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Devil's Elbow Complex in Washington State

12.08.2014

The Devil's Elbow Complex is four wildfires that are located on the Colville Indian Reservation in northeastern Washington. They were detected on August 3, but were likely ignited by lightning that passed through the area on August 2.

Three fires are in the San Poil River Valley, approximately 10-12 miles north of the town of Keller, WA. These are the Cub Creek Fire (165), the Central Peak Fire (160), and the Deadhorse Fire (164). They are burning timber, grass, brush, litter, and heavy slash that resulted from a local wind storm two years ago. The terrain is very steep and rocky. They have burned over 17,000 acres. The three fires have merged.

Approximately 150 homes and 90 other structures are located nearby in the San Poil Valley along Highway 21 and are threatened. Evacuations are in place for Capoose Creek to the Bear Creek Campground.  Evacuation notices are also in effect to the north and south of this area.

The Timm Brothers Ranch Fire has burned approximately 250 acres near the Columbia River, about 20 miles north of Nespelem, WA. It was primarily burning grass and brush. It is being mopped up.

Active fire behavior expected on all uncontrolled fronts. Two major flaming fronts area producing pyrocumulus clouds to 15,000 feet. Fire is fuel driven and very reactive to stability.  Fire will likely continue to advance to the north at 0.5-1 mile per day without containment. Current containment of the fire complex is at 4%.  The weather is expected to remain hot and dry with variable wind directions and speeds.

This natural-color satellite image was collected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Terra satellite on August 10, 2014. Actively burning areas, detected by MODIS’s thermal bands, are outlined in red.  NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team. Caption: NASA/Goddard, Lynn Jenner with information from inciweb.org

Rob Gutro | Eurek Alert!
Further information:
http://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/devils-elbow-complex-in-washington-state/

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