North Star Fire at 217,619 acres; 85% contained - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

North Star Fire at 217,619 acres; 85% contained

Posted: Updated:
The perimeter of the North Star fire on August 20, 2015 The perimeter of the North Star fire on August 20, 2015
NESPELEM, Wash. -

UPDATE: September 19, 2015 11:00 a.m.: As of Saturday morning, the North Star Fire is 217,619 acres and 85 percent contained. The Tunk Block Fire is now 165,918 acres and 97 percent contained. Crews on both fires have started suppression repair operations.

Suppression repair is the primary focus of activities that are occurring on the Tunk Block Fire. These efforts seek to mitigate resource concerns caused by fireline construction and the use of roads to access the fire. As much as possible, fire and land managers want to restore the roads and areas where firelines were constructed to pre-fire conditions. This work is specifically designed to minimize sediment delivery into streams and rivers and minimize gully and surface erosion. Approximately 130 miles of suppression repair have been completed on the Tunk Block Fire. Firefighters are responding to smokes of concern as needed.

Like the Tunk Block Fire, crews on the North Star Fire are focusing their activities on suppression repair. Chipping of cut material along roads is occurring. Approximately 145 miles of suppression repair have been completed on the North Star Fire. Firefighters are responding to smokes of concern as needed.  Most of the smoke still visible is from interior islands burning out.

UPDATE: September 13, 2015 10:30 a.m.: As of Sunday morning the North Star Fire remains 45 percent contained and is now 212,646 acres in size. The Tunk Block Fire is now 162,840 acres and 77 percent contained.

On the North Star Fire, firefighters conducted a small burnout operation east of Cornell Butte to remove remaining ground fuels near containment lines. With this operation complete crews will work to remove any remaining heat near control lines. Efforts were successful to complete direct line on the fire’s edge southwest of Cornell Butte. Excellent progress was made at establishing both direct and indirect line north and south of Barrett Butte on the fire’s western flank. Other crews were inserted by helicopter on the top of the cliffs east of Highway 21 to construct direct line. Suppression repair plans for the fire area are being prepared.

On the Tunk Block Fire, firefighters made good progress toward securing a difficult containment line in the fire’s rugged and difficult northeast corner between Bannon and Tunk Mountains. Success was also achieved in improving line south of Tuck Mountain to Aeneas Mountain area. Today crews will continue to build on their successes and work to mop up any remaining heat near containment lines. As suppression repair plans are completed and appropriate resources arrive, repair work will begin.

UPDATE: September 12, 2015 10:30 a.m.: As of Saturday morning the North Star Fire is 45 percent contained and 211,356 acres. The Tunk Block Fire is 162,693 acres and 75 percent contained.

On the Tunk Block Fire, fire managers are calling most of the west side of the fire contained and fairly cold.  Good progress was made along other uncontained areas on the eastern perimeter and mop up continues.  Suppression repair has begun to the north along some dozer line and plans for further repair efforts are underway and fire managers are expecting the arrival of resources to conduct those repairs.

Meanwhile, on the North Star Fire, firefighters found some of the firing operations to the north and east had left portions of the line unevenly burned. Those areas will be mopped up, and burning off ground fuels completed, as weather and other conditions allow.  A few areas continue to burn actively in the warmer temperatures and smoke was visible on Friday, but good progress was made holding the line.  Mop up and firing for strategic objectives will continue as opportunities become available to clean up green islands and widen the black line. Assessments are beginning to build a suppression repair plan for the fire area.

UPDATE: September 8, 2015 2:20 p.m.: As of Tuesday afternoon the North Star Fire remains 37 percent contained and has only grown slightly since Monday. The fire is now 209,537 acres. The Tunk Block Fire is currently 162,423 acres and 70 percent contained.

Yesterday’s Activities: Firefighters continued working to ensure that their containment lines are secure as the weather warmed up. Major portions of the Tunk Block Fire and areas of North Star Fire including the southern edge, Warwick Road in Aeneas Valley and Scatter Creek are in mop-up and patrol. The primary focus along the eastern edge of the Tunk Block Fire included continuing line construction and strengthening containment lines in preparation for burnout operations should it be necessary to protect Aeneas Valley.

Today’s Operations: Burnout operations to secure firelines are a priority for today if weather permits. There are now multiple containment lines in place on the southwest portion of the North Star Fire. Burnout operations are planned between Armstrong Mountain and areas near Moses Meadows. There will also be aerial and hand ignition burnout operation near Swan Lake Road west around the north side of Cornell Butte contingent on weather. On the northeast portion crews will continue mopping-up and holding the successful burnout along Highway 21 at Nineteen Mile Creek. In the Highway 21 corridor, crews will try to keep the fire on the higher slopes above the road in the Nanamkin Creek area. They will construct line along the fire edge from North Nanamkin Creek to Bear Creek. On the Tunk Block Fire crew will continue line construction, mop-up and patrol. Repair of damage caused during suppression activities (frequently referred to as ‘rehab’) is beginning.

UPDATE: September 7, 2015 2:50 p.m.:  OMAK, Wash. (AP) - U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell is in Washington state Monday to get a firsthand account of a wildfire that has torched about 320 square miles in north-central Washington.
    
Jewell met with fire managers and leaders with the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation before setting off to tour the fire lines of the North Star blaze. That fire burning north of Coulee Dam is about 37 percent contained.
    
In a telephone interview, Jewell said tribal leaders told her how devastating the fire is, particularly because they rely on forest products.
    
Jewell says there weren't enough resources until recently to fight that blaze because too many fires burning across the West have strained resources.
    
She says she wanted to thank firefighters and see what's happening on the ground so she can make a case to Congress to change how the government pays for fighting wildfires. The Obama administration wants it to treat some fires as federal disasters.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
 

UPDATE: September 7, 2015 11:00 a.m.: As of Monday morning the North Star fire is 209,504 acres and 37 percent contained. 

Yesterday’s Activities: The fuels in the fire area began drying after the rain Saturday. Parts of the southwest and northwest corners of the North Star Fire dried sufficiently for small burnouts to secure containment lines. Hand and dozer lines to control fire spread continued to be constructed along the southwest and west portions of the North Star Fire, and the northeast boundary of the Tunk Block Fire (NE Tunk Mountain). A large portion of the Tunk Block Fire and the southern edge of the North Star fire are in mop-up and patrol. About 150 people participated in the public meeting in Republic.

Today’s Operations: If conditions permit, crews will continue burnout in portions of the north (Cornell Butte), northeast and southwest portion of the North Star Fire. In the Highway 21 corridor, crews will try to keep the fire on the higher slopes above the road in the Nanamkin Creek area. Fireline construction, mop-up and patrol will continue, and rehabilitation of firelines may begin on the Tunk Block Fire. Work continues on the contingency line northeast of Tunk Mountain should it be needed to better protect private land and homes in Aeneas Valley, and the lookout. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell will visit the fire today and speak with firefighters and tribal leaders.

Weather: The forecast is for continued cool and mostly cloudy with isolated showers through tomorrow. Maximum temperatures mid-50s at higher elevations and 65-70 in the valleys. Relative humidity will be 30-40%. Winds will be light upslope or from the northwest with gusts up to 8 mph on ridges.


Evacuations/Closure Information: Several changes were made in Evacuation levels yesterday. The area along Highway 155 and much of the area south of Highway 20 was reduced to Levels 2 or 1. Areas remaining in Level 3 Evacuation include the west side of Highway 21 from McMann Creek south to Bridge Creek and around Moses Meadows. Highway 21 remains closed. Evacuation and closure information is dynamic and changes more frequently than this report is updated. For the most current evacuation information, please contact your closest Emergency Operations Center (EOC): Colville Tribal Emergency Services509-634-2105, Okanogan County EOC (509) 422-7206, Ferry County EOC 509-775-3132. Highway closure information is available online: http://www.wsdot.com/traffic/ trafficalerts
National Forest Lands east of Tonasket and south of Highway 20 on the Tonasket Ranger District are closed. Colville Indian Reservation forest and recreational areas are closed within the fires.


UPDATE: September 6, 2015 11:00 a.m.

As of Sunday morning the North Star Fire is listed at 208,145 acres and 35 percent contained. The Tunk Block Fire is 162,333 acres and 60 percent contained.

Yesterday’s Activities: Rain, especially on the North Star Fire, and high humidity reduced fire activity and aided with mop-up. It also delayed burnout operations that were planned to secure fire lines and better protect homes and private property. Hand and dozer lines to control fire spread continued to be constructed along the southwest and west portions of the North Star Fire, and the northeast boundary of the Tunk Block Fire (NE Tunk Mountain). A large portion of the Tunk Block Fire and the southern edge of the North Star fire are in mop-up and patrol. Three task forces with three engines each from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) completed their assignment on the fire. They were stationed in Republic.
Today’s Operations: If conditions permit, crews will continue burnout in portions of the Hwy 21 corridor, the southwest portion of the North Star Fire, and a small area on the Tunk Block Fire southwest of Disautel. Fireline construction, mop-up and patrol will continue. Work continues on the contingency line northeast of Tunk Mountain should it be needed to better protect private land and homes in Aeneas Valley, and the lookout.

UPDATE: September 5, 2015 10:30 a.m.

As of Saturday morning the North Star Fire is listed at 207, 641 acres with 30 percent containment. The Tunk Block Fire 162,323 acres with 55 percent containment.

Yesterday’s Activities: Crews continued a burn-out along the northeast corner of the North Star Fire to better protect the Republic community. Another burnout was successfully implemented at the eastern end of Aeneas Valley, and one was initiated between the fire and a portion of Hwy 21 to protect houses in that corridor. Hand and dozer lines to control fire spread continued to be constructed along the southwest and west portions of the North Star Fire, and the north part of the east boundary of the Tunk Block Fire (NE Tunk Mountain). A large portion of the Tunk Block Fire and the southern edge of the North Star fire are in mop-up and patrol.

Today’s Operations: Crews will continue burnout in portions of the Hwy 21 corridor as conditions allow. Fireline construction and mop-up will continue. Work continues on the contingency line northeast of Tunk Mountain to better protect private land and homes in Aeneas Valley, and the lookout. Firefighters are coordinating with range permittees in preparation for a potential burnout between constructed line and the fire’s edge. Aerial resources are checking the spread of the fire as line construction continues. Scattered smoke will continue to be visible on both fires, including some from burnout operations. More resources are becoming available to manage the North Star Fire, including some being transferred from the Tunk Block Fire. Crews working night shifts will change to swing shifts noon to midnight to better manage more active fire periods.

UPDATE: September 4, 2015 2:17 p.m.:

The North Star Fire is still listed at 205,605 acres and 25 percent contained. 

Yesterday’s Activities: Continued lower humidity levels, fueled fire activity on both the North Star and Tunk Block Fires yesterday. Firefighters also responded to smoke reports, but most were well inside the perimeter of the fire. There was little growth to either fire.Firefighters gained more control on the northeast and southeast potion of the Tunk Block fire as well as well as the north west portion of the North star fire.

Today’s Operations: Arial operation ignition will continue today if weather permits in the northeast corner, of the North Star Fire south of Republic as well as southwest corner north of highway I 55 to strengthen containment lines in these areas. More resources are being added, including chippers, engines and crews. Crews will continue constructing line directly adjacent to the fires edge where it is safe and effective to do so. They are also connecting roads and natural features to establish indirect line. On the North Star Fire, crews with the help of dozers and air attack are building direct fireline and improving indirect line; preparing it for burnout operations.

On the Tunk Block Fire, crews will continue work securing homes south of Crawfish Lake. Dozers will be building line in the northeast portion of the fire and firefighters will continue mopping-up to strengthen established containment lines.

Weather: The forecast is cool and partly cloudy with a slight chance of showers in the afternoon. Maximum temperatures 60-65 at higher elevations and 65-72 in the valleys. Relative humidity is 18-23% in valleys and 23-28% midslopes and ridges.

Evacuations/Closure Information: Evacuation and closure information is dynamic and changes more frequently than this report is updated. For the most current evacuation information, please contact your closest Emergency Operations Center (EOC): Colville Tribal Emergency Services 509-634-2105, Okanogan County EOC (509) 422-7206, Ferry County EOC 509-775-3132.

Highway closure information is available online: http://www.wsdot.com/traffic/ trafficalerts

National Forest Lands east of Tonasket and south of highway 20 on the Tonasket Ranger District are closed. Colville Indian Reservation forest and recreational areas are closed.

UPDATE: September 3, 2015 12:30 p.m.:

The North Star Fire experience very little growth Wednesday into Thursday and is now listed at 205,605 acres, but still remains 25% contained. 

On the southern portion of the fire near Nespelem, crews will continue mop-up operations between Johnson Lake and Owhi Lake to hold and secure containment lines and protect structures. They will also patrol Hwy 155.

On the southwest flank, crews are actively constructing line north to Lyman Lake BIA Road 3785 and Moses Meadows. Crews will burnout control lines when weather is favorable.

On the southwest corner spot fire, crews will continue to mop-up.

On the north portion of the fire, crews conducted a successful burnout operation at the head of the Aeneas Valley and will hold and secure that section of the line. From there, proceeding east towards Hwy 21, crews will check hose lays, reinforce line and look for favorable conditions to conduct burnout operations. Additional hand crews are needed to help with line improvement and burnout operations to secure containment lines. Structure protection resources will stay in place in Republic.

On the east side, crews will continue to provide point protection of structures and historically significant sites. They will also construct direct and indirect line as appropriate and look for opportunities to hold fire west of Hwy 21.

On the southeast portion east of Hwy 21, Divisions W and Z will continue preparation around structures, improve line, and burnout as needed to protect Owhi Lake and Nespelem Creek. Division Z will continue with direct suppression efforts to tie the fire into a burn scar from a previous fire.

UPDATE: September 2, 2015 1:00 p.m.:

The North Star Fire experienced minimal growth on Tuesday and is now listed at 205,331 acres and is 25% contained. 

On the southeast portion, along Highway 21, Division W will continue preparation around structures and assess opportunities to go more direct with suppression efforts. With the addition of resources, Division Z will be more successful in building fireline directly adjacent to the fire perimeter to minimize fire spread and threats to that portion of Highway 21.

On the southern portion, near the community of Nespelem, crews will continue mop-up operations to hold and secure containment lines and to protect structures.

On the southwest portion, with the addition of resources, crews have been effective working on the spot fire north of Highway 155 and will continue suppression efforts there. They will also continue installing containment line south of Moses Lake.

On the north portion of the fire, as weather and fuel conditions allow, crews will continue burnout operations and securing containment lines from Aeneas Valley toward Highway 21.

On the east side of the fire, crews will continue to provide structure protection and look for opportunities to hold fire on the ridgetops to protect structures and Highway 21.

UPDATE: September 1, 2015 12:30 p.m.

The North Star Fire is still at 205,331 acres and 22 percent contained as of Tuesday morning. They are also now managing the Tunk Block Fire which is at 161,660 acres and 10 percent contained.

Their operations Tuesday will be taking advantage of the weather we've had. They're going to continue being more proactive, building on fire lines and looking for opportunities to burn out to reinforce the fire lines they have in place in the Aeneas Valley if the winds are favorable. Hwy 21 is still closed. Hwy 155 is open as of yesterday.

There is a public meeting Tuesday night at Republic Elementary School at 5. They're also moving the command post to the Omak Stampede grounds and the new contact phone number will be 509-826-7140. 

UPDATE: August 31, 12:00 p.m.

The North Star Fire is still listed at 205,331 acres in size and is only 22 percent contained. Fire management crews have also taken over the 161,660-acre Tunk Block fire from the Okanogan Complex. At last report the Tunk Block fire was 10 percent contained.

Monday's Operations: On the North Star Fire, additional structure protection resources will be positioned on the southwest and east flank of the fire as well as near Republic. Crews will continue building line in the southwest portion of the fire to tie into Hwy 155.

On the Tunk Block Fire, firefighters will work on direct line along the northeast flank. Crews will continue working on securing homes in the Crawfish area.

Thanks to more favorable weather conditions, crews on both fires will be taking advantage of opportunities to go direct with firefighting efforts in some strategic locations. This means crews will be building line closer to the fire’s edge where it is safe and effective to do so.

Evacuations notices are still in place in many areas. We urge people to honor those evacuations. This is not only for your safety, but for the safety of our firefighters.

Weather: The forecast is for cool, breezy conditions with a slight chance of rain showers. High temperatures will be in the upper 60s. Relative humidity levels will be between 35-45%.

Evacuations/Closure Information: Evacuation and closure information is dynamic and changes more frequently than this report is updated. For the most current evacuation information, please contact your closest Emergency Operations Center (EOC): Colville Tribal Emergency Services 509-634-2105, Okanogan County EOC (509) 422-7206, Ferry County EOC 509-775-3132

Previous Coverage:

UPDATE: August 30, 12:00 p.m.: As of Sunday afternoon the North Star Fire is 205,331 acres and remains 22 percent contained. Strong winds Saturday resulted in visible smoke plumes and increased fire activity, but crews were able to protect homes and critical infrastructure.

Fire crews say objectives for Sunday include keeping the fire south of Republic, Highway 20 and Aeneas Valley, west of Highway 21 and north of Nespelem and the Kartar Valley. The focus will continue to be on providing for safety, structure protection and reinforcing existing line. Crews will be tying together dozer line to secure the area south of Republic. Colville tribal resources will be utilized to protect high priority areas on the southern portion of the fire.

At 1 p.m, fire personnel will observe three minutes of silence in memorial of the firefighters lost on the Twisp River Fire.

UPDATE: August 29, 12:30 p.m.: As of Saturday afternoon, the North Star Fire has grown to more than 200,593 acres and is 22 percent contained.

Fire crews report that the smoke inversion lifted Friday, the North Star Fire became more active and smoke plumes from within the perimeter were visible. The fire pushed toward the ridgetops along Highway 21 and was backing downhill.

Saturday, command of the North Star Fire transitioned to Pacific Northwest Team 3, other resources assigned to the fire remain in place and additional resources continue to arrive. Objectives include keeping the fire south of Republic, Highway 20 and Aeneas Valley, west of Highway 21 and north of Nespelem and the Kartar Valley.

They say with high winds, the priority is  point protection, which means providing for firefighter and public safety, protecting homes and critical infrastructure.

UPDATE: August 28 1:45 p.m.:

A level 3 evacuation order has been issued for Highway 21 south of Highway 20 to include the following roads; Country Place, Marblemount Place, Adams Road, Penny Lane, Eagle Track Road, and Pendry Road.

A Level 3 evacuation means current conditions present specific and immediate threat(s) to the life and safety of the persons in this area.

You are advised to evacuate immediately

Fire and law enforcement personnel are working in this area to provide specific information of the route(s) to take.

A Red Cross evacuation center is available at Grace Evangelical Church, 851 S. Miner Street in Colville.

UPDATE: August 28, 1:30 p.m.

The North Star Fire is now at 192,900 acres and only 22% contained. 

EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY HIGHWAY 21 IS CLOSED FROM BRIDGE CREEK ROAD NORTH TO MCMANN CREEK

Due to strong SW winds forecast and low RH' personnel will be heavily focused to protect the City of Republic and surrounding communities and the Hwy 21 corridor which are potentially in harms way. Elsewhere, continue to implement control and point protection objectives. Continue to assess strategic opportunities and manage for evacuations and public meeting. Lewis' Type 1 Team #3 will begin shadowing SWA IMT#5 on the North Star fire in preparation for transfer of command at 0600 on Saturday.

UPDATE: Thursday August 27, 2015 5:45 p.m.:

The official cause of the North Star Fire is now being listed as "human caused." They say it is now 179,834 Acres and 22% contained.

UPDATE: Thursday August 27, 2015 3:30 p.m.:

The North Star Fire has grown to 170,000 acres and is 17% contained. 

NEW EVACUATION ALERT: CORRECTION LEVEL II NOT LEVEL III
LEVEL II EVACUATIONS ALONG HIGHWAY 21 HAVE BEEN EXTENDED SOUTH TO CACHE CREEK.

A Red Flag Warning will be in effect starting at 11:00am through 9:00pm this evening. In anticipation of the wind event, dozer lines and burn-out operations will continue in the Aeneas Valley area south of Republic enhancing structure protection for the area. Burn out and dozer operations will continue overnight and into tomorrow for areas along Highway 21 near Devil’s Elbow and in Owhi Flats northeast of Nespelem.

UPDATE Wednesday August 26, 9:00 a.m.:

A level 3 evacuation order will start at 9 a.m. Wednesday August 26, 2015 for the areas of Copper Lakes/Copper Mountain Area, Mikray Place, Mule Deer Road, White Tail Flats Road, Roby Ridge Road, Eddy Road, Swan Lake Road south from Family Road.

A Level 3 evacuation means current conditions present specific and immediate threat(s) to the life and safety of the persons in this area.

You are advised to evacuate immediately

Fire and law enforcement personnel are working in this area to provide specific information of the route(s) to take.

A Red Cross evacuation center is available at Grace Evangelical Church, 851 S. Miner Street in Colville and a local shelter will be available at the Republic High School, 30306 Highway 20 East, Republic WA.

So far the fire has burned 155,000 and is only 5% contained.

UPDATE: Tuesday August 25, 10:00 p.m.: The Ferry County Sheriff's Office advises that a Level 3 evacuation order will start Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. The evacuation is for the areas of Copper Lakes/Copper Mountain Area, Mikray Place, Mule Deer Road, White Tail Flats Road, Roby Ridge Road, Eddy Road, Swan Lake Road south from Family Road. A level 3 evacuation means you should evacuate immediately.

Fire and law enforcement personnel are working in this area to provide specific information of the route(s) to take.

A Red Cross evacuation center is available at Grace Evangelical Church, 851 S. Miner Street in Colville and a local shelter will be available at the Republic High School, 30306 Highway 20 East, Republic WA.

UPDATE: Tuesday August 25, 1:00 p.m.:

The North Star Fire, burning just north of Nespelem, has grown to 150,000 acres and is only 5% contained. Officials say more than 2000 structures are still threatened. 

EVACUATIONS:

Highway 21 from the Colville Indian Reservation boundary north to McMann Creek.

Stage 3 evacuations are still in effect for residents in Moses Mountain Community, Haden Creek, including Owhi Flats, Disautel, along Highway 155, all of Aeneas Valley and West Fork.

CLOSURES:

Okanogan – Wenatchee National Forests closure east of Tonasket and south of highway 20.

Highway 21 from Bridge Creek Road north to the Reservation boundary is closed. Colville Indian Reservation forest and recreational areas are closed to the public due to extreme fire danger.

Volunteer Information: www.dnr.wa.gov/WildfireVolunteer

UPDATE: Monday, Aug 24th 5:40 a.m.The North Star Fire has now grown to 147,000 acres and is only 3% contained. More than 2,000 structures are also threatened. Red Flag conditions are again in effect until 9 p.m. Monday. Authorities are saying there is, "no relief in sight" and expect extreme fire behavior and column development. The fire is expected to remain very active due to continued hot temperatures and critically dry fuels.

Authorities also say it's very difficult to verify where the fire edge is due to smoke and fire behavior  so the fire size is estimated.

CURRENT EVACUATIONS:
New evacuations: Highway 21 from the Colville Indian Reservation boundary north to McMann Creek. 
Stage 3 evacuations are still in effect for residents in Moses Mountain Community, Haden Creek, including Owhi Flats, Disautel, along Highway 155, all of Aeneas Valley and West Fork.

CLOSURES:
Okanogan – Wenatchee National Forests closure east of Tonasket and south of highway 20. 
Highway 21 from Bridge Creek Road north to the Reservation boundary is closed; Highway 155 is closed from Nespelem west to Omak. Colville Indian Reservation forest and recreational areas are closed to the public due to extreme fire danger.

Volunteer Information: www.dnr.wa.gov/WildfireVolunteer

UPDATE: Sunday 1:40 p.m: Fire crews continue to battle the North Star Fire north of Nespelem Sunday. The fire has grown to about 140,000 acres as of Sunday and remains 2 percent contained.

Crews will continue protection of critical communications sites and reinforce firelines to enhance community protection during the day and night shifts. Structure assessment continues in the surrounding areas. Smoke is still impacting local communities. Smoke sensitive individuals should take precautionary measures and stay inside when possible.

Fire behavior was moderate overnight Saturday, The National Guard arrived Saturday to help with firefighting efforts.

There is a community meeting scheduled for 4 p.m. at Republic Elementary.

Evacuations:

Stage 3 evacuations are still in effect for residents in Moses Mountain Community, Haden Creek, including Owhi Flats, Disautel, along Highway 155, all of Aeneas Valley and West Fork.

Tribal Law Enforcement has called for the following area evacuations:

Highway 155 mile marker 53.5 to Columbia River Road, including the community of Kartar. South entrance of Kartar to Columbia River Road at Highway 155.

 McMann Creek South to the Colville Reservation is also under level 3. This is approximately 6 miles south of the City of Republic.

a level 2 evacuation notice has been issued for the City of Republic and surrounding communities. This includes: areas north of McMann Creek (areas south are in Level 3) extending north including the community of Republic to approximately 2 miles north of town including the Knob Hill Road & Klondike Road to Torboy on the east. This area extends from the Ferry County line on the west to an eastern boundary from Torboy on Highway 21 North south to Pine Grove Junction continuing on State Highway 20 East to Hall Creek.

Level II means conditions indicate a good probability that hazards associated with the approaching fire(s) will severely limit our ability to provide emergency services protection. Dangerous conditions exist that may threaten your residence or business.

You must prepare to leave at a moment’s notice. This may be the only notice that you receive. You will be kept advised as conditions change. Area radio stations have been asked to broadcast periodic updates.   

UPDATE: Saturday 10:20 a.m.:

As of Saturday morning the North Star Fire near Nespelem has grown to approximately 126,000 acres and is still zero percent contained.

Fire crews initially reported the Tunk Block Fire has merged with the North Star Fire just to the north of Moses Meadows, but they now report that was inconclusive.When more precise mapping is available, fire managers will able to more accurately determine the perimeters of the fires. Forecasted fire behavior for today has potential for large fire growth and very active fire behavior. Although many structures are threatened by the fire, no structures have been lost to the fire.

There will be a community meeting Saturday at 4 p.m. at Lake Roosevelt High School located at 503 Civic Way, Coulee Dam, Wash.

EVACUATIONS:

Stage 3 evacuations are still in effect for all of Aeneas Valley.

The area northeast of Nespelem is still under Level 3 evacuations.

Colville Indian Reservation forest and recreational areas are closed to the public due to extreme fire danger.

CLOSURES:

Highway 21 from Bridge Creek Road north to the Reservation boundary is closed; Highway 155 is closed from Nespelem west to Omak.

UPDATE: Friday 11:30 a.m.: 

The North Star Fire burning near Nespelem has grown to approximately 88,000 acres as of Friday morning and is still 0% contained. 

EVACUATIONS:

Stage 3 evacuations are in effect for all of Aeneas Valley.

The area northeast of Nespelem is still under Level 3 evacuations with the addition of South Nanamkin Creek north to the reservation boundary on Highway 21; Nespelem Creek, Owhi Creek, Owhi Flats, Cambell areas.

Colville Indian Reservation forest and recreational areas are closed to the public due to extreme fire danger.

Friday, crews will be evaluating opportunities to build direct and indirect lines using natural barriers and roads around the fire perimeter. Fire operations will be supporting structure and infrastructure protection using burnouts as appropriate and practical in all affected communities. Extreme fire behavior is expected again today with predicted wind events with gusts of up to 30mph. Structure assessment will continue in the Aeneas Valley area. On the west side of the fire, near Moses Mountain, the fire is flanking and creeping.

UPDATE: Thursday 1:30 p.m.

The North Star Fire has grown dramatically and is now estimated to be more than 75,000 acres. Evacuations orders include: 

In the Aeneas Valley region Stage 3 evacuations include: Watoka Way, Worwick Road, Stone Haven Road, Frosty Creek Road, and Artemis Meadow Road. Subdivisions: Moses Meadows, Haden Creek, Aeneas Valley, and West Fork.

Stage 1 evacuations include the rest of Aeneas Valley area.

The area immediately north of Nespelem is still under Level 3 evacuations with the addition of South Nanamkin Creek North to Nineteen Mile Creek on Highway 21; Nespelem Creek, Owhi Creek,Owhi Flats, Cambell areas.

Level 2 evacuation: Nineteen Mile Creek north to the reservation boundary.

Colville Indian Reservation is closed to the public due to extreme fire danger.

UPDATE: Thursday 8:02 p.m.

In just 12 hours since the last update, fire officials say the North Star Fire, burning about 25 miles north Coulee Dam, has grown from 45,000 acres to 55,000 acres. Containment is still listed at 0%. 

A LEVEL 2 EVACUATION HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR RESIDENTS NORTH and EAST OF THE NESPELEM CITY LIMITS.

Level 2 – A Level 2 Evacuation means BE READY. This level indicates there is significant danger to your area, and residents should either voluntarily relocate to a shelter or with family/friends outside of the affected area, or if choosing to remain, to be ready at a moment’s notice.

The LEVEL 2 Evacuation area includes:

Nespelem Old/New HUD to Schillings Ranch at Gold Lake Road

Nespelem Mile Post 46 near the bridge to Jackson’s Ranch at Hwy 155

East of Nespelem City limits to all of Owhi Loop Road (to the timber line) north of Cache Creek Road

Cache Creek Road north to Owhi Lake Area

A LEVEL 3 EVACUATION HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR RESIDENTS NORTH of NESPELEM, WA FROM GOLD LAKE ROAD TO STEPSTONE RD.

Level 3 – A Level 3 Evacuation means LEAVE IMMEDIATELY. Danger to your area is current or imminent, and you should leave immediately. Listen to local media, and watch for emergency personnel who may be coming by to give further instructions regarding the evacuation.
Evacuation shelters have been setup at the Grand Coulee Middle School 412 Federal Ave, Grand Coulee, WA 99133: Lake Roosevelt High School, 500 Civic Way, Coulee Dam, WA 99116; and Central Elementary School,317 Spokane Way, Grand Coulee, WA 99133, for all displaced residents. For Livestock, The Agri-Plex and Annex Facility at the Okanogan Fair Grounds, 175 Rodeo Trail Road Okanogan, WA 98844 Okanogan, WA.

Previous Coverage: 

UPDATE: Wednesday 7:11 p.m.

The North Star Fire, burning about 25 miles north of Coulee Dam has grown to more than 45,000 acres. 

A Level 2 evacuation has been issued for residents north and east of the Nespelem city limits. The Level 2 evacuation area includes: 

Nespelem Old/New HUD to Schillings Ranch at Gold Lake Road

Nespelem Mile Post 46 near the bridge to Jackson’s Ranch at Hwy 155

East of Nespelem City limits to all of Owhi Loop Road (to the timber line) north of Cache Creek Road

Cache Creek Road north to Owhi Lake Area

A LEVEL 3 evacuation has been issued for residents north of Nespelem from Gold Lake Road to Stepstone Road. This means leave immediately. 

Evacuation shelters have been setup at the Grand Coulee Middle School 412 Federal Ave, Grand Coulee, WA 99133: Lake Roosevelt High School, 500 Civic Way, Coulee Dam, WA 99116; and Central Elementary School,317 Spokane Way, Grand Coulee, WA 99133, for all displaced residents. For Livestock, The Agri-Plex and Annex Facility at the Okanogan Fair Grounds, 175 Rodeo Trail Road Okanogan, WA 98844 Okanogan, WA.

Previous Coverage:

UPDATE: Tuesday 12:00 p.m.: 

As the fight against the North Star fire burning near Nespelem, the Colville Tribes will be shutting down forests on Wednesday August 19, 2015. In the latest update released Tuesday afternoon, fire officials say due to the potential for new fire starts, limited firefighting resources, drought conditions and extreme fire behavior, the Industrial Fire Protection Level on the Colville Reservation has been raised to Level 4, General Shutdown. A release said more information about the shut down will be sent out in the coming days. 

PHOTOS: #ThankYouFirefighters

Officials believe the North Star fire started on August 13, 2015 about 25 miles from Coulee Dam, WA and has since grown to more than 30,000 acres. Investigators believe it was human-caused. 

Tribal Law Enforcement Officers will continue to manage evacuations and necessary emergency road closures.

· A Level 1 Evacuation has been issued for several residents in the area of North Star and Gold Lake Road notifying them to be ALERT that there is a danger that exists in their area. Twenty homes, ten outbuildings and cattle are treatened.

· A Level 3 Evacuation has been issued for residents from Haden Creek to Moses Meadows.Residents were advised that they needed to evacuate immediately.

· Current Road Closures are:

Moses Meadows – Lyman Lake – OPEN TO LOCAL TRAFFIC ONLY

Colby Trail

Gold Creek

SR 155 to Moses Mountain

Peel Creek

Park City Loop – West

Park City Loop – East

Stepstone

Shillings Ranch – Gold Lake Road

Central Peak – Cache Creek

North and South Nanamkin

People are URGED to stay out of the fire area. Heavy smoke could be a major factor while traveling through the area so drive with your headlights on.

Previous Coverage: 

The North Star Fire, burning about 12 miles north of Nespelem has grown to around 25,000 acres and is still threatening homes. 

As of Monday morning, 40 homes and 35 outbuildings are threatened, along with the Moses Mountain Communication system, which fire officials say is extremely important to the communication infrastructure for the entire region. 

Firefighters spent Sunday night moving their staging area in the southwest flank as high winds increased and caused the fire to jump the dozer line. Firefighters are dealing with limited resources, steep terrain, rolling rocks and falling trees. 

The fire started last week and is believed to be human caused. 

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