Monday, August 31, 2020

Rattlesnake Fire Daily Update - Aug. 31, 2020

Fire Information Line: 458-207-0058


Incident Commander: Mike Almas, Northern Rockies Incident Management Team


Forest Users - Please drive slowly on the Tucannon Road (FS Road 47) from all access points due to heavy fire and recreational traffic. Yield to fire vehicles where possible and avoid distracted driving.

The Rattlesnake Fire is burning in the Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness on the Pomeroy Ranger District in Washington. It is located approximately twenty miles south of Pomeroy and thirteen miles southeast of Dayton. The fire is burning in a fifteen-year old fire scar which left a mosaic of vegetation and is approximately 486 acres in size.

Higher winds from a passing cold front on Saturday tested fire containment lines. Residual heat in heavier fuels remains on the north end near Panjab Campground, and on the southern edge of the fire. Lower wind speeds and cooler nighttime temperatures forecasted for Monday should result in less active fire behavior. The fire is expected to continue creeping and smoldering within the existing perimeter in islands of green brush, grass and timber.

Fire line construction is now complete. The remaining four crews will focus on improving fire lines, mopping-up and patrolling along the east and west flanks of the fire. In the north portion of the fire, crews are using pumps and hoses to cool hotspots in the steepest areas. Helicopters are available to assist fire crews with bucket drops today.

The mastication operation, consisting of clearing and chopping up downed brush, has been completed, leaving a good fuel break along the Tucannon Road.

Resources Threatened: Private lands, wilderness, recreation and a threatened and endangered fish species are being protected.

Evacuations and Closures: The Tucannon Road is closed at the Tucannon Campground with no access into Panjab or Lady Bug Campgrounds. Panjab Trail 3127 and Rattlesnake Trail 3129 are closed. Forest Road 4620, known as Patrick Grade, is also temporarily closed at the Forest boundary due to fire traffic. In addition to these road and trail closures there is an area closure south of the Panjab and Tucannon Creek junction. Follow posts on for the closure order details and the latest updates. Please respect the posted closures.

Weather & Fuel Conditions: Cloudy with temperatures in the upper 60’s and 70’s. Winds will be from the west at 4 to 9 mph on ridgetops, with gusts up to 16 mph. At lower elevations winds will be upslope and generally lighter. Fuels continue to dry out. Grass and shrubs are curing as autumn approaches.

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