9 July 2012 Update
Incident: Low Gap Wildfire
LOW GAP FIRE UPDATE July 9, 2012, 9:00 AM
Management of the Low Gap Fire is under the command of Paul Kollmeyer's Type 2 Eastern Area Incident Management Team (IMT). The management team assumed management responsibility at 6:00 a.m. Thursday, July 5. Crews continue patrolling for hot spots and mopping up 100 feet into the fire.
GPS acreage: 93 acres as of 5:00 p.m. July 7. Reduction of one acre due to more accurate GPS mapping.
Containment is 100%
Values at Risk
Watersheds, timber resources, structures, and a major power line.
No structures have been lost.
There are currently 137 personnel assigned to the incident. They include two hand crews, one camp crew, eight engines, one helicopter, six dozers, two water tenders and 47 Team overhead personnel. Two of the engines and two water tenders are from the Lesterville Volunteer Fire Department.
Forest Service, Missouri Department of Conservation, Reynolds County Emergency Management, North Reynolds County Ambulance Service, North Reynolds County Fire Protection District, and Reynolds County Sheriff.
Firefighters are mopping up 100 feet within containment lines. Patrol will continue for hotspots. The Type II helicopter is available to assist with bucket drops to cool hot spots. This helicopter is also being utilized for fire suppression elsewhere on the Forest. Resources not needed are being released throughout the day.
Today's (July 9) weather for the Low Gap Fire is expected to be mostly cloudy with a 30% chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs will be in the mid-80s. Winds will be 5-6 mph out of the northeast. Humidity will be around 52% percent.
Very dry fuels and heavy fuel loading create difficult conditions for control in blow down areas. Gusty winds can cause erratic fire behavior. The fire continues to show some activity within containment lines. Fine fuel moistures have risen to around 7%. Larger fuels are still at 12%, which is as low as kiln-dried lumber sold at the hardware store. Probability of ignition is now 52% in direct sunlight.
The wildfire is in timber blown down by a 2009 "Derecho" wind event. A derecho is a widespread and long-lived, violent straight-line windstorm associated with a fast-moving band of severe thunderstorms. Such windstorms carry almost hurricane force winds, and can cause significant damage. This derecho affected over 100,000 acres in its path.
Fighting large wildfires safely and effectively in blown down timber requires a different tactical approach. The heavy fuel load created by the Derecho does not allow for traditional equipment, such as small dozers, to work in this fuel type.
Fire and Other Information
For information on the Low Gap Fire, call 573-429-5193; or 573-747-5795.