Update: Newby Lake Fire

Firefighters' camp near Loomis
Firefighters’ camp near Loomis

The Incident Base for the Newby Lake Fire is being moved from Tonasket Middle School to the Loomis Base Camp. “Everyone is here except for Incident Command, who will be here in a day or two,” said Dan Omdal, Public Information Officer with DNR. Omdal said it would be another day or two before phone lines were brought in to the Loomis camp.

A Red Flag warning has been issued today for scattered thunderstorms. Abundant lightning accompanied by wind gusts of 25-35 mph are expected to be additional hazards to firefighters as thunderstorms move through the area this afternoon. Dry fuels consisting of timber on steep, rocky terrain continue to challenge the fire suppression efforts of the crew.

“This weather is a double-edged sword; if it brings rain it will be a benefit; but if it brings lightening it’s a liability,” Omdal said. “All rain is not created equally,” added Omdal, a Forest Pathologist out of Olympia. “There’s a big difference between a quarter inch falling in a five-minute dump; and the same amount of rain falling over a ten-hour period, which is a lot more wetting.”

Yesterday, hot shot crews made excellent progress building fire line to corral the fire at the northeast corner near Snowshoe Meadow. A combination of heavy mechanized line and hand line was also accomplished near the eastern edge of the fire to stop further progress into the Loomis State Forest.

This Sunday the Washington Incident Management Team 2 will be transitioning with a Pacific Northwest Type 1 Team (Pacific Northwest Team 3).

“A lot of folks are on a 14-day rotation, and most of the people here were dispatched out to the Sleepy Hollow Fire in Wenatchee for six days before being transferred here,” Omdal said. He said the entire structure would transition to a new team, including a new incident commander, operations, logistics and finance.