Phone: 406-363-7122 / Cell: 406-531-1130
What: Gold Pan Complex (Gold Pan, Nez Peak, Thirteen, Goat Fires)
Location: 35 miles SW of Darby, MT. in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness
Jurisdiction: Bitterroot National Forest – West Fork Ranger District
Summary: The Gold Pan fire grew by 144 acres on Monday to 42,463 acres. The most active parts of the fire remain on the north and east edges in the Blue Joint drainage near Jack the Ripper Creek. Fire activity was limited yesterday thanks to cooler temperatures and an inversion that didn’t lift over the fire area. Some single/group tree torching was reported later in the afternoon. The fire has moved east of the Blue Joint Trail #614 but remains three miles SW of Bare Cone Lookout. Last week the fire crossed from Idaho into Montana, south of Nez Perce Pass. Approximately 3,210 acres has burned in Ravalli County, Montana. Low fire activity and little movement was reported Monday on the Nez Peak fire which remains at 1,276 acres. Goat and Thirteen fires remain in monitor status.
Planned Actions: Today crews will continue brush clearing and chipping operations on the east side along with snag removal along Magruder Road. Helicopters with buckets are available if needed to slow the fire spread on the leading edge in the Blue Joint drainage as well as other active areas of the fire. Engines will be on the east side assisting with the work.
Weather: Cooler temperatures with an increasing chance of daily showers and thunderstorms are forecast all week. Valley inversions can be expected to linger in the Magruder Corridor west of Nez Perce Pass each day until the early afternoon. This should help decrease fire activity and movement throughout the week.
Resources: Resources on the fire include 7 engines, 3 helicopters, water tender, and heavy equipment (chippers, brush cutter, feller buncher). Approximately 80 personnel.
Magruder Road Corridor: Magruder Road #468 between Fales Flat Campground and Elk City, Idaho is currently open to the public between the hours of 10am-2pm daily. This may change depending on fire activity and conditions. For the latest road information contact the West Fork Ranger Station at (406) 821-3269.
Selway Road: Selway Road #6223 to Paradise Campground will be closed at the intersection with Magruder Road between September 5-13th for road repairs. Crews will be working to stabilize several sections of the roadway that have deteriorated due to erosion and are in danger of washing out during high runoff or thunderstorms. Just last week a large mudslide blocked travel along the road near the Indian Creek Campground. Crews worked over the weekend and yesterday to remove trees, rocks, and mud from the road and the section is currently passable.
Area Closure: To provide for public safety an area closure remains in place for parts of the fire area located in the Frank Church and Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness. To see a map of the closures visit http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3538/. All forest service roads and trails within this area are closed.
Cooperating Agencies: Ravalli County Fire Warden, Painted Rocks RFD, West Fork RFD, Ravalli County Sheriff, Ravalli County Office of Emergency Management, American Red Cross.
For the latest fire information, maps, and photos visit http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3538/
Stay in touch with the Bitterroot National Forest through www.facebook.com/DiscoverTheBitterroot and www.twitter.com/BitterrootNF.