Mustang Complex Update 09/07/12
Incident: Mustang Complex Wildfire
Fire Information: 208-865-2207
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: 974 personnel, including 15 hand crews, 76 engines, 5 dozers, 10 water tenders, and 3 helicopters.
Forecast: High pressure will build back into the area Friday and Saturday with lighter westerly winds predominating at the ridge tops. Any wind event today would be topography driven and based on diurnal heating, or the amount of sunlight heating the landscape, causing heated air to move upslope. Skies should be mostly sunny today but ground level smoke will prevail due to the lack of stronger winds to move the smoke away from the fire footprint. Once the inversion breaks around noon today, temperatures will be somewhat warmer and relative humidities will be lower than yesterday. The Haines Index today is a 3 which means the atmosphere should be stable enough to inhibit large fire growth. The thermal belt of warmer air at mid-slope that developed last night in the area of Hull Creek should develop again tonight, leading to a greater level of evening activity than is normally seen overnight.
Remarks: Fire activity and spread on the perimeter and interior of the Mustang Complex continued to be low as compared to the early days on the fire. The acreage burned yesterday was estimated to be 2,732 acres, which represents some of the lowest gain in acres burned since the fire started. Based on last evening's infrared flight, the predominant fire growth was againon the eastern and southeastern side of the fire perimeter, although it was minimal. There was an absence of large crown runs yesterday which is reflected in the lesser number of daily acres burned. The fire was most active during daylight hours in the Sage Creek drainage on the southeastern corner of the fire. Then last evening, the heightened fire activity shifted further up theeastern perimeter where it was most active in the Hull Creek drainage due to the thermal belt's presence mid-slope. Fire growth and spread around the remaining Mustang Complex perimeter was minimal. The western perimeter of the fire remains unstaffed due to the absence of high value resources and remoteness of the area. Looking back, we have seen somewhat of a lull in fireactivity in recent days across the Mustang Complex. In the absence of frontal passages and associated strong winds this relatively low activity level will likely continue. However, given the level of scattered and intense heat still present within the fire footprint, residents and visitors in the area should realize any future frontal-driven wind event may rapidly bring this fire backto life. For this reason, it is important for the public to not become complacent due to this period of lower fire growth and spread.
Evacuations: A complete description of the evacuation level revisions announced yesterday can be found on Inciweb (http://inciweb.org/), Mustang Complex. The Idaho National Guard continues to assist 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: Contingency work improvements continue along the Highway 93 corridor from North Fork to Lost Trail Pass and Hughes Creek, Montana.
Events: A fire update will be provided tonight at a potluck dinner sponsored by the Painted Rock Fire Protection District. The dinner will be held at the Painted Rock Fire Station and starts at 5:00 p.m.
For information onthe National Forest road, trail and area closures, visit http://www.inciweb.org/incident/closures/3100/.
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