Quick summary of wildfires in Washington and Oregon

GOES 17 satellite photo, wildfires, 6:36 p.m. PDT July 18, 2021

There are at least five large significant wildfires currently burning in Washington and Oregon. Here is a quick and dirty summary. The acreages were as of Saturday evening, but all were putting up large smoke plumes Sunday easily seen from a satellite.

Working north to south, starting in Washington:

Cub Creek 2 Fire
4,690 acres, 5 miles north of Winthrop, Washington. Numerous residences are threatened. Evacuations are in effect, including for pack animals, mules from the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest who were relocated to their winter pasture.

pack mules on the Oka-Wen
pack mules on the Oka-Wen

The north flank of the Cub Creek 2 remains unchecked. Retardant from very large air tankers, water scooping planes, and helicopters with buckets are providing support to firefighters in all locations of the fire. It is burning north pushed by diurnal winds during the day and smoke pushed down south during the late evening and morning.

Cedar Creek Fire
4,080 acres, 12 air miles northwest of Winthrop, Washington, very close to Highway 20. The western perimeter of the fire has burned onto a ridgeline with sparse fuels, slowing the spread. On the southern portion of the fire, growth has been minimal as it burns in subalpine areas with minimal vegetation. The northeastern portion remains the most active.

Summit Trail Fire
2,031 acres, 17 miles west of Inchelium. It has only been burning for three days. On Saturday crews continued to build direct fire line. There was fire growth on the north-northwest side of the fire, and crews scouted Upper Ridge Creek Road, developing a plan to prep and hold the fire along the road.

Due to limited resources the fire continued to spread Saturday to the  northeast at a moderate rate of spread, but that pace increased Sunday.

And in Oregon:

Jack Fire
16,764 acres, on both sides of Highway 138, 9 miles northwest of Clearwater. South of Highway 138, firefighters continue burnout operations to build primary line on the west and southwest flanks. On the southeast side, crews will continue to use heavy machinery to clear and brush out roads used as control lines.

Bootleg Fire
298,662 acres, 30 miles northeast of Klamath Falls. The Bootleg Fire continued to push further into Lake County for a distance of five miles on the north side and ten on the east side. It remains about four to five miles north of Highway 140. It was extremely active again on Sunday, as can be seen in the satellite photo above.

Wildfire activity in Arizona and New Mexico

Above: Dog Fire, June 14, 2016. Photo by Incident Management Team.

Cool, wet weather has slowed wildfire activity in Northern California, Washington, and Oregon. The 2,396-acre Pony fire on the Klamath National Forest, about 15 miles southwest of Happy Camp, received rain on Tuesday.

It is a different story in Arizona and New Mexico where more than half a dozen fires have burned significant acreage. All of them are limited suppression fires except for the Dog Head Fire that started Tuesday morning.

Jack Fire

This limited suppression fire has burned 36,408 acres in central Arizona 24 miles southeast of Sedona. This is an increase of about 11,000 acres over the last three days. There is a red flag warning in effect from 11 a.m. Wednesday morning to 7 p.m. in th evening due to strong winds and low relative humidity for the area. Higher temperatures and low relative humidity are expected over the next couple days.

Dog Head Fire

Rich Nieto’s Type 2 Incident Management Team will assume command of this 682-acre fire Wednesday evening. It started at 11 a.m. on Tuesday and as of Wednesday morning voluntary evacuations are occurring for Monzano Morning, Aceves Road, and La Parra Road.

Today they expect temperatures in the 80s and low 90s, southwest wind of 10 to 25 with gust to 35, and relative humidity around 10 percent.

It is about 25 miles southeast of Albuquerque, New Mexico on the Cibola National Forest and National Grassland. This is the only one of these six fires that is not a limited suppression fire.

McKenna Fire

This limited suppression fire northwest of Silver City, New Mexico has burned 10,210 acres since it was reported on May 6.

North Fire

This limited suppression fire has burned about 22,000 acres 25 miles southwest of Magdalena, New Mexico since it was reported on May 21.

North Fire
North Fire. Undated photo by Ken Watkins.

Spur and Turkey Fires

The Gila National Forest in southwest New Mexico is releasing very little information about these two limited suppression fires that at last report had each burned between 2,000 and 3,000 acres.