Ward Fire Update 8-14-19
Warmer and drier conditions continue to play a role in the Ward fire. Predicted flare up activity during the day kept firefighters busy on Tuesday. Crews achieved good successes on some sections, reinforcing control lines. As a result, several engines and crews will be reassigned today from more secure parts of the line to some of the more challenging areas. In the eastern section, there are still many islands of green, unburned areas inside the fire perimeter, which take longer to secure.
Today, crews will concentrate on meticulously checking for and extinguishing hot spots, flagging areas of concern, and meeting mop up standards, which vary from a minimum of 200 feet from the hard black (areas where there is no fuel) to 300 feet in incompletely burned and areas of higher fuel concentrations. With a front coming through Thursday morning, this work is critically important. “The biggest variable on fire behavior is weather,” says Chris Cline, Incident Commander. “The fuels and the slope stay constant.” Cline also noted the importance of continued vigilance on the fireline; “The job that we are doing today affects what happens on the fire tomorrow.”
The level of containment (currently at 47%) is a good measure of the Incident Commander’s assessment of the fire’s potential. Simply put, containment level is the percentage of the perimeter that has been determined controlled. In this case, there may be no smoke or flames in the other 53% of the perimeter, but firefighters cannot yet rule out the possibility that a light wind might ignite some of the unburned fuels near the line and result in spot fires.
If conditions stay as predicted, it is likely that steady progress towards full containment will continue through the week.