Predicted lightning bust in the Northwest was a bust

Pole Creek Fire, smoke plume

Originally posted at 11:45 a.m. MT, September 23, 2012

The Red Flag Warning for dry lightning in Washington and Oregon for this weekend has been cancelled. As far as we know there have been no lightning strikes in the two states over the last 24 hours, but there have been a few reports of light, scattered rain showers. The National Weather Service first said the lightning, some of it without rain, would begin Friday night, then revised the forecast saying it would occur Saturday and Sunday. Today, Sunday, at 8:43 a.m. local time, they cancelled the Red Flag Warning which had covered central and northeast Oregon as well as south central and southeast Washington.

The weather system that moved through the area on Saturday did have some strong winds which created a few problems on the Pole Creek Fire near Sisters, Oregon causing the fire to spot over the line on the west side of Trout Creek Butte. A Surge Task Force consisting of two Hotshot Crews and one other crew helped contain the spot fires. A small amount of rain fell on the fire yesterday but the fuels may dry out again on Sunday with the winds that are predicted. The fire grew by about 300 acres on Saturday, and now stands at 25,886 acres. The incident management team is calling it 55 percent contained.

And speaking of the Pole Creek Fire, the IMTeam has posted some excellent photos on their InciWeb page. Here are a few examples:

Pole Creek Fire, smoke plume
Pole Creek Fire, smoke plume as seen from ICP 9-14-2012, photo by Tracy Keebler
Pole Creek Fire, smoke plume, condensation
Pole Creek Fire, showing some very impressive “ice capping”, or condensation, at the top of the smoke plume, 9-14-2012. Photo by Matthew Noble

More photos are below:

Pole Creek Fire, east side
Pole Creek Fire, east side. Photo by Tom Iraci
Pole Creek Fire
Pole Creek Fire as seen from Scott Pass, 9-9-2012. Photo by Rebecca Nore


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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

4 thoughts on “Predicted lightning bust in the Northwest was a bust”

  1. Hey McCoy, if you’re all smoked in, maybe you just go down to Ten Depot Street and order up the Blue Plate Special and sit in there for a bit. If you see Sandy or Edna, tell her or them I said hey. If you don’t see ’em, then just order a platter of chilled shrimp and hang out in the wildfire-smoke-free place for the evening. … I miss that place.


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