 acres, is listed as 84 percent contained and is completely lined and firefighters are now focusing on holding and improving their lines and eliminating any remaining heat within 200 feet of the fire’s edge or within 300 feet of structures.
Breezy conditions last Friday afternoon did not create any problems, giving firefighters confidence their existing lines are adequate for containment. A significant wind event is expected later today, which could raise the chances of new starts in the area. There will also be a Red Flag warning from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m.. The public is urged to use extreme caution and to be vigilant as this will bring elevated fire danger to Eastern Washington, said Northwest Incident Management Team 6 in their Saturday, Aug. 29 update.
“Some members of the public have expressed uncertainty as to whether sifting through ashes is safe or prudent. Agitating dry ash can throw tiny particles of burned material into the air, which are easily inhaled. Any burned material, even organic material like wood and plants, contains carcinogens that are hazardous to your health,” said Team 6. “If you sift any ash, it is highly recommended that you wear a mask, just as you would if you were working with paint, varnish, cement, or other potentially hazardous chemicals.”
Okanogan County Emergency Management and the Sheriff’s Department are coordinating with fire personnel regularly to assess the status of evacuation levels.
Level 3 Evacuations – GO (leave immediately):
- From the intersection of Alemandi Rd and Loomis-Oroville Rd.
- Area to the south of Ellenmeham Rd to Ellis Barnes Rd
- Area to the west of Wannacut Lake Rd. to the intersection with Ellis Barnes Rd.
- Any area in the burn perimeter
There is an interactive evacuation map at https://arcg.is/1TP4WO0
- Wannacut Lake Rd. at Ellemeham Mountain Rd.
- Blue Lake Rd. at Lake Front Rd.
- Washburn Lake Rd. at Loomis-Oroville Rd.
- Ellemeham Mtn Rd. to Ellis Barnes Rd.
There are 349 personnel assigned to the fire, with nine Type 2 crews, 18 engines, eight water tenders and three dozers.
“Firefighters and staff on the Palmer Fire would like to express their heartfelt thanks for the outpouring of support from the public. Local community members opened up their schools, helped to run the base camp, and did everything else they could to help us establish and execute a strong and effective firefighting operation. Your service to firefighters allowed us to serve you. Thank you,” writes the team.
For further fire information email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to the Okanogan County Emergency Management Facebook page. There is also information at InciWeb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7029/.