Kettle Complex fire now 76,389 acres; 60% contained - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Kettle Complex fire now 76,389 acres; 60% contained

Posted: Updated:
Photo from the Stickpin fire, part of the Kettle Complex Fire, in Ferry County courtesy of Rough Country Photography Photo from the Stickpin fire, part of the Kettle Complex Fire, in Ferry County courtesy of Rough Country Photography
FERRY COUNTY, Wash. -

UPDATE: September 13, 2015 10:30 a.m.: As of Sunday morning the Kettle Complex Fire is now 76,389 acres and 60 percent contained.

Warm, dry weather Saturday aided burnout operations on the north flank of the Renner Fire, helping secure containment lines. In other areas of the fire, mop-up, repair work and patrols were conducted to ensure the fire remains within its current footprint. Excellent progress was made on the Graves Mountain and Stickpin fires including repair work, mop-up, and suppression operations.

Firefighters will continue to conduct a range of operations Sunday including securing fireline utilizing burnouts and mop-up tactics.

UPDATE: September 6, 2015 10:50 a.m.: As of Sunday morning the Kettle Complex Fire is now 76,780 acres and 44 percent contained. Yesterday’s precipitation allowed firefighters on the Kettle Complex to make excellent progress constructing and improving direct and indirect fireline.

Fire crews say even though it's helpful, rain itself will not put the fires out, and it limited air operations ability to provide support. Work today will be focused on securing fireline in areas where needed, mopping up burned areas, and initiating repair work where appropriate. Helicopters will resume operations to support firefighting work on the ground, as weather permits. Firefighting crews also remain in a state of readiness to initial attack any new starts that are detected. Nearly 1,000 personnel are still assigned to the complex.

The Ferry County Sheriff's Office says due to recent rains and excellent progress by fire crews some evacuation levels have changed.

Effective immediately, the city of Republic is reduced to evacuation Level 1.

The area south of Highway 20 west is downgraded to Level 2.

The west side of Highway 21 from McMann Creek south to Bridge Creek Road remains Level 3. Crews are still working a stretch in the 19-Mile area, and the highway will remain closed due to the ongoing suppression and containment efforts.

In the Kettle Complex, Boulder Creek Road is scheduled to re-open at Monday at 8 a.m., however all connecting access roads will remain blocked.

UPDATE: September 5, 2015 1:30 p.m.: As of Saturday afternoon the Kettle Complex Fire is now 76,864 acres and 43 percent contained. There are two community meetings scheduled this weekend. One is happening Saturday at 2 p.m. at Orient School. The other is happening Sunday at Malo Grange, also at 2 p.m.

There was limited growth of the Kettle Complex yesterday as crews continued constructing and improving fireline. Burnout operations were conducted to strengthen containment lines.

Work today will be focused on securing fireline in areas where needed, mopping up burned areas, and initiating repair work where appropriate. Helicopters will continue to be used for air attack, reconnaissance of the fires, and water drops to support firefighting work on the ground, as weather permits. Firefighting crews also remain in a state of readiness to initial attack any new starts that are detected. An additional National Guard crew arrived yesterday. Nearly 1,000 personnel are still assigned to the complex.

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

The Kettle Complex Fire is now listed at 76,216 acres and is 17% contained. 

The Kettle Complex includes four fires in northern Ferry County, Washington: Stickpin, Renner, Graves Mountain and Roy Road Fires. Fire personnel working these fires are from 30 states (including Washington) and British Columbia Canada. Support teams from the Washington National Guard are assisting fire managers to ensure safety of the public and firefighters on the Kettle Complex.

Current Situation: Fire perimeters today remain unchanged although warmer temperatures and lower humidity resulted in increased fire behavior yesterday. Burnout operations were conducted on the Renner and Stickpin fires and firefighters worked late into the day to secure fire line around a small spot fire. Work today will be focused on securing fire line in areas where needed, mopping up burned areas, and initiating repair work where appropriate. Helicopters will continue to be used for air attack, reconnaisance of the fires, and water drops to support firefighting work on the ground. Crews remain in a state of readiness to initial attack any new starts that are detected.
Evacuation Information: All Level 3 Evacuation Notices have been reduced. Evacuation updates are posted on the Ferry County Sheriff’s Facebook pagehttps://www.facebook.com/pages/Ferry-County-Sheriffs-Office-911/339957886082797. 

Closures: Highways 20 and 395 are open. Deer Creek-Boulder Creek County Road 602 is closed. The portion of the Colville National Forest from the Canadian Border to Highway 20, between Highway 21 and US Highway 395 is closed. All trails, roads, and access are temporarily closed due to extreme fire activity. No campfires, charcoal or chainsaw use are allowed. There are additional road closures in the area due to other incidents – visitwww.wsdot.wa.gov for details.

Safety: Fire-weakened trees are a safety concern for both firefighters and the public. Although there was some moisture over the area this week, the weather is warming and drying again. Fire season is expected to continue until there is significant precipitation over the region to thoroughly wet the fuels again.

UPDATE: 9:00 a.m. Monday: 

The Kettle Complex Fire, consisting of four wildfires in Ferry County, has grown to nearly 74,000 acres with an overall contaiment of 17%.

Rain and higher humidity over the weekend contributed to the slow spread of the fire, however there was not enough rain to penetrate the larger fuels and in some cases the forest canopy, meaning the fire danger is still very high. 

Here is a rundown of where the four fires stand as of Monday morning: 

Stickpin: 53,469 acres & 20% containment

Renner: 12,495 acres & 15% containment

Roy: 120 acres & 80% containment

Graves: 7,878 acres & 21% containment. 

Evacuation/Aid Information: The level 3 evacuation is from Mile Marker 247 to Mile Marker 253 to the west of Highway 395, which includes the Matsen Creek Community including Matsen Creek Road, Jackknife Road and Deadman Creek Road, Anderson Road, Harter Rd, Pool Rd., Carson Rd, BJ’s Road, and Murphy Rd.

Shelters are established at:

Grace Evangelical Free
Church, 851 S. Miner St., Colville (Red Cross), the American Legion (as needed), 1057 Highway 395 N, Kettle Falls and the Inchelium Community Center (Private), 1 Loop Road, Inchelium.

UPDATE: 4:25 p.m. Saturday: The Kettle Complex Fire is now 66,084 acres and 17 percent contained as of Saturday afternoon. 

The Stickpin Fire is 53,469 acres and 20 percent contained. The Renner Fire is 12,495 acres and 15 percent contained. The Roy fire is 120 acres and 80 percent contained. 

An immediate level 2 evacuation order has been issued for the following areas off of Highway 395: Boulder Creek Road north, to include the Town of Orient, up to the area south of Humes Road. Everything south of Boulder Creek Road to Nancy Creek Road west to Highway 395 remains at Level 3.

The Red Cross has an evacuation center available at Grace Evangelical Church, 851 S. Miner Street in Colville.

UPDATE: 10:00 a.m. Friday: The Kettle Complex Fire is now 60,292 Acres and is 16% contained. 

The fire is burning in Northern Ferry County and the Washington Colville National Forest. 

Crews are continuing to identify and construct a fire line on the north, south and east flanks of the Stickpin fire. Burnout operations will also continue on unburned fuels between the main fire and containment lines. 

Active fire behavior is expected unless precipitation occurs and then moderate fire behavior is expected.

UPDATE: 3:15 p.m. Thursday: 

As of Thursday afternoon, the Kettle Complex Fire has grown to 60,205 acres and is 16% contained. 

Current Situation: Smoke blanketing the area caused difficult breathing and poor visibility for residents and fire personnel in the Curlew River valley, Kettle River valley, and much of northeast Washington on Monday. Calm air and smoke resulted in less intense fire activity on these fires for elevations under 4000 feet. Firefighters made progress in completing line on both the west side of the Stickpin Fire and the east side of the Renner Fire. Helicopters were not used Monday because visibility was too poor. There have been no injuries and no homes lost. Support teams from the Washington National Guard are assisting fire managers to ensure safety of the public and firefighters on the Kettle Complex.

Stickpin Fire – The Stickpin Fire is at 47,544 acres and is burning on the Kettle Crest between Curlew and Orient. The fire is 17% contained. Firelines constructed along the western edge are holding. Crews continue to strengthen the lines. On the southwestern perimeter, dozer lines are being constructed but there is unburned fuel between the line and the fire edge (indirect line). The indirect contingency line along the south is completed up to Kettle Crest. Public and firefighter safety is still a significant concern. 

Firefighters from British Columbia are integrated into the incident planning. They are identifying the best control points to construct indirect fireline around the north end. The fire has burned into the Togo Fire (2003) area and crews are working to construct line to keep the fire from progressing toward Grand Forks and Christina Lake, British Columbia. 

Renner Fire – The Renner Fire is approximately 9,355 acres and is 8% contained. No homes have been destroyed. A direct dozer line was completed yesterday along the east side of the fire. On the northeast corner, an indirect line is complete and if conditions allow, firefighters will make it more secure by slowly burning the area between the line and the fire edge. Structure protection forces are working diligently to protect homes and other property. Highway 395 is open. Drivers are urged to use caution and be aware of firefighting equipment in the area. Fire personnel are working this fire 24 hours a day. 

Roy Road Fire – The 120-acre Roy Road Fire is burning west of Republic and is 70% contained. Firefighters continue to mop up, locate and extinguish pockets of interior heat.

Evacuation Information: For the Kettle Complex, the following evacuation levels apply. This information is as of 9 AM. If conditions change, it will be updated on the Ferry County Sheriff’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ferry-County-Sheriffs-Office-911/339957886082797

UPDATE: 11:40 a.m. Wednesday: 

The Kettle Complex includes three fires in northern Ferry County Washington:

Smoke blanketing the area caused difficult breathing and poor visibility for residents and fire personnel in the Curlew River valley, Kettle River valley, and much of northeast Washington on Monday. Calm air and smoke resulted in less intense fire activity on these fires for elevations under 4000 feet. Firefighters made progress in completing line on both the west side of the Stickpin Fire and the east side of the Renner Fire. Helicopters were not used Monday because visibility was too poor. There have been no injuries and no homes lost. Support teams from the Washington National Guard are assisting fire managers to ensure safety of the public and firefighters on the Kettle Complex.

Stickpin Fire – The Stickpin Fire is at 47,544 acres and is burning on the Kettle Crest between Curlew and Orient. The fire is 17% contained. Firelines constructed along the western edge are holding. Crews continue to strengthen the lines. On the southwestern perimeter, dozer lines are being constructed but there is unburned fuel between the line and the fire edge (indirect line). The indirect contingency line along the south is completed up to Kettle Crest. Public and firefighter safety is still a significant concern. 

Firefighters from British Columbia are integrated into the incident planning. They are identifying the best control points to construct indirect fireline around the north end. The fire has burned into the Togo Fire (2003) area and crews are working to construct line to keep the fire from progressing toward Grand Forks and Christina Lake, British Columbia. 

Renner Fire – The Renner Fire is approximately 9,355 acres and is 8% contained. No homes have been destroyed. A direct dozer line was completed yesterday along the east side of the fire. On the northeast corner, an indirect line is complete and if conditions allow, firefighters will make it more secure by slowly burning the area between the line and the fire edge. Structure protection forces are working diligently to protect homes and other property. Highway 395 is open. Drivers are urged to use caution and be aware of firefighting equipment in the area. Fire personnel are working this fire 24 hours a day. 

Roy Road Fire – The 120-acre Roy Road Fire is burning west of Republic and is 70% contained. Firefighters continue to mop up, locate and extinguish pockets of interior heat

Evacuation Information: For the Kettle Complex, the following evacuation levels apply. This information is as of 9 AM. If conditions change, it will be updated on the Ferry County Sheriff’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ferry-County-Sheriffs-Office-911/339957886082797. 

LEVEL I- All of Ferry County is under a Level I notice, except for Level II and Level III areas as described below. Please remember that a LEVEL 1 evacuation notice is a notification that you may be asked to evacuate. Residents are encouraged to make plans if conditions change. 

LEVEL II- On the east side of Renner fire: Roosevelt Road, River Edge Road, Nancy Creek Road, and the Columbia Cedar Mill, and only on the east side of Highway 395 in the Barstow area: from Mile Marker 247 to Mile Marker 253.

In the Curlew area: Hurl Burt, Boulder Creek, and the Danville Area. The following roads are at level II only for the areas past their respective mile marker 1, as measured from Highway 21: Deer Creek, Long Alec, and Lone Ranch.

LEVEL III –The level 3 evacuation is from Mile Marker 247 to Mile Marker 253 on the WESTside of Highway 395, which includes the Matsen Creek Community including Matsen Creek Road, Jackknife Road and Deadman Creek Road, Anderson Road, Harter Rd, Pool Rd., Carson Rd, BJ’s Road, and Murphy Rd.

Closures: Deer Creek-Boulder Creek County Road 602 is closed; Highway 20 is recommended as an alternate route. The portion of the Colville National Forest from the Canadian Border to Highway 20, between Highway 21 and US Highway 395 is closed. All trails, roads, and access are temporarily closed due to extreme fire activity. No campfires, charcoal or chainsaw use are allowed. There are additional road closures in the area due to other incidents – visit www.wsdot.wa.gov for details.

UPDATE: 2:20 p.m. Monday: 

Fire officials say good progress was made on the Kettle Complex Fires on Sunday, and the fire is about 56,000 acres and 15% contained. 

Stickpin Fire - Stickpin Fire is at 47,544 acres and is burning on the Kettle Crest between Curlew and Orient. The fire is 12% contained. Firelines constructed along the western edge are holding. Crews continue to strengthen the lines. On the southern perimeter, dozer lines are being constructed but are indirect (meaning there is unburned fuel between the line and the fire edge). Three helicopters are supporting firefighting efforts as conditions allow.

Roy Road Fire – The 120-acre Roy Road Fire is burning west of Republic and is 60% contained. Firefighters continue to mop up, locate and extinguish pockets of interior heat.

Renner Lake Fire – The Renner Lake Fire is approximately 8,544 acres and is 0% contained. Firefighters continue to be shifted off of other areas to assist local fire district personnel. No homes have been lost. Good progress was made yesterday to secure the eastern edge of the fire. Structure protection forces are working diligently to protect structures. The only structure that was destroyed was confirmed to be a detached garage. Highway 395 is open and drivers are urged to use caution and be aware of firefighting equipment in the area. Evacuations are still in effect and are being reevaluated today. Fire personnel are working this fire 24 hours a day. 

Evacuation Information: No changes from yesterday, however, there are additional Level 2 evacuation notices near Republic from the North Star Fire. This information is as of 9 AM. If conditions change, it will be updated on the Ferry County Sheriff’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ferry-County-Sheriffs-Office-911/339957886082797. 

LEVEL I- All of Ferry County is under a Level I notice, except for Level II and Level III areas as described below. Please remember that a LEVEL 1 evacuation notice is a notification that you may be asked to evacuate. Residents are encouraged to make plans if conditions change. 

LEVEL II- The level II evacuation is from MM 247 to MM 253 on the EAST side of Highway 395 in the Barstow area. Nancy Creek Rd, Hurl Burt, Boulder Creek-Deer Creek – HWY 21 past mile marker 1, Long Alec – HWY 21 past mile marker 1, Danville Area – HWY 21 all roads off the main HWY past mile marker 1,Lone Ranch – HWY 21 past mile marker 1, Riveredge Rd, Roosevelt Rd and the Columbia Cedar Mill 

LEVEL III –The level 3 evacuation is from MM 247 to MM 253 on the WEST side of Highway 395, which is includes the Matsen Creek Community including Matsen Creek Road, Jackknife Road and Deadman Creek Road, Anderson Road, Harter Rd, Pool Rd., Carson Rd, BJ’s Road, and Murphy Rd. 

Closures: Deer-Boulder County Road 602 is closed; Highway 20 is recommended as an alternate route. Colville National Forest is closed from the Canadian Border to Deadman Creek. All trails, roads, and access are temporarily closed due to extreme fire activity. No campfires, charcoal or chainsaw use are allowed. There are additional road closures in the area due to other incidents – visit www.wsdot.wa.gov for details. 



UPDATE: 1:30 p.m. Sunday: Fire crews working on the three fires burning in Ferry County that make up the Kettle Complex fire, say that fire is a combined 59,321 acres as of Sunday afternoon.

Support teams from the Washington National Guard are are assisting fire managers to ensure safety of the public and firefighters on the Kettle Complex. There are firefighters from 24 states and one Canadian province fighting these fires.

The Stickpin Fire is now 47,544 acres. The fire is 15 percent contained. Firelines constructed along the western edge of the perimeter are holding. Crews continue to strengthen the lines Sunday.

The Roy Road Fire west of Republic is 120 acres and 45 percent contained.

The Renner Lake Fire is approximately 7,006 acres and is zero percent contained. Firefighters continue to be shifted off of other areas to assist local fire district personnel. Highway 395 has reopened and drivers are urged to use caution and be aware of firefighters in the area.

Evacuations haven't changed since Saturday and are being reevaluated Sunday.

Those evacuations are as follows:

 LEVEL I - All of Ferry County is under Level I notice.

LEVEL II- The level II evacuation is from MM 247 to MM 253 on the EAST side of Highway 395 in the Barstow area. Nancy Creek Rd, Hurl Burt, Boulder Creek-Deer Creek – HWY 21 past mile marker 1, Long Alec – HWY 21 past mile marker 1, Danville Area – HWY 21 all roads off the main HWY past mile marker 1,Lone Ranch – HWY 21 past mile marker 1, Riveredge Rd, Roosevelt Rd and the Columbia Cedar Mill
LEVEL III –The level 3 evacuation is from MM 247 to MM 253 on the WEST side of Highway 395, which is includes the Matsen Creek Community including Matsen Creek Road, Jackknife Road and Deadman Creek Road, Anderson Road, Harter Rd, Pool Rd., Carson Rd, BJ’s Road, and Murphy Rd.

UPDATE: 1:30 p.m. Saturday: About 800 firefighters continue to fight the Kettle Complex fire, which includes four fires burning in Ferry County, Washington. The complex of fires has burned about 54,873 acres Saturday.

The Stickpin Fire is at 44,858 acres and is burning on the Kettle Crest between Curlew and Orient. The fire is now 15 percent contained. Friday the fire actively progressed downslope on the eastern edge of the fire. Winds tested fire lines on the western edge of the fire, but the lines held. Fire crews are still constructing lines around the fire with dozers and fighting the flames from the air with three helicopters.

The Roy Road Fire is burning west of Republic and is approximately 120 acres and is 25 percent contained. Firefighters continue to mop up and extinguish pockets of interior heat.

The Graves Mountain Fire, burning along Highway 20 in the Sherman Pass area, is 5,345 acres and 10 percent contained at this time.

The Renner Lake Fire is approximately 4,550 acres and is zero percent contained. This fire grew significantly Friday to the south and east. Firefighters were shifted off of other areas to assist local fire district personnel. Heavy air tankers from Moses Lake dropped three loads of retardant along Matsen Road helping slow the spread of the fire.

Firefighters continue to work the fire 24 hours a day. Two structures were destroyed Friday and Ferry County officials are working to confirm what type of structures they were.

Evacuation notices:

Level I - All of Ferry County is under Level I notice. Level I evacuation notices mean to be alert and encouraged to make plans if conditions change.

Level II - The level II evacuation is from MM 247 to MM 253 on Highway 395 EAST in the Barstow area. Nancy Creek Rd, Hurl Burt, Boulder Creek-Deer Creek – HWY 21 past mile marker 1, Long Alec – HWY 21 past mile marker 1, Danville Area – HWY 21 all roads off the main HWY past mile marker 1, Lone Ranch – HWY 21 past mile marker 1, Riveredge Rd, Roosevelt Rd, and the Columbia Cedar Mill.

Level III - The level 3 evacuation is from MM 247 to MM 253 on Highway 395 WEST, which is includes the Matsen Creek Community including Matsen Creek Road, Jackknife Road and Deadman Creek Road, Anderson Road, Harter Rd, Pool Rd., Carson Rd, BJ’s Road, Murphy Rd.

UPDATE: 12:00 p.m.: 

There will be a public meeting tonight, Friday August 21, at the Malo Grange at 7pm.

UPDATE 8:30 a.m.: 

The Renner Fire is moving south. Matsen Creek is now under a level III evacuation. 

Firefighters continue to work hard on the Kettle Complex. NO SERIOUS INJURIES HAVE OCCURRED ON THIS INCIDENT. However, significant fire activity continues across the region and fire officials are working together to prioritize incident personnel and manage numerous incidents. Support teams from the Washington National Guard have arrived. The Guard medics and other personnel will assist fire managers to ensure safety of the public and firefighters on the Kettle Complex. Fire activity is expected to remain active over the next few days on all fires in the Kettle Complex.

Renner Fire - The Renner Fire is moving south. Matsen Creek is now under a level III evacuation. The Renner Fire is located west of the community of Barstow. It is continuing to expand. The size is now 974 acres. 

Stickpin Fire - Stickpin Fire is at 41,589 acres. Structure protection is the highest priority for the limited resources; firefighters are providing structure protection, building fire lines, and looking for options to construct new fire lines. Dozer and hand line construction continued yesterday on the western flank of the fire. The fire has burned into the Togo Fire (2003) burn area to the north. The fire is approximately 4 miles south of the Canadian border. Continued growth is expected today. Three helicopters are available to support firefighting efforts. Public and firefighter safety is a significant concern, and incident management personnel are looking at all options for suppression. Fire crews from across the state are in place to assist Ferry County Fire District 14 with structure protection under the State Mobilization Act as approved by the Chief of the State Patrol and the State Fire Marshal.

Roy Road Fire – The Roy Road Fire is burning west of Republic and is approximately 120 acres. There are four homes threatened. A dozer line has been completed around the fire perimeter and mop-up is progressing. The cause is under investigation.

Graves Mountain Fire – The Graves Mountain Fire is burning along Highway 20 in the Sherman Pass area and the smoke column will continue to be visible. The fire is approximately 2,870 acres. It started during a thunderstorm from a tree falling in power lines. Firefighters have constructed a fireline on the southern perimeter near the BPA powerlines and are continuing to build and monitor lines on the flanks of the fire. The fire is burning in thick lodgepole pine in steep, rocky terrain.
 

Previous Coverage: 

The Kettle Complex Fire, consisting of the Stickpin Fire, Roy Road Fire, Graves Mountain Fire, and the Renner Fire continues to grow in northern Ferry County. 

The largest of the four fires is the Stickpin Fire, which is estimated to be nearly 42,000 acres. The fire is burning about 4 miles south of the Canadian Border, and fire crews say additional growth is expected Thursday. 

The Roy Road Fire is burning west of Republic and as of Thursday morning is about 120 acres, with four homes being threatened. A dozer line has been completed around the perimeter and mop-up operations are progressing. 

The Graves Mountain Fire is burning along Highway 20 in the Sherman Pass area and fire crews say a smoke column will continue to be visible. This fire is approximately 1,600 acres and started during a thunderstorm from a tree falling on power lines. 

The Renner Fire is located west of Barstow and is continuing to expand. As of Thursday morning it is listed as being around 850 acres in size. No word on any homes being threatened. 

The Ferry County Sheriff's Office wants residents to know that if the fires progress, they may not have enough resources to go door to door, so please be aware of your surroundings and be prepared. The Red Cross is stationed at the Republic School is you need assistance. 

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