Saturday August 28, 2010
Favorable weather changes have contributed to good progress in containing the fire and extinguishing hotspots. Crews are continuing their mop-up work within the fire perimeter to ensure that all lingering fire activity is located and addressed. With the predicted lower temperature and increased humidity today (Saturday), local and mobilization teams and private fire crews hope to make substantial gains toward completion of this incident.
Private and public fire suppression resources from Columbia County, the region, and western Washington have had success in their work to control and extinguish this fire. The incident management team has begun the initial planning for demobilization of the 175 personnel assigned to the incident. If weather conditions and fire behavior both continue to be favorable, the team intends to begin to release resources this weekend. While the importance of retaining firefighting crews to successfully and safely address the needs of the incident is obvious, the management team has additional priorities that it considers, as well. We want to make these resources available for other large incidents in the state, as well as release them from mobilization as soon as possible, so their services will be available at home.
The Hubbard Fire has used brush engines, dozers, hand crews, and tree fallers. These resources come from private organizations, local agencies, and from agencies statewide through the state mobilization process. The Incident Management Team consists of public safety employees from diverse disciplines and agencies. Examples include fire departments, law enforcement, and city public works agencies.
Large, unstable trees along Tucanon Road at the east front of the fire, and the likelihood of unsecured power lines in the same area, have resulted in the need to close the road. Tucanon Road is closed to through traffic between Turner Road and Hartsock Road. The closure is being staffed by the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office with assistance provided by state troopers. Those who have documentation that they own property, or reside, in the area, and who are willing to accept the risk presented by the hazards, will be allowed access.
Access to the Upper Tucanon Recreation Area is available via Patit Road. The incident management team is being assisted by Washington State Department of Transportation, who is placing message signs to notify motorists of the closure.
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The media’s assistance in sharing this detour and road closure information would be appreciated, and is an essential element of our effort to inform the public. We appreciate what you can do for us with this!
Public Information Officer Steve Turcott