A Message to Our Community: Wildfire Safety Updates
As of 8/17/2021 at 1:00pm
Northwest Outward Bound School
As of 8/7/21 we have resumed operations at our Mazama base camp. Significant containment work has been completed by tremendous fire crews on the ground and in the air on both the Cedar Creek and Cub Creek 2 fires. Over 123,000 acres burned between the two fires and over 600 personnel are currently still working these fires. Our basecamp and most areas throughout the Methow Valley are now at Level 1 orders (advisory) or better, a significant improvement. Fire conditions can certainly change quickly but at this point we are back to operating at base after three weeks of makeshift arrangements and poor air quality.
Several courses were canceled in August as a result and the courses in the field are operating either in Oregon or on the west side of the Cascades in Washington. We monitor for additional fire activity and poor air quality daily and are in regular communication with crews in the field.
We are so thankful for the firefighters and support staff that have protected our basecamp, our neighbors and our Methow Valley community. Their hard work continues as we all continue through this fire season.
As of August 2, 2021 1:00pm PT
Northwest Outward Bound School (NWOBS)
While the immediate risk to our Mazama basecamp has been subsiding, our evacuation level has not changed and NWOBS staff remain working remotely off site from our Mazama basecamp. Several courses remain on schedule, while others are being adjusted as fire conditions change. NWOBS staff is diligently watching as new information becomes available, and this will guide our decision making.
Additional updates will be posted when they become available.
All Media Inquiries should be directed to 1-800-889-3934
As of July 28, 2021 9:00am PT
Northwest Outward Bound School (NWOBS)
Due to the proximity of the Cedar Creek fire, the Northwest Outward Bound School Mazama (WA) basecamp was moved to Evacuation Level 2 on July 19. Evacuation Level 2 means “Get Ready.” At approximately 10:00 pm that night, Northwest Outward Bound School pre-emptively evacuated staff from basecamp. No students were at the Mazama basecamp. Staff have safely moved essential gear, vehicles, food, and other supplies to a secure location in Winthrop and have been supporting courses and course ends from that location.
We will continue to support courses in the field from this temporary location. Northwest Outward Bound School students are continuing their courses in areas distanced from fires and smoke, and closer to potential evacuation routes (roads) in case those are needed. No student crew is currently in proximity to any known fire. NWOBS has contacted family members of students in the field.
Since we evacuated our basecamp has remained in a Level 2 area. The fires have spread with the most active areas of the fire now further away from our basecamp. The containment lines nearest our basecamp have thus far remained in place. Our hearts go out to all of our neighbors and community members who are evacuated, and we appreciate and celebrate the almost 1000 firefighters who are containing and managing the Cedar Creek and Cub Creek 2 fires.
Washington courses with an August 1st start date have been cancelled or adjusted and all student families have been contacted. Later course starts are still under evaluation. There will also be logistical adjustments given our basecamp status at any point in time.
We want to provide you with some information regarding contingency plans and protocols NW Outward Bound has in place for fire season:
Courses will not operate within close proximity to an existing fire, and all itineraries will be approved by Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management personnel.
Our administrative staff monitors fire updates and forecasts daily.
We plan conservative itineraries that include multiple evacuation routes should a new fire start while a course is underway.
We review all fire season protocols during staff safety briefings before each course.
With the use of satellite and/or cell phones, our basecamp operations team and courses in the field are able to communicate with each other.
Marc Heisterkamp Executive Director Northwest Outward Bound School
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