Wednesday, July 22, 2015

BLUE CREEK FIRE


These are not my photos, but Walla Walla is my town and my county and I want to share this current event with my CDP viewers.Thank you to local professional photographers including Steve Lenz and Donna Lassater for sharing their photos of this dangerous, yet strikingly beautiful situation.


On Monday around noon, fire broke out along Blue Creek and Klicker Mountain roads, nine miles east of Walla Walla. It has now consumed nearly 4000 acres of grass, brush, timber and slash as it travels northeast through the Blue Mountains. It is 0% contained.


At the start a Type 3 Incident Management Team fought the blaze which included 250 area professional firefighters and crews. Unusually hot weather with gusty winds combined with tinder dry fields and forest floors made battling the blaze extremely challenging. 


As the extent of the fire grew, the Walla Walla Board of County Commissioners officially declared the Blue Creek fire a disaster. 


By Tuesday evening, a Type 2 Incident Management team took over command. This team is at the state level and has the capacity to organize a much larger operation. Nearly 400 firefighters have been called in from around the state and funding is from state and federal sources. This frees local crews to be available to respond to local emergencies.

If you look closely, there are at least 13 firefighters battling this blaze.

With smoke from the Blue Creek fire billowing just over the hills, wheat harvest continues in the Walla Walla Valley. For most farmers, getting the wheat out of the field is of prime importance before it becomes fuel for a new wild fire.