Buffalo Lake Road Fire grows to 11,091 acres; 82% containment

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August 18, 2012

(Coulee City, WA) Most of the Buffalo Lake Road Fire was quiet yesterday, giving firefighters the opportunity to continue improving containment lines and mopping up throughout its perimeter. In the southeast section, near Swawilla Basin, even with more fire activity, the rocky terrain made it difficult to thoroughly burn out the sparse fuels. Despite these challenges, crews located and built a new containment line that is closer to the body of the fire. This strategy will hasten successful containment.

Utility crews were able to access and repair burned powerlines enabling restoration of electricity to Mt. Tolman and the town of Keller.

All roads in the area including Peter Dan Road, Buffalo Lake Road and Hwy 155 are open. Drivers should use caution, watching for fire personnel and any rolling rocks or debris that has been loosened when the supporting plants and logs burned away.

Today’s weather is expected to exceed 100�F, with relative humidity of 11%. Although winds should generally be light, there’s a chance of dry lightning storms tonight. Crews are alert to the possibility of erratic winds as weather changes. Fire managers have created contingency plans for providing “initial attack” forces if needed in the area.

The current size of the wildfire is approximately 11,091 acres with 82% containment.

Coordination is occurring between the Colville Confederated Tribes, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Washington Department of Natural Resources, US Bureau of Reclamation, Okanogan Fire District 2, Elmer City Fire Department, Coulee Dam Fire Department, Grant County Fire Department, National Park Service and Okanogan County.