Issue date: September 10, 2012
Cause: Human, under investigation
Location: 7 miles north of Riggins, near Lucile, ID
Current Size: Approximately 15,902 acres
Sheep Fire Information Phone Number: 1-877-599-7716 and 1-877-608-4027
Community Meeting: A public meeting is scheduled today at the White Bird IOOF Hall (149 River Street, White Bird, ID) at 7:00 p.m. Monday September 10.
Resources Assigned: The Eastern Montana Type 2 Incident Management Team, directed by Incident Commander Stan Benes, is managing the Sheep Fire. A new Northern Rockies Type 1 IMT, lead by Doug Turman, will assume command of the fire on Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. 27 engines, 5 helicopters, 6 crews, 2 dozers, and 4 water tenders are assigned to the fire (approximately 236 personnel). Additional resources are being ordered. The Incident Command Post has been established at the White Bird Rodeo Grounds.
Current Status: Fire remains active on the eastern flank into Sheep Gulch. Fire personnel expect active fire behavior again today due to poor humidity recovery, high temperatures and wind shifts. On Sunday morning, major fire activity began at 8:30 a.m. and continued throughout the day into late evening. Fire personnel disengaged direct fireline Sunday morning and re-engaged all resources to point to point structure protection. The northwestern flank of the fire, along Sheep Gulch drainage has extended in some places down to Hwy 95. Air support including multiple heavy air tankers, single engine aircraft and helicopters dropped retardant, pre-treated structures and dropped water on hot spots throughout Sunday.
Planned Actions: Active fire behavior is expected today with strong winds and low relative humidities. Fire personnel will be focusing resources on point to point structure protection along Hwy 95, in the John Day Creek drainage and Slate Creek drainages. Additional crews along the northwestern flank will determine locations for direct and indirect fireline.
Evacuations: The John Day Creek drainage is under evacuation and the Slate Creek drainage and Florence Basin has been given preliminary notifications. Point to point structure protection remains the first priority for this area. One commercial mining building has been lost by the fire.
Closures: Current road closures are as follows on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest: Starting at the Forest Service boundary for all roads: Road 2025- Delmedge Ridge to road 243 and further to 221. From Four Corners Road 221- south to Salmon River Road. Road 354 – closed. Road 441 starting at Mile Post 5, just above the last residence is closed. Road 309 – closed from Buck Meadows to Road 221.
Fire officials are working with logging personnel to protect their equipment. Plans are also underway to help ranchers with their livestock in the area.
Weather: Monday will be mostly sunny with temperatures 70 – 75 and up to 80 in the valley. Relative humidity will be 15-20% There is a Red Flag Warning in effect from 11:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. Monday for strong southwest winds with gusts to 30 mph.
Remarks: Motorists are urged to use caution, resist stopping at pull-outs and drive slowly along Highway 95 near Lucile, ID continuing north to the Incident Command Post (ICP) near the Slate Creek Ranger Station. Heavy fire and aircraft traffic will be working along the river corridor near Lucile. River recreationists are asked to avoid using the Lucile boat pull-outs after 4:00 p.m. to reduce congestion and interference with fire suppression operations.
Cooperating Agencies: Bureau of Land Management Cottonwood Field Office, Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest, Idaho Department of Lands Payette Lakes Area, Idaho County Sheriff, USFS Salmon River Ranger District and several local volunteer Fire Departments
The fire is listed on Inciweb: www.inciweb.org