Here’s a statement just in from Gifford Pinchot National Forest regarding the Cold Springs Fire:
The Cold Springs Fire is currently 7,729 acres with 98% containment. Within the perimeter, the fire continues to smolder and creep with heavy dead and down fuels.
Firefighters have completed aggressive mop up and cold trailing 300 feet within the perimeter and are focusing on back-hauling the almost fifty miles of hose used for mop up. This is mean arduous work as firefighters carry out long sections of hose over shovels and other tools to clear the firelines. Palm Infrared (IR) readings, an on-the-ground technology measuring fire acreage, are almost completed. Palm IR is more accurate than aerial IR.
Within the fire, snag hazard remains high, as the number of hazardous dead trees in the burned areas makes it impossible to completely reduce danger. Patrol and initial attack support is ongoing. One heavy helicopter and one light helicopter are committed to the fire at present. Expected date of containment is August 1, 2008.
The fire has been primarily inactive over the last few days, however, residents should expect to see smoke and intermittent activity within the fire perimeter as the warmest and driest summer weather approaches. Due to the density of fuels within specific areas of the fire full containment will not occur until a season ending event such as a wetting rain or snow. A long term strategy is being developed for rehabilitation of firelines, high intensity burned areas.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be 70 – 80 today in different sections of the fire, winds 5 – 9 mph with relative humidity between 30 – 45 %.
CLOSURES: Gifford Pinchot National Forest. The following campgrounds are closed: Cold Springs, Morrison, Mt Adams Horse Camp. Road Closures include FS 80, 82, 8040 east of the 23 at the forest boundary. Trails now closed include: Stagman Ridge, Salt Creek, Buck Creek, Cold Springs, Crofton Ridge, Morrison, Snipes Mountain. For more information, please contact 509.395.3402.. Yakama Nation closures include: Bird Creek, Mirror Lake, and Bench.
The State of Washington Department of Natural Resources campgrounds are open.