CNW Fire Dispatch #3 – Stickpin and how fire can stop fire
Conservation Northwest / Aug 26, 2015 / Columbia Highlands, Wildfire
Editors Note: This is the third of our dispatches from staff who live or regularly work in the areas impacted by this year’s fires.
By Mitch Friedman, Executive Director
While most of this year’s big fires are burning in front country, where they present the maximum threat to people and property, there are two big fires in wild country: the Wolverine Fire (including in the Glacier Peak Wilderness) and the Stickpin Fire (now part of the Kettle Complex) north of Republic in the Kettle Crest of the Columbia Highlands.
The Stickpin Fire started with a lighting strike on August 11 in the northwest part of the Profanity Roadless Area, which is at the heart of Conservation Northwest’s longstanding wilderness aspirations for that area. It quickly grew to the north and looked like it would cross the British Columbia border and threaten the city of Grand Forks, BC. Then a little over a week ago it stopped moving north. Why?
In the map below (from 8/26), the Stickpin Fire is the large orange polygon, and shown in green is the perimeter of the 2003 Togo Fire. The former bumped into the latter and ran out of fuel, slowing fire growth significantly. Similarly, the Newby Lake Fire, in the eastern Pasayten Wilderness on the BC border ran out of fuel when it reached the boundaries of the 2006 Tripod fire (and maybe 2003 Farewell fire).
Click here for the Wednesday, 8/26 Inciweb update on the Kettle Complex fires, including Stickpin.
For the latest official fire updates, we recommend Inciweb, this GIS map, and the Okanogan County Emergency Management, Chelan County Emergency Management, Colville Tribes Emergency Services, Stevens County Fire District #1 and Ferry County Sheriff’s Office / 911 Facebook pages.
We also want to express deep gratitude to all the firefighters, first responders, National Guard, U.S. Army servicemen and women, and all the other heroes working to keep our communities safe during this demanding fire season. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those impacted.