Australian forces join the effort at the Miriam Fire - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Australian forces join the effort at the Miriam Fire

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NACHES, WA - The Miriam Fire two miles east of White Pass Ski Area is currently at 1,242 acres and is 9 percent contained. The cause of the fire was determined to be lightning. Six 20-person crews, 3 helicopters, 26 engines, 2 dozers, and 363 total personnel have been involved in the containment of this fire.

Current Activity:  Conditions at the fire became hotter and dryer yesterday and as a result, the fire became more active. Helicopter bucket drops were used to slow the spread of the fire around the perimeter, including the Miriam Creek headwaters. At 5 pm firefighters began a strategic burning operation just north of Hell Creek that will tie the fire into the old Twin Peaks Fire scar and help anchor this important containment line just south of Clear Lake. Heavy equipment completed work preparing Forest Road (FR) 1200-540 on the north flank for use as a future containment line if needed. Firefighters continued their structure assessment and protection work around Clear Lake.

Today 13 Australian firefighters began working on the fire as task force leaders, safety officers and specialists in heavy equipment operation and structure protection. These experienced firefighters will provide a welcome boost to the capacity to safely and productively implement suppression activities. Firefighters will begin mop-up operations along the important fireline north of Hell Creek. On the north flank a hand crew will begin building a fireline from Ginnette Lake, above White Pass Ski Area, east along the ridge to tie into the 2009 Twin Peaks Fire scar. Heavy equipment has moved to the east flank and will begin work on contingency lines along FR’s 1204 and 1205.  Aircraft will be used again today to slow and check increasingly active fire behavior.

Weather and Fire Behavior:  The forecast calls for increasingly hot conditions through Friday afternoon.  These conditions may support very active fire behavior. A dry cold front is expected Friday with critical fire weather conditions and possible thunderstorms. 

Evacuations: Level 1, 2 and 3 evacuations in the White Pass, Rimrock Lake and Clear Lake areas have not changed. Continue to follow Yakima County OEM for specific details on evacuation information.

Closures: An Emergency Closure is in effect on the Okanogan-Wenatchee and Gifford Pinchot National Forests. The closure area is bounded by State Highway 12, FR 1200, FR 1000, and trails #1128, #1118, the Pacific Crest Trail and includes the White Pass Ski Area. The PCT is closed from Tieton Pass to White Pass with a detour available to the west. Highway 12 remains open and is not currently threatened. Caution is advised for motorists near White Pass to Rimrock Lake due to heavy firefighting traffic in the area.

Estimated Incident Containment or completion:  9/1/2018

For Online Miriam Fire Updates visit:

Inciweb at

Miriam Fire Facebook at

Okanogan Wenatchee NF Facebook at

Yakima County Office of Emergency Management: