Mustang Complex Update 09/06/12
Incident: Mustang Complex Wildfire
Fire Information: 208-865-2207
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -
Location: North of the Main Salmon River, currently 4 miles west of the community of North Fork, Idaho.
Jurisdiction: USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Region, Salmon-Challis National Forest
Resources: 960 personnel, including 14 hand crews, 76 engines, 5 dozers, 10 water tenders, and 3 helicopters.
Forecast: Today's calmer winds from the northeast will be associated with a cold front that has passed through Missoula, Montana but has not yet reached the northern side of the MustangComplex. The front will bring some cloud cover, cooler temperatures, higher relative humidities, and a more stable atmosphere to the northern end of the fire by noon. The front will slowly move into the southern portion of the fire during the afternoon. Winds on the southwest side of the fire will not likely be altered by the passing front, and will remain west to southwest. There is a chance that some downslope winds may develop in the Hughes Creek and Hull Creek drainages later today. These winds could push the fire further downslope and towards the Highway 93 corridor.
Remarks: Fire activity and spread on the perimeter and interior of the Mustang Complex continued to be relatively low; the acreage burned yesterday was estimated to be 6,666 acres. Based on last evening's infrared flight, the predominant fire growth was again on the eastern and southeastern side of the fire perimeter. The fire was most intense in Upper Sage Creek. This area ofintense burning likely was the cause of a 10-acre spot fire now present in the upper drainage of Donnelly Gulch, just east of the Sage Creek watershed. This spot fire is about 2.5 air miles from the Salmon River Road intersection with highway 93. The eastern fire perimeter is now about three air miles from the Highway 93 corridor. Yesterday's fire activity in the Hull Creek and HughesCreek drainages continued to exhibit very low fire growth and spread. For the past couple days, the fire in these drainages has primarily been a slow backing or downslope moving ground fire with periodic tree torching. Today's forecasted downslope winds may increase the level of fire activity and growth. Along the northern fire perimeter, an east to west containment line is being constructed between the Chrandall Complex and Saddle Complex, two former fires that appear to be halting the progress of the Mustang Fire, due to absence of enough fuel to carry the fire. A combination of dozer and hand line is necessary to complete this containment line. Once completed and the right fuel and weather conditions prevail, a burnout operation may be conducted. To the west, the fire continues to slowly grow into the wilderness area; however, this portion of the fire remains unstaffed due to the greater priority being placed on where the fire is threatening homes and businesses. On the southern side of the Mustang Complex, the fire has burned to the Salmon River Road from Indian Creek to Black Creek, a drainage located far west into the wilderness area.
Evacuations: Today, the Lemhi County Sheriff will implement a revision to the evacuation levels along the Highway 93 corridor from North Fork to Lost Trail Pass. A complete description of the evacuation level revisions will be announced in another morning news release and will also appear on Inciweb (http://inciweb.org/), Mustang Complex. The Idaho National Guard is assisting the National Forests by providing traffic control at road entrances to evacuated communities and entrances to forest areas that are presently closed due to the fire.
Contingency Work: Improvements continue on contingency work implemented along the Highway 93 corridor from North Fork to Lost Trail Pass, and Hughes Creek, Montana. Contingency work crews continue to work on the Lost Trail Pass with a focus today on work on the white bark pine stand located at this facility.
For information on the National Forest road, trail and area closures, visit http://www.inciweb.org/incident/closures/3100/.
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