Sept. 2 Halstead Fire Update
Incident: Halstead Wildfire
Start Date: July 27, 2012 Cause: Lightning
Current Size: 128,838 acres Containment: 7%
Location: Approx. 3 miles north of Stanley, Idaho
Jurisdiction: USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Region, Salmon-Challis National Forest
Resources on the fire: 563 personnel, including 7 hand crews, 31 engines and 7 helicopters
Community Meeting: Stanley Community Meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 5 at 7:30 p.m. in the Community Center.
What Happened Yesterday: The moisture from the rain the other day didn't last long as the fire was active with columns of smoke visible from Highway 21 for much of the day. On the west side of the fire, it continued to slowly burn vegetation as it moved towards Marsh Creek. The fire area near Roughneck lookout was active late in the afternoon with some group tree torching. Group torching is where the fire preheats and then ignites several trees in a clump where they rapidly burn from the ground up like match sticks. In the area of the Seafoam historic guard station it was pretty quiet. There is well established fire in Bernard Creek with some spotting potential, which means the fire can put embers into unburned areas. Firefighters were in Loon Creek Guard Station and started the sprinklers around the Lost Packer Mine before moving back to safer ground in the afternoon. The fire in the Lightning Creek area didn't move much at all. The southeast side of the fire was the most active. It was very dry in the afternoon and a column of smoke rose out of the fire until winds out of the west sheared it off and tossed 12 spot fires onto the east side of Yankee Fork road. Firefighters worked on those spot fires with the assistance of helicopters and by last report, had all of the identified spot fires under control. Firefighters also did hand ignitions, conducting burnout operations in Valley Creek down towards the mine. Firefighters also used aerial ignitions in the area between Cow Camp, Valley Creek and Highway 21.
The Plan for Today: The firefighters will work today to keep the west side of the fire from crossing west of Marsh Creek. Firefighters will go in to the Lost Packer Mine area this morning and recharge the sprinkler system and fill the pumps with gasoline so the sprinklers can operate throughout the day. Firefighters will again use aerial ignition today between Cow Camp and Valley Creek and Highway 21. They also will be doing some hand firing, conducting burnout operations in Valley Creek towards the mine; working to keep it a low intensity fire and keeping the canopy intact. Crews will continue working the spot fires across the Yankee Fork drainage. Crews will be able to engage the spot fires safely today due to all of the burnout operations that they conducted over the past several days in the Sunbeam area. The crews can focus on the spot fires and not have to worry about the main fire because the fuels have already been reduced.
Highway 75 Update: Highway 75 is open with no restrictions.
Closures: Know before you go. A large area around the Halstead Fire is closed. For information on the closure area visit: www.fs.usda.gov/sawtooth and www.fs.usda.gov/scnf . For a high resolution map of the closure area go to the Flickr site www.flickr.com/salmonchallisnf.
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