Crews gain ground on Cache Creek fire

By Bill Rautenstrauch, The Observer September 04, 2012 02:16 pm

By Bill Rautenstrauch

The Observer

The 73,000-acre Cache Creek wildfire burning in Wallowa County and Asotin County, Wash., was reported to be 80 percent contained.

According to an update from the fire’s incident management team, burnout of unburned fuels interior to the main containment lines occurred Sunday afternoon in the Jim Creek Butte and Five Points drainage, as evidenced by columns of smoke seen at various points around the fire.

The update said firefighters completed most of the fire suppression-related rehabilitation in the Imnaha  drainage. Rehabilitation was accomplished on dozer and hand lines and by chipping cut material along roads on both private and public lands near Buckhorn Butte.

 

Portions of the fire to the north and west perimeters were patrolled by air and ground vehicles.

The incident management team said that Monday, air resources will continue patrolling the northern fire perimeter while engines will patrol along the west. Rehabilitation of hand and dozer lines and chipping of cut material will also continue in the Buckhorn Butte and southern fire perimeter areas.

While the Dug Bar Road (Forest Service Road 4260) has been reopened, citizens are asked to consider avoiding this area given the potential congestion from fire suppression traffic.

The incident management team said recreationists were allowed to return to their favorite camping spots along the Snake River when the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest revised its 
Forest Closure Order 
Sunday.

The revised closure order allows camping within one-quarter of a mile of the river’s edge between the Washington-Oregon state line on the north and the Imnaha River on the south.

The area closure was also expanded with the Avista Powerline Road becoming the closure boundary on the south end of the fire.

A partial closure of Forest Service Road 46 remains in effect. An alternate route is available to detour around the fire. 

Road guards are staffing road blocks limiting public access into the fire area for both firefighter and public safety. 

The team said the need for closures will be assessed daily and removed as soon as possible.

The team said a single motor vehicle crash occurred Sunday afternoon on Forest Service Road 4625. 

The driver, who was assigned to the fire, was not injured.