Location: 24 miles south of Lewiston, ID
Jurisdiction: Craig Mountain Fire Protection District
Cooperating Agencies: Other cooperating entities include the United States Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Nez Perce Tribe, The Nature Conservancy, and Nez Perce County
Incident Commander: Shawn Pearson, Northern Rockies Type II Incident Management Team (IMT)
Current Size: Approximately 30,000 acres
Strategy: Full Suppression
Structures Threatened: 160
Structures Lost: 0
Structure Protection: As Needed
Yesterday’s Activities: The Big Cougar Fire continued burning in rough terrain west of Wapshilla Ridge and east of the Snake River. Crews worked on burnouts and used heavy equipment to stay ahead of the fire along Wapshilla Ridge. Crews assessed the fire’s spread to the north and developed a plan for constructing a containment line on a ridge near Captain John Creek.
Current Resources: The number of firefighters on the incident is 103. Resources assigned include two crews, three helicopters, five engines, one water tender, one dozer and support personnel.
Planned Actions: Fire behavior specialists project that the fire could move up to 2 miles north today, which could take it to the vicinity of Chimney Creek. Crews will begin fireline construction along Captain John Ridge on the northern flank of the fire. On the eastern flank suppression efforts will focus on fireline construction on Wapshilla Ridge. Structure protection continues along the Snake River ahead of the fire spread. Helicopters will be dipping out of the Snake River, and air tankers will be used as needed to assist suppression efforts. Fire activity is likely to increase this afternoon due to high temperatures and low humidity along with localized winds.
Special Messages/Closures: Benton Meadows road closure went into effect at 8:45 AM on Tuesday August 5th. Stage 2 evacuation notice is in place from China Garden to Captain John Creek. Residents and recreationists living in and/or visiting the area are encouraged to stay informed of the changing conditions. Floaters need to be aware of the dipping activities and use caution when in the area. We appreciate the public’s help in assisting with our efforts by reducing their speed when traveling roads in the affected area(s). A community meeting is tenatively planned for August 7 in the Waha community. More details will be coming soon about this tenative community meeting.