The Odessa Record -

Angel Springs Fire


August 9, 2018

--Photo courtesy of Tammy Tokas.

These two youngsters were browsing for delicacies among the many different plants growing in the newly dried up creek bed in downtown Odessa. Temperatures in town continue to fluctuate between hot and very hot.

Editor's note: The following information is based on press releases and official reports by various agencies.

August 2: The Angel Springs Fire in Lincoln County, near the city of Davenport, started August 2 at 2:48 p.m. in timber, brush and tall grass and quickly spread due to strong winds and low relative humidity. Firefighters from Lincoln County Fire Districts 4 and 5, Washington State Department of Natural Resources and numerous federal, state and local agencies assisted with fire suppression well into the evening. Fire managers also called in multiple aircraft to help with firefighting efforts.

Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste has approved state fire mobilization assistance and crews from around the state are on the way to assist. Firefighters are on the fire line again today working to establish containment lines and protecting structures. Aircraft will be over the fire again today.

Level 2 and 3 evacuation orders are in place for approximately 60 residents. The Lincoln County Fairgrounds was opened for evacuated residents. The fairgrounds also accepts pets and livestock.

Citizen and firefighter safety is our number one priority. Citizens are asked to remain clear of the fire area.

Currently there are over 108 personnel assigned to the fire. The fire is 0% contained. Northeast Washington Interagency Type 3 IMT has assumed command of the incident.

Fire information and the incident command post is located at the Davenport High School in Davenport, WA. Fire information contact is Jeff Sevigney at (509) 993-2946.

August 3, noon: The Angel Springs Fire, which started August 2, is estimated at 800 acres and growing. It is threatening homes, crops and infrastructure. Level 2 and 3 evacuations are in effect. The fire cause is under investigation.

Mobilization specialists from the Fire Protection Bureau have ordered two wildland strike teams. The fire will be managed by a Type 3 Incident Command Team.

The State Emergency Operations Center at Camp Murray is activated to Level 2 to coordinate state assistance for the Angel Springs Fire. State Fire Marshal's Office personnel are en route to the scene to coordinate dispatch of resources.

Under the State Fire Services Resource Mobilization Plan, the Fire Protection Bureau coordinates the initial dispatch and continued administrative oversight of resources and personnel for the duration of the incident. The Mobilization Plan is implemented to provide a process to quickly notify, assemble and deploy fire service personnel, equipment and other resources from around the state when fires, disasters or other events exceed the capacity of local jurisdictions.

August 3, 3 p.m.: The Angel Springs fire burning northeast of Davenport remains active and continues to spread due to strong winds and low relative humidity. Firefighters are providing structure protection to affected residences in conjunction with fire suppressing aircraft. Firefighters are receiving assistance from local farmers to establish containment lines through the utilization of their equipment.

Firefighters assisted with fire suppression well into the evening.

Level 3 evacuation orders were in place for Mill Canyon, Bald Ridge, Bull Run and Little Falls Dam areas.

Currently, more than 135 personnel have been assigned to the fire. The fire is 0% contained. Northeast Washington Interagency Type 3 IMT has assumed command of the incident.

Nightshift crews transitioned in to replace daytime crews as the fire shifted into nighttime operations. Crews continued to provide structure protection overnight and worked to establish containment lines.

August 3, 9:30 p.m.: Level 2 and 3 evacuation orders remain in place. Currently, more than 160 personnel are assigned to the fire, which is 0% contained.

August 4, 8:30 a.m.: The fire remained active throughout the night and crews continued to provide structure protection and establish containment lines. More firefighters have arrived and will be focusing on fire line construction on areas that have been previously tough to access. Firefighting aircraft will be back over the fire assisting with fire suppression efforts. One additional structure was lost the previous night.

Level 2 and 3 evacuation orders remain in place. Currently, more than 225 personnel assigned to the fire. The fire is 0% contained. Northeast Washington Interagency Type 3 IMT is in command of the incident. A Type 2 incident management team was to assume command the next morning.

August 4, 9 p.m.: Day shift crews made excellent progress. Utilizing additional firefighters and in close coordination with aircraft, crews slowed the spread of the fire. National Guard helicopters arrived on the incident today and were very effective with suppression efforts. Night shift crews were to be sent out again to continue to build and reinforce containment lines.

No donations are requested at this time. Citizens who wish to donate should contact their local charity.

Currently there are 272 personnel assigned to the fire. The fire is 0% contained.

August 7: As of Tuesday, evacuations for the Angel Springs Fire were lowered to Level 2 as firefighters continued to strengthen containment lines on what was then a 5,000-acre fire.

Fire crews worked Monday to extend containment lines and air crews targeted the northern and northeastern edges of the blaze to cool down areas containing heavy fuel.

Level 3 evacuations were lowered to Level 2 Tuesday morning in the Mill Canyon, Moccasin Bay, Holderby and Baldridge areas.

The National Park Service has supplied a 14-person watercraft to help protect structures along Breezy Bay.

The fire is now described as 15 percent contained after starting August 2, caused by farming equipment. Six structures and seven outbuildings have been damaged or destroyed up to now.

August 7: The warming and drying trend continued to set in over the fire, providing extreme conditions for the firefighters on the line. Fire managers focused resources on areas of the fire that have retained heat. Ground crews continued to stretch hoselays in to the interior portions of the fire for intense mop up. Aerial resources were used to cool pockets of heat to support firefighters on the ground. Structure protection firefighters utilized a National

Park Service watercraft for access to residences along the waterfront to install hose and reduce fuels. Night operations patrolled the containment lines to ensure fire was held within the lines.

August 8: Haze and areas of smoke are forecast for the area today. Firefighters will be gridding off of the containment lines during mop up to ensure there are no hidden hot spots. Gridding is a tactic where firefighters are assigned box like geographic areas with the responsibility of confirming the area is cool with no potential for re-ignition. Minor strategic firing operations will be used for fuels reduction along the fire perimeter. Structure protection will work to finish creating defensible space around structures that are threatened.

Critical fire weather is forecast for the area starting tomorrow and continuing through Saturday. Unstable atmospheric conditions will intensify established fires and new fire starts have the potential for rapid growth. In preparation for this weather, a large number of resources from across the country are committed to the fire including from the Washington National Guard, Canada and Australia.

Summary: The Angel Springs Fire started on August 2, 2018, in the vicinity of Angel Springs Road. Weather conditions and dry fuels aided the fire to spread rapidly to the northeast. Firefighters from multiple agencies including, Lincoln County Fire Districts 4 and 5, Washington State Department of Natural Resources, Federal, State and Local agencies have been working tirelessly on this fire. Using their equipment to build fire lines` along their fields, local farmers have aided operations to impede fire spread. Air resources are being used in inaccessible and dangerous areas where firefighters are unable to safely operate due to extremely steep terrain or hazardous standing dead trees, also known as snags. The fire is burning in tall grass, brush and timber.


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