Diamond Creek Fire now nearly 33,000 acres
MAZAMA – The Diamond Creek Fire, now over a month old, is burning within the Pasayten Wilderness and Eightmile Drainage and has grown to 32,728 acres and continues to burn in timber stands consisting of a mix of fir, spruce and pine. Officials predict the fire won’t be contained until mid-October.
The fire is located approximately 12 air miles north of Mazama and 5.5 miles south of the Canadian border. While 63 percent of the perimeter is contained, heavy dead and down fuels have very receptive to spotting due to critically dry fuel moistures, according to Incident Commander Sarah Billings.
On Sunday, Aug. 27, there was active burning in Drake Creek at the south end of the fire and in the East Fork Pasayten Creek and Deception Pass at the north end. Fire growth was 458 acres at the north end. Smoke columns were seen in the Methow Valley. Helicopter water drops were used to hold the fire in Drake Creek and keep it from moving into Pat Creek, while firefighters flew in for a short mission to maintain sprinklers at Hidden Lakes cabins.Chippers are continuing to treat slash created as part of the preparation work on the indirect fire line along Ortell Creek Road. In addition, a road grader and three water tenders are working on the Goat Creek Road to repair road impacts caused by suppression efforts.
Officials predict the fire behavior will include continued movement to the north and burning of interior islands, with active burning during the night. Smoke would also continue to affect air quality in the upper Methow Valley.
Fire Restrictions: Fire restrictions remain in place. Maintaining, attending or using a fire or campfire, and use of charcoal briquette barbecues, or other devices that use solid fuel is prohibited across most of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. An Industrial Fire Precaution Level III is in effect which does not allow any firewood cutting with a power saw for commercial or personal use.
Fire danger is very high and Forest Service officials ask people to not park their car on dry grass or allow trailer chains to drag behind vehicles where they can cause sparks and ignite new fires.