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Wednesday, October 4, 2023
Oct. 4, 2023

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Red Flag Warning comes as Goat Rocks Fire grows


CENTRALIA — The Goat Rocks Fire northeast of Packwood continues to grow and is still 0% contained after having consumed 3,675 acres of forest as of Monday morning.

On Monday from noon to 7 p.m., a red flag warning was put in place in the vicinity of the fire, which is a weather advisory signaling dry, windy conditions that increase the potential for fire growth.

Gusty winds from the east were expected to bring dry air into the area, with relative humidity falling into the upper teens and low 20% range. The weather was expected to stay dry Tuesday before a shift to more typical on-shore flow brings in cooler, more humid air and possibly light showers later this week, according to a news release from the Forest Service.

The warm weather early this week will likely increase the amount of smoke produced by the fire. Areas northeast of Butter Creek and north of U.S. Highway 12, including Lower Timberline and Goat Rocks, are still at an evacuation level one, meaning residents should be ready to leave if asked. Upper Timberline remains at an evacuation level two, which has been described by Lewis County Division of Emergency Management officials as “having the car packed and ready to go.”

Despite warm, dry weather on Sunday, the fire had not reportedly crossed containment lines toward nearby neighborhoods and as of Monday morning, no serious injuries had been reported from firefighters working on the fire. As of Sunday, crews had completed 92% of the indirect control lines between residential areas and the fire.

Air support continues to drop water on the fire from above as well.

“Some fire spread is expected as burning trees and logs fall or roll down the slopes and fire makes short runs up slopes. Some torching of individual trees or small groups of trees is likely, but fire is mostly consuming ground fuels,” stated the release. “The fire is not expected to make large runs or gain much acreage despite the adverse weather conditions.”

For tips on keeping property safe in the event of a fire, visit nfpa.org/Public-Education/Fire-causes-and-risks/Wildfire/Firewise-USA or search www.firewise.org.

To receive alerts from Lewis County in the case of an emergency, sign up at lewiscountywa.gov/departments/emergency-management/lewis-county-alert/. For information on the fire updated daily, head to inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/8415/.