Mustang Complex Update 09/08/12
Incident: Mustang Complex Wildfire
Fire Information: 208-865-2207
Location: North of the Main Salmon River, currently 2.5 miles west of the community of North Fork, Idaho.
Jurisdiction: USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Region, Salmon-Challis National Forest
Resources: 1,100 personnel, including 20 hand crews, 83 engines, 5 dozers, 10 water tenders, and 3 helicopters.
Forecast: Today's weather forecast is almost a carbon copy of yesterday. Any wind event today would be topography driven and based on diurnal heating and cooling. Daytime heating will cause winds to move upslope at 6-10 mph and night time cooling would reverse winds and smoke downslope. Thus, tonight we can anticipate another round of ground level smoke in the valleybottoms. Today's inversion will break around the noon hour and warm temperatures into the upper 70s and yield relative humidities in the low teens. The Haines Index today is a 4 which means the atmosphere may be a little more unstable. However, in the absence of moderate to strong winds aloft mixing down, fire spread and growth should continue to be low. A final note - change is presently in the forecast as a front approaches the Mustang Complex that could lead to a wind event on Sunday and cooler temperatures next week.
Remarks: Fire activity and spread on the perimeter and interior of the Mustang Complex continued to be low. The acreage burned yesterday was estimated to be 1,953 acres. This expansion in the fire footprint was less than one percent of the total size of the fire. Based on last evening's infrared flight, the predominant fire growth was again on the eastern and southeasternside of the fire perimeter, although it was minimal. The most active fire occurred on the ridge top separating the Hughes Creek and Hull Creek drainages, where backing fire and periodic tree-torching was observed into the early morning hours. Similar to yesterday, there was an absence of large crown runs. This could change today if the fire exhibits upslope runs in dead grass. Last night's infra-red flight indicated the northern, southern, and western fire perimeters were mostly quiet throughout the day and evening.
Pre-Evacuation Tip on LP Tanks: Keeping the area surrounding a liquid propane tank clear of flammable debris is important in the event of a wildfire. A good rule of thumb is to keep a 10 foot radius around propane tanks clear of anything that may be used to fuel a fire. This includes long and uncut grass, leaves, trash or anything combustible that could be consumed by fire. Spreading gravel around the tank to present vegetation growth is also a good idea. In the event of an approaching wildfire, all tank valves should be closed to minimize possible fire damage to the structure. If propane valves are left open, escaping LP gas may cause increased damage to property. Safety relief valves that open during a fire may intensify damage. Therefore, tanks must meet LP Gas container distance requirements and propane cylinders should be moved away from homes and structures. In addition, all appliance valves and gas valves inside the house should be closed before leaving.
Evacuations: A complete description of the current evacuation level revisions announced this past Thursday can be found on Inciweb (http://inciweb.org/), Mustang Complex. These levels remain unchanged. The Idaho National Guard continues to assist the National Forests by staffing traffic control points around the fire.
Contingency Work: Contingency work improvements continue along the Highway 93 corridor from North Fork to Lost Trail Pass and Hughes Creek, Montana.
For information on National Forest area, trail, and road closures, visit http://www.inciweb.org/incident/closures/3100/.
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