(Coulee Dam, WA) The Buffalo Lake Road Fire burned actively the evening of August 15th in the vicinity of Elmer City (pop. 239) and Coulee Dam (pop. 1107). No homes were lost. One barn burned, bringing the total structures lost to 2 barns. Access between Nespelem and Coulee Dam was closed for about 4 hours, but has since been restored. A short detour of Hwy 155 along the Lower River Road between Belevedere and Coulee Dam will be removed by 2:00 pm today. The current Evacuation Warning in the area is Level 1, meaning that residents should be aware that there is an incident occurring in the area and be receptive to news updates.
The current size of the wildfire is approximately 7,800 acres with 70% containment. The existing containment lines and structural protections that have been put in place will be evaluated and improved today. Although temperatures will be in the 90’s, winds will be lower (2-7 mph).
A main effort today will be to successfully locate and build a containment line on the SE portion of the fire, along the rocky slopes immediately above Lake Roosevelt that are too steep for a bulldozer to work.
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, Coulee Dam Fire Department, Grant County Fire Department, and Okanogan County.