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Local Staff Ride Archive

Stand 1 - Point of Origin

A local initial attack force of three people arrived at the Thirtymile Fire at 23:00 on July 9th, 2001. They estimated the fire was burning in three to eight acres of heavy brush in the flat bottom of a steep canyon that ran north and south - primarily spruce, alder and aspen. The flame lengths were estimated at two to four feet, in spite of it being night and the vegetation appearing very green. The firefighters could see two spots on the east side of the Chewuch River, one near the river and another that was burning actively close to the east slope, where the fuel changed quickly to fir and pine.

The initial attack Incident Commander thought that the fire would grow and unless they could get water on the fire their efforts would be useless. He requested two engines, a Mark III pump, hoses and at least a 10-person crew. Engine #704 arrived at the fire about 15 minutes before midnight. At about midnight dispatch asked if the fire could be let go until the morning, and the IC responded that the fire needed "to be taken care of tonight because if it hits that slope it is going to the ridge top." They didn't think they had enough people to be effective, so they held at the road to wait for additional resources.

The Entiat Hotshots were then dispatched to the Thirtymile Fire. They had driven all day from a fire near Spokane and had just bedded down to sleep for the night near Twisp. They arrived at the Thirtymile Fire around 01:00 on July 10th, along with a pick-up truck carrying a Mark III pump and over 1,000 feet of hose. The Entiat Superintendent, Marshall Brown, took over the position of IC.

Although the former IC offered pump support, the Entiat Superientendent felt it was not necessary. As a result the three-person initial attack crew, Engine #704, and the pick-up truck departed at 01:30. The Entiat Hotshots then began work on the Thirtymile Fire at after a briefing. The hotshots spent the early morning cutting line.

Click to see Travel Map.

Click to see Orthophoto with NAD 27 GPS locations for stands shown

Click to see Topo Map for the Chewuch River

Aerial view orientation of Chewuch River drainage indicating key reference points.

Entiat Hotshot Crew, during early morning hours on July 10, 2001, crossing the Chewuch River to work on spot fires after completing hand line construction on west side of river.

Fire behavior on east side of Chewuch River during morning hours on July 10, 2001.