Crews Look Toward Containment For Palmer Fire, Using ‘Ping Pong Balls’ To Fight Fire With Fire

Fire crews were in the town of Loomis, on the Palmer Fire's southwestern edge, Aug. 22-23. The conducted burnout operations to help clear fuel. CREDIT Alan Lebovitz/WA DNR

Fireplace crews had been within the city of Loomis, on the Palmer Fireplace’s southwestern edge, Aug. 22-23. The carried out burnout operations to assist clear gas. CREDIT Alan Lebovitz/WA DNR



-Crimson Cross Contact: 509-670-5331

–Public Information Assembly, Aug. 25, 6 p.m. Watch here

Okanogan Highlands Fire Watch

Palmer Fire Info From InciWeb

Previous Palmer Fire Coverage From NWPB

Fireplace managers suppose they’ll get the Palmer Fireplace in north-central Washington below management this week. To date, the fireplace has burned greater than 18,000 acres and has burned greater than 30 constructions.

Crews have fought fireplace with fireplace to assist safe the containment strains. One methodology you might not have heard of makes use of ping pong balls and helicopters. They’re formally referred to as PSDs, or plastic spherical gadgets.

The ping pong balls have an accelerant inside. Differing types ignite sooner than others. All of it is determined by the terrain and kind of burn they need. For instance, gradual burns permit for bigger timber to not be broken, however they burn fuels on the bottom. The kind of accelerant and quantity of ping pong balls regulate how sizzling the fireplace burns.

Public data officer Doug Epperson says the ping pong balls are used to cowl a wider space than what handcrews do.

“It really comes out of a hopper, like whenever you see someone play bingo. There’s a bunch of balls in there,” Epperson mentioned.

Burning wider areas helps crews not have to fret about spot fires after they go away, particularly in windy circumstances, Epperson mentioned.

A chilly entrance blew into north-central Washington on Monday, bringing with it wind gusts of 20 mph.

Fireplace crews labored Monday to chop down hazard snag timber on the fireplace’s western edge. Falling snags are very harmful to fireside crews. The sawyers are clearing the snags earlier than crews can go in and seek for hotspots.

Evacuations are still in place for the Palmer Fire. Burnout operations took place over the recent weekend near Loomis, on the lower left edge of the fire. CREDIT: InciWeb

Evacuations are nonetheless in place for the Palmer Fireplace. Burnout operations befell over the current weekend close to Loomis, on the decrease left fringe of the fireplace. CREDIT: InciWeb

Crews additionally labored Monday to place a 300-foot radius round every construction to assist shield them going ahead.

Over the previous weekend, the fireplace managers labored with ranchers to guard grazing allotments, Epperson mentioned. He mentioned they saved greater than 200 acres of grazing land through the use of varied strategies, like burning completely different areas or discovering pure limitations for containment strains.

“There’s solely a lot wind up right here,” Epperson mentioned.

Officers are asking folks to not drive on closed roads. Epperson mentioned they’ve seen lots of people passing highway closures. Whereas there could not be flames within the space, he mentioned there’s lots of heavy gear in use. Firefighters are additionally utilizing the roads to journey.

Managers are planning a digital public assembly Tuesday, Aug. 25, at 6 p.m. They plan to replace folks on the standing of the fireplace and take questions over Facebook Live from Okanogan County Emergency Management. Folks can submit questions upfront to

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