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Old 08-15-2015, 01:55 AM   #1
Len and Jeanne
 
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forest fire destroys campground

Wildfires ripped through Rock Creek, B.C. so quickly that campers had no time to collect their things — they just ran | National Post

Forest fires are burning throughout BC, Washington state, and northern Idaho, as well as the more publicized ones in California. We could see one in the northern Idaho pandhandle from our valley-- until the smoke and haze blocked the view. A new one just popped up this evening on a mountain slope across the Creston valley. It is shocking how quickly it's been spreading-- from just one hot spot to a chain of fire in just a couple of hours. Right now, the whole mountain top appears to be burning. At night, the flame and lit-up smoke is pretty dramatic.

Thankfully we feel safe, on the other side of the valley. But with conditions so dry and windy, it wouldn't take much.....

Thankfully nobody was killed or injured in the Kettle River campground fire, but some people lost their RVs.
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Old 08-15-2015, 02:39 AM   #2
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Hope you get some rain soon. That's a grim picture you've painted. I can't imagine having to leave my trailer and belongings behind - it would be a terrifying situation. Please stay safe.
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Old 08-15-2015, 12:52 PM   #3
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Don't know if it's possible for you, but you might consider keeping your AS connected to your tow vehicle in case you need to make a quick exit. Leave anything outside your trailer behind (camp chairs, etc.) and hit the road quickly if needed.

We camp frequently at the beach in Northern CA. We have an escape plan in case of a tsunami, but it is basically leave everything behind and run for high ground. With a fire, you have a little more warning of the potential for mandatory evacuation. Better to be prepared.
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Old 08-15-2015, 02:14 PM   #4
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we were planning a trip into SE BC in early September but given the fire situation, i am going to change our plans and stay on this side of the border. we have been in the vicinity of forest fires in past years and we really do not relish the thought of having to deal with all of that smoke again. given the tinder dry conditions all over the PNW, we may end up changing these new plans as well. only time and the weather will tell. but after the storm of the last few days, there were well over 200 lightning strikes in the N cascades so i would expect to hear of additional fires starting up. all in all, we are in for it with Godzilla el'Nino taking shape. dry and warm in the PNW is not a good combo for winter time.
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Old 08-15-2015, 07:23 PM   #5
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Sounds awful.

I think at the very least have a bug out bag by the door.

Stay safe, you two.


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Old 08-16-2015, 12:39 PM   #6
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Evacuations

Thanks for the update ! I agree, a bug-out bag is the key.
We are heading to Winthrop, Okanogan Wa, next week. May have
to do a change of plan. Stay safe everyone !
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Old 08-16-2015, 12:55 PM   #7
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Watching the news this morning it looks like Waterton Lakes area is now got fires also. This of course will also impact the USA side of the park system also. We are planning to be in southern BC in a few weeks. I sure hope they get a little rain soon.....
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Old 08-16-2015, 01:35 PM   #8
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Chelan in WA now has 6 fires burning with loss of buildings. Not looking good.


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Old 08-16-2015, 01:46 PM   #9
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in Green Valley lake this summer many trailers were hooked up to TVs even though the Lake fire was over 20 miles and a few ridges away - but I got the hint
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Old 08-16-2015, 03:42 PM   #10
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Thank you!

I think the moral of the story is just to check for local fire conditions prior to traveling in the western states. They can change quickly, either during or after a forest fire. Our local customs station was closed Friday night to southbound traffic due to a bigger fire in the northern tip of the Idaho panhandle; and our main highway west out of town was temporarily closed, which funneled most of this traffic onto the Kootenay Lake ferry-- so of course, there were huge delays there. Some people south of town were put on an evacuation alert that was later lifted.

I think these restrictions are serious but usually short-lived.

We're planning a Yellowstone-Glacier-Waterton Lakes trip at the end of August-early September, so we'll keep our eyes out for fire conditions-- thanks for the tip. The St. Mary's CG in Glacier NP was evacuated earlier this summer for a while.

Thankfully we had about an hour of rain last night.

Anyway, we'd encourage everyone to visit BC-- it's a beautiful province. It's just that, well, some of it is on fire right now.
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Old 08-16-2015, 10:19 PM   #11
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Anyway, we'd encourage everyone to visit BC-- it's a beautiful province. It's just that, well, some of it is on fire right now.

Len & Jeanne
I'll leave Wednesday for Alaska, via Spokane and entering your fine country at Osoyoos, then will head up via Kelowna, Kamlops, Prince George, and the Cassia Hwy. Any fire updates for this route? Thank you. jon
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Old 08-16-2015, 11:41 PM   #12
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For up to date info in BC, go here:
Current Wildfire Situation - BC Wildfire Service - Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations - Province of British Columbia
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Old 08-16-2015, 11:41 PM   #13
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B00merang, you might try this site: Current Wildfire Situation - BC Wildfire Service - Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations - Province of British Columbia
but it's probably more reliable to google the towns you will be visiting and see what they say, a day or two in advance. There are some fires burning in the Okanagon: the town of Oliver seems hard-hit. News - B.C. wildfire destroys 29 homes, hundreds evacuated - The Weather Network

This site should indicate any highway closures: BC Highway Road Closures

However, a town or road in danger one day can be out of danger a few days or even hours later.

Even more up to date and informative is the locals' grapevine. Asking at a gas station or restaurant will probably keep you most up to date as you travel.

Our local fire is still smoldering along, but fortunately we had some rain last night.
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Old 08-17-2015, 09:16 AM   #14
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I just downloaded a good iPhone app Wildland Fire Map. Works well.


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Old 08-17-2015, 11:52 AM   #15
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Thank you, all. Thee websites are perfect. Safe travels to you. jon
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Old 08-19-2015, 01:00 PM   #16
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Wild Fire Web Site

We are traveling through CO and headed north to WY, MT, ID and BC so thanks for the info everyone.
Here is another good site for fire info:
InciWeb the Incident Information System: Current Incidents
Travel Safe.....Andy
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Old 08-20-2015, 03:22 PM   #17
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Always wise to check ahead in the mountain states. We listen to NPR out of Spokane, Washington. More areas are being evacuated in eastern Washington, and Forest Service campgrounds are being closed in northern Idaho around Coeur d'Alene.

Our local fire is still nowhere near our house-- thankfully there's a big wetland wildlife preserve and farmland between the fire and us. We were getting a good view of it from our deck, though, till the smoke got so thick we can't even see the mountains across the valley anymore. Today is pretty breezy, which doesn't help the fire crews.

And yes, we are talking about our bug-out bag and plans, in a "what if" way.
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Old 08-20-2015, 04:09 PM   #18
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We just drove rt 12 from Orofino, ID to Lolo, MT. Lots of smoke, closed campgrounds and trails. Another round of evacuations is starting up. They've had some serious losses-50 home and 75 outbuildings in Kamiah. We just arrived at a friends house in Hamilton, MT to spend a few days and he got called to go out there to help with logistics for the Red Cross.


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Old 08-20-2015, 04:56 PM   #19
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Fires burning all over Eastern Washington. My son in law is driving a dozer on a fire north of Omak, over 300,000 acres burning after last year that saw over 200,000 acres burnt. The Evergreen state is going to be the burnt ember state if this keeps up much longer. 3 firefighters lost their lives and 4 more were injured one severely. Entire towns are being evacuated and forces from all over are being mobilized. If you see a firefighter, a national guard member, a red cross worker make sure you thank them. Also, many, many local citizens are providing help and support at home and on site. These are trying times.
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Old 08-20-2015, 08:37 PM   #20
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We have often had to travel through areas where the smoke from the wildfires was strong. I carry fairly good quality dust masks in the tow vehicle just in case we need them. Have had to use them in the past... ugh!
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