Progress on All Fronts
The Beaver Creek Fire’s size is now estimated at 106,323 acres, with containment at 30 percent. The number of personnel assigned to the fire is 1,214.
Favorable weather conditions allowed for good progress on all fronts today. Deputy Incident Commander Kim Martin stated that “The perfect storm is subsiding.”
On the north end of the fire, crews prepped the Norton Lakes Road and are tying the fireline into rocks at higher elevations in preparation for a burnout southwest of Norton Lakes. Crews held the line and put out spots along the Baker Lake Road. An aerial burnout backed the fire downslope along the East Fork of Baker Creek. Line construction efforts to tie the line on the East Fork of Baker Creek into the 2007 Castle Rock Fire were supported by the VLAT or “very large air tanker” and helicopters.
In the Big Wood River corridor north of Greenhorn, crews are finishing up fireline in the Cold Springs area. The interior will likely continue to smoke for several days. When this operation is complete, resources will be shifted north to the Baker Creek area to assist in these efforts. Mandatory evacuations in some areas north of Hailey were downgraded to pre-evacuation status.
In the Croy Canyon area, hotshot crews are working towards each other to secure the southern perimeter and prevent the fire from any southern movement. Good progress was made today, but there is more work to do. Mandatory evacuations continue in this area for public and firefighter safety.
The most problematic section on the west flank of the fire (Zone 1) is directly north of Dollarhide Summit, where the fire has burned into decadent stands of subalpine fir that have not been exposed to fire in several decades. The fire crews constructing fireline in that section are receiving continual support from helicopters capable of dropping up to 2,000 gallons of water at a time. Resources who have been assigned to the southern tip of the fire have completed several miles of rehabilitation work on containment lines west of the Camas/Blaine County line and will now be progressing to the west-northwest along the fire perimeter.
Despite gusting winds, the slightly cooler temperatures and increased cloud cover today minimized fire activity. Despite the break in weather, conditions remain hazardous for firefighters working in steep, remote areas. Weather forecasts includes a red flag warning from 6 a.m. Wednesday to 12 a.m. on Thursday with a 10 percent chance of thunderstorms Wednesday and 30 percent on Thursday. Predicted monsoonal storms are now anticipated to arrive on Thursday, however the potential for significant precipitation over the fire area has dropped to less than ¼ inch.
More fire details are available at inciweb.org/incident/3635/. Current evacuation information can also be found at blainesheriff.com. Residents can register for the Everbridge emergency alert system at BlaineCounty.org by clicking on the Emergency Alert Program tab on the left hand side of the page. Fire information lines are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. at 877-647-0663, 877-711-1333 and 877-640-3904.