Fire Information Line: 458-207-0058
Incident Commander: Mike Almas, Northern Rockies Incident Management Team
Forest Users - Please drive slowly and be alert on Forest Road 47, known as the Tucannon Road, from all access points. Heavy use is expected due to fire traffic and recreational use. Yield to fire vehicles and avoid distracted driving so that you and our firefighters stay safe.
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 approximately 475 acres and has been burning in the same footprint for the last few days. It is burning in a fifteen-year old fire scar in the heavier fuels and downed logs. Where there is enough heat, the fire continues to burn downslope through brush and stringers of younger trees that have regenerated naturally since the previous large fire.
Most of the heat remains in the northern portion of the fire. On Friday, three helicopters assisted ground crews with aerial water drops. That work will continue today, with the objective of keeping the fire in the wilderness and away from private, state and national forest lands outside the wilderness.
Fire crews are improving direct and indirect fire control lines. On Saturday, they will continue to improve and strengthen the lines along the Rattlesnake and Panjab trails, and improve the contingency control line east of the Ladybug Campground.
Fire managers have been preparing for the arrival of a forecasted dry cold front today, which is projected to produce up to 25 mph winds from the west. Crews will be especially alert for the potential of fire spread and falling snags weakened by fire when the higher winds occur today. These higher wind speeds could occasionally prevent the use of helicopters at certain times.
Resources Threatened: Private lands, wilderness, recreation and a threatened and endangered fish species are being protected.
Evacuations and Closures: The Tucannon Road is now 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 closed at the Forest boundary. In addition to these road and trail closures there is an area closure south of the Panjab and Tucannon Creek junction. Follow posts on https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/closures/7069/ for the closure order details and the latest updates. Please respect the posted closures.
Weather & Fuel Conditions: Sunny with patchy smoke and haze. Dry cold front will bring dry windy conditions. Projected wind gusts to 25 mph from the west/southwest.