Salmon-Challis Fire Update
July 20, 2012 8:00 AM
Contact: Public Affairs Officer: Mardi Rhodes
Little Eightmile Fire:
DATE OF DETECTION: July 18, 2012 CAUSE: Unknown
CURRENT SIZE: 1.5 acres CONTAINMENT: 100%
LOCATION: Little Eightmile Drainage, Leadore Ranger District
AGENCY: U.S. Forest Service –Salmon-Challis National Forest
DATE OF DETECTION: July 18, 2012 CAUSE: Human
CURRENT SIZE: 438 acres CONTAINMENT: 100%
LOCATION: 10 miles south of Salmon, Idaho
AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Salmon District – Lemhi County
TODAY’S WEATHER: Very little change to going forecast through the entire period as models remain consistent in their advertising of modest changes. Remnants from tropical disturbance Fabio bringing widespread rain to southern and central California this afternoon. Middle and upper level moisture is streaming into the Great Basin and the Northern Rockies but deeper layer moisture from Fabio is not expected to bring anything other than isolated convection to our CWA. However, the persistent upper low off the Pacific Northwest coast this past week will be moving over the Northern Rockies today bringing a drying and increasingly gusty westerly flow in its wake shunting that moisture to our east by Saturday. Then southwest monsoon moisture surges northward Sunday which still looks to impact the area Sunday through Monday. Then another pacific wave moves through mid week with some drying and gusty winds Tuesday before another tropical surge brings increased shower and thunderstorm chances by the end of next week. Temperatures through the period bounce a little bit but remain right around seasonal averages with no unreasonable variations foreseen. For more information go to http://gacc.nifc.gov/egbc/dispatch/id-cic/intelligence.html.
Chrandal Creek Fire:
DATE OF DETECTION: July 6, 2012 CAUSE: Lightning
CURRENT SIZE: 2,000 acres CONTAINMENT: 30%
LOCATION: 42 miles south of Darby, MT (32 air miles)
AGENCY: U.S. Forest Service – Bitterroot National Forest (MT) & Salmon-Challis National Forest (ID)
YESTERDAY’S ACTIVITY: Temperatures remained in the mid-80s with relative humidity in the mid teens. Firefighters observed some torching of trees in the interior area of the fire. Due to better mapping of the fire area, size increased to 2,000 acres. The additional acres were all within the existing perimeter of the fire. The fire was most active on the northern flank where crews were assisted by helicopters using buckets to drop water on hot spots. Suppression work on the western, northern, and southern flanks slowed or curtailed fire growth in challenging sections of the fire. The eastern edge of the fire remained unstaffed due to steep terrain and lack of safe operating conditions for firefighters.
TODAY’S WEATHER AND PLANNED ACTIVITY: Unstable weather is predicted over the fire today. Thunderstorms are likely in the early morning and again in the afternoon. Isolated showers could bring as much as ¼ inch of rain. Fire activity may increase with the gusty winds expected as each storm front passes through the area. Crews and equipment will be redirected to focus their suppression efforts on the northern flank where the fire is most active. Efforts in the Chrandal Creek area include line construction, laying hose and mopping up hotspots. Aerial infrared surveys will assist firefighters in locating spot fires around the perimeter of the fire and validate their suppression efforts. A structure protection plan is in place for the residences in the Hughes Creek, MT drainage. The fire continues to be managed for full suppression.
PERSONNEL AND RESOURCES ON THE FIRE: 334 fire personnel, including nine 20-person crews, three helicopters, three engines, two dozers, and three water tenders.
SPECIAL CONCERNS: The Stage 1 Evacuation Notification remains in effect for residents in the upper Hughes Creek, MT area (above Chrandal Creek). People are on notification of the possibility of evacuation if fire threat becomes imminent. Thirty-seven structures are threatened in Hughes Creek, MT drainage. A structure protection plan is in place. It will be implemented in a timely manner if the need arises. The fire is burning in steep, rugged terrain with standing dead timber, thereby posing a safety risk to firefighters and a challenge for building conventional fire line.
Bitterroot National Forest: An area closure around the fire was put into effect on July 13 due to active wildfire conditions. The closure includes Trails #184 and #106 (Divide Trail) and Mine Creek Road #5688. The Hughes Creek Road in Montana is closed to non-residents at the intersection with Highway 473 (West Fork Road).
Salmon-Challis National Forest: Sections of the following trails are closed: #106, #141, #110, #105, #213, #142. These trails access the ridgeline trail dividing Idaho and Montana, near the active fire.
For more detailed and updated fire and closure information, visit www.inciweb.org.
Air quality monitors are in use at the Painted Rocks Fire Department and North Fork Ranger Station. Current air quality information for the area can be found at www.satguard.com/usfs/fleet.aspx