Update: August 15, 2015
Newport, WA – Management for the Tower Fire, which started Tuesday, August 11 has transitioned to a Type 3 incident management team. This provides the Newport Ranger District the ability to focus on new fire starts. Currently the District staff are tracking 5 new fires on national forest lands in northern Pend Oreille County. The Cascade Fire is near the Sullivan Mountain Lookout and is currently staffed with a line around it. Four additional fires are in heavy fuels and timber where direct attack is not possible. Managers are developing plans to engage these fires as soon as resources and opportunities develop. These are located on Hall Mountain (~12 acres), southeast of Hall Mountain (~20 acres), and 2 adjacent fires near Trail 525 on the South Fork Slate Creek area near the Salmo-Priest Wilderness boundary.
The Tower Fire has grown significantly in the last few days, and fire managers estimate it is between 2,000 and 3000 acres. The fire area includes the South Baldy Lookout Tower on the border of the Colville and Idaho Panhandle National Forests. The lookout tower is approximately 20 miles north of Newport, Washington and 4 miles west of the Idaho-Washington state line. At this point, crews have burned out around the tower, and continue to check on its condition regularly.
Today fire fighters are identifying potential holding lines and management action points while prioritizing protection of property and natural resources.