Mustang Complex Update - September 1, 2012
Incident: Mustang Complex Wildfire
Fire Information: 208-865-2207
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -
Start Date: July 30, 2012 Cause: Lightning
Current Size: 205,481 acres Containment: 16%
Location: North of the Main Salmon River, currently 8 miles west of the community of North Fork, Idaho.
Jurisdiction: USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Region, Salmon-Challis National Forest
Resources: 808 personnel, including 13 hand crews, 60 engines, 6 dozers, 10 water tenders, and 2 helicopters.
Forecast: Portions of the fire received a few hundredths of an inch of rain last night while other portions received no precipitation. The chance of thunderstorms will continue through the day with the continued threat of lightning and wind gusts to 35 mph. Temperatures will again be held down from the increased cloud cover. After the inversion breaks around noon today, winds will be from the southwest and turn to the west after 3:00 p.m. Fuels remain extremely dry and available for ignition. The Haines index for today is 4, thus the atmosphere is more stable and rapid fire growth should be less than in previous days.
Remarks: On Friday, the Mustang Fire continued to move to the east in the area of Malfunction Junction and east and south of Indian Creek. The fire is also well established in the upper drainages of Hull and Hughes Creeks, and continues to spread to the north and northeast further into Montana towards Hughes Creek, Montana. Although Friday's fire behavior and acres burned was less than in previous days, the fire is still expected to continue east towards the Highway 93 corridor. The Lost Packer Fire on the west side of the complex continues to spread northeast toward Swet Creek and has reached the Blackie Foster cabin along the Salmon River beyond Lantz Bar. Over 75 members of the Idaho National Guard have been mobilized to assist with transportation and 24/7 check point security. These additional resources will arrive and startup operations this weekend.
Evacuations: Evacuations continue for areas within the North Fork Fire District in Idaho. The evacuation map for the fire can be found on Inciweb (http://inciweb.org/) under the Map header for the Mustang Complex.
· Evacuation zones E, F and I remain at LEVEL 3. (Homes along Highway 93 between Hull and Sheep Creek and both sides of the highway, and homes in the Hull, Hughes and Sheep Creek drainages). Residents are strongly advised to leave their property immediately as there is an immediate threat to life and safety. As necessary and in order to ensure the operational ability of emergency response vehicles, the Lemhi County Sheriff will use all reasonable means to evacuate residents from the area.
· Evacuation zones G and H are under a LEVEL 1. (Homes along Highway 93 north of Sheep Creek through Lost Trail Pass on both sides of the highway, and homes along Dahlonega Road). Residents are warned that current or projected threats from hazards associated with the fire are severe. This is the time for preparation, precautionary movement of persons with special needs, movement of mobile property and pets and livestock.
· Evacuation zones A, C and D continue at PRE-LEVEL 1 ALERT. (All homes south of Copper Gulch) This level is intended to allow residents time to make preparations in the event that any one of the evacuation levels needs to be implemented. Safety and readiness of residents is our highest priority and it's never too early to begin planning and making arrangements.
· The existing LEVEL 3 Evacuation for Indian Creek within area B remains in effect; limited, short-term access is possible for residents showing proof of identification and property ownership. This access will likely be limited to the morning hours when the fire is less active within this community. All other homes within Area B continue under a Pre-Level 1 Alert.
· Highway 93 and Salmon River Road remain open at this time; however, travel on the Salmon River Road require a brief visit to the Forest's Ranger Office to review fire information. All businesses located on these roadways remain open for business.
Residents that depart the area are asked to stop by the North Fork Fire Station to leave their name, address, and contact information for the Sheriff. This information will help the Sheriff's Department in determining how many residents remain in the area. Residents that depart a Level 3 evacuation area will only be allowed to return to their property by showing identification and proof of ownership. Families will not be allowed to reoccupy their homes until authorized by the Lemhi County Sheriff.
Evacuation Shelter Information: The Red Cross has opened a shelter at the Salmon Valley Baptist Church in Salmon. This shelter will provide sleeping, meal, and shower accommodations. For those evacuating with travel trailers, the Lemhi County Fairgrounds, off Highway 93 on Diamond Creek Road, has trailer hookups and will accept horses.
Contingency Work: Preparation work around structures may require installation of water storage bladders, hose lays, and sprinkler systems. Properties not subject to sprinkler system installation will alternatively receive fire engine protection if and when the fire threat becomes imminent. Most of this mitigation or contingency work is occurring along the Highway 93 corridor in communities still in the projected path of the fire. This contingency work is also beingimplemented in Hughes Creek, Montana and is being evaluated for the Lost Trail Pass ski area.
For information on the National Forest road, trail and area closures, visit http://www.inciweb.org/incident/closures/3100/.