2018 Cowlitz Peak Fire
Called in by hikers on the Wonderland Trail at mid-day on August 9, 2018, as a small 1/2 acre fire on the north aspect of Cowlitz Peak. Unknown start date, may have been from storm on July 28. Aerial recon on August 15 found the fire still under 1 acre. Better coordinates for fire determined it to be at about 3700 feet on the north-facing aspect of Cowlitz Peak above the Ohanapecosh River. On August 24 a DNR helicopter was able to recon, and reported fire behavior as creeping, while an IR flight on September 1 detected 0.1 acres of detectable heat. Believed the fire was backing slowly down the slope, with the only heat/smoke production coming from the head of the fire. Firefighters walked the perimeter of this fire on September 10. There was only heat on the edges, particularly the lower lobe. Flame heights of 3-6 inches. Total area approximately 5 acres. As of September 28, the Cowlitz Peak Fire was still putting up a small amount of smoke (smoke was visible from Hwy 123 at about milepost 9.5.) and was expected to do so until there was a solid stretch of rain or snow in the winter.
2018 Fan Lake Fire
Discovered July 30, 2018, probably same ignition date as Spooky Tree. Near a ridge top at 5200 feet, west of the Muddy Fork of the Cowlitz, with smoke column visible from Box Canyon Overlook. This fire first showed up on satellite infra-red (IR) after increase in fire behavior on August 21. On the 24th a DNR helicopter was able to recon, and reported fire behavior as backing and creeping, total size approximately 20-30 acres. An IR flight on August 25 put the fire size at 15 acres total, not including the scree slopes and unburned fuels surrounding the fire. Cool off in early September speculated to be due in part to discontinuous fuels, relatively high live-fuel moistures, and a lack of both continuously low relative humidities and sustained east winds. Declared out on September 16, 2018.
2018 Spooky Tree Fire
On the Cowlitz Divide, just off the Wonderland Trail, about 1/4 mile north of the WT/Cowlitz Divide trail junction. Lightning start on July 28, 2018, approx. 40' X 20'. Suppression actions taken July 29 and 30, fire in patrol status for several weeks before being declared out on August 20, 2018.
2017 Norse Peak Fire
Thirteen fires were ignited by lightning on August 10th and 11th, 2017, in the vicinity of the William O. Douglas and Norse Peak Wilderness Areas on the Naches Ranger District of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. The fires burned in steep rocky terrain, with difficult access. Two of the fires reached significant size: the Norse Peak Fire (north of State Route 410 (SR410) near Union Creek) and the American Fire (between SR410 and Bumping Lake).
Norse Peak Fire Incident Information
Mount Rainier News Release, September 21, 2017