Spring in the Tumwater, by Michael Stanford

Highway 2 re-opened today at 9:00. There are Washington DOT pilot cars from the Alps store to Winton (approximately 8 miles). Fire operational personnel and traveling public will be piloted in both directions at 35 miles per hour. There will be traffic control points staffed at the turn around points to hold additional traffic. All piloted road turn outs will be marked with “No Parking” signs and/or cones. Stopping will not be allowed within the piloted area.This piloted route is planned for 3-4 days. Having this road remain open will depend on fire behavior, any initial attack near the road, any medical emergencies, spot fires, and the traveling public’s adherence to the rules. At any time there is a safety issue to the public and/or fire personnel, the road will be closed and the detour through Chumstick will resume.

The fire was active on the northwest corner and western flank yesterday. Portions of southern flank grew slowly. Crews were successful in maintaining containment on the north and east perimeter. Due to unstable atmospheric conditions hot air above the fire carried ash and debris, creating smoke plumes over the fire. Helicopters dropped over 300,000 gallons of water to cool hot spots, helping to limit the growth of the fire on Thursday. Crews extended the McCue Ridge hand line to the west. Other resources focused on mopping up the north line, responding to spots outside the fire-line. Resources are in place around the fire for rapid response to any new starts in the area.
Weather: The Haines Index, a measurement of potential fire growth, will remain at an elevated level of 5 (maximum of 6). There is a chance of thunderstorms in the area on Friday into Saturday. High temperatures and low relative humidity are expected.
As of 3pm today we started getting a little smoke and ask in the Kahler Glen and Fish Lake areas.