Whitney Wildland Fire nears containment at Crater Lake National Park – July 21, 2009

Whitney Wildland Fire nears containment at Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake Institute

July 21, 2009

By Robert Mutch

The 92-acre Whitney Wildland Fire continues burning a half-mile West of Crater Lake National Park’s North Entrance Station. The Whitney fire started on July 17th, however, it is suspected by fire officials to have been smoldering undetected for two weeks from a July 3rd lightning storm that also started the Desert Ridge Wildland Fire. The fire was discovered by a helicopter working on the nearby Desert Ridge fire.

View larger map Map Key1. Desert Ridge Wildland Fire2. Whitney Wildland Fire

The fire is currently 70 percent contained and expected to be 100 percent contained by July 22nd. Despite an initial report of being one acre in size, the fire rapidly grew to 100 acres by the late afternoon.

The Whitney fire is currently assigned a Type 2 Incident Management Team (with Ken Paul as Incident Commander), three 20-person Hot Shot Crews, five fire engines, 3 large and one small helicopters.

According to the National Park Service Fire and Aviation Management website, “Yesterday’s very dry weather and predicted high winds created active burning conditions but all containment lines held the fire in check. Numerous spot fires were detected and quickly lined. Fire crews are continuing to mop up, or extinguish any burning materials within 50 feet from the firelines.”

“Due to the proximity of the park boundary and the north entrance station it was decided to suppress this fire. Due to the number of firefighters, suppression equipment and complexity of the fire an inter-agency management team is currently managing the fire.”

The fire crews work to protect the North Entrance Station, Park boundary and the Diamond Lake Recreation Area immediately to the north.

Smoke from the fire is having a light impact on the caldera and their are intermittent smoke impacts on the park highway near the pumice desert.

For more information contact Greg Funderburk at Crater Lake National Park.

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