Winds push Diamond Creek Fire

— Winds from the west and northwest pushed the Diamond Creek Fire into an area of unburned fuel Wednesday afternoon, sending up a smoke column visible for miles.

The human-caused blaze is burning in the Pasayten Wilderness Area about 12 miles north of Mazama.

As of Thursday, Aug. 17, firefighting plans call for using helicopter bucket drops and hand crews to maintain lines along the fire perimeter, concentrating in the Pat Creek drainage. Mop-up efforts are planned for the east and west sides of the Eightmile Creek drainage.

Contingency line scouting and construction will continue around the southern edge.

Okanogan County residents can expect to see smoke from burning in upper Drake Creek, north of Billy Goat Mountain. The area is surrounded by old fire scars, recent burned ground and natural barriers that are expected to act as fire boundaries.

Today will mark the fourth consecutive day of the ongoing warm and dry trend, fire officials said. Temperatures are forecast to increase, while relative humidity is expected to decrease. Winds will continue from the west-northwest.

A number of road closures remain in effect.

As of Thursday morning, the fire acreage was listed as the same as yesterday - 28,143 acres - and was about 8 percent contained. The blaze, reported July 23, has cost an estimated $4.4 million to fight so far.

Fire officials said 340 people are assigned to the fire. Resources include seven hand crews, three camp crews, 18 engines, five helicopters, two bulldozers and eight water tenders.

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