Mustang Complex Update for September 10, 2012
Incident: Mustang Complex Wildfire
Fire Information: 208-865-2207
Start Date: July 30, 2012
Current Size: 281,560 acres Containment: 16%
Location: North of the Main Salmon River, currently 1.5 miles west of the community of North Fork, Idaho.
Jurisdiction: USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Region, Salmon-Challis National Forest.
Resources: 1,094 personnel, including 17 hand crews, 100 engines, 5 dozers, 14 water tenders, and 7 helicopters.
Forecast: Expect a mostly sunny and breezy day with elevated fire weather conditions due to the passage of a cold front. Under mostly sunny skies, westerly winds will prevail the morning, and then shift to the northwestby mid- afternoon. Winds will be strongest from 3 to 6 p.m. with gusts up to 35 mph at the ridgetops. Relative humidities will range from 15-25 % in the valley bottoms. A Red Flag Warning is in effect from noon until 9:00 p.m. The Haines Index is 4 today, thus the atmosphere is more stable than yesterday.
Remarks: The fire grew over 20,000 acres yesterday to an estimated total acreage of 281,560 acres; however, most of this new growth was in the northwest corner of the fire that is part of the wilderness. There was asmaller push of flame front near Gattin Ranch, but with support from helicopter water drops, firefighters were able to defend this community. The anticipated fire growth along the Highway 93 corridor only occurred in the southeastern corner of the fire near North Fork, where the fire progressed down Donnelly Gulch towards the Salmon River. The river may be smoked in today with the fire continuing to move down Donnelly Gulch and northwest winds contributing to downwash of the smoke towards the river. Fire growth on the upper end of the highway corridor was minimal. The likely reason for this lower than expected growth in the Hull Creek and Hughes Creek communities was the drainage basins being sheltered from the stronger southwest winds. The fire did continue slowly backing down in these drainages prompting last night's operational shift to employ direct attack and mop-up actions of some of this understory fire. During today's peak burn period, expect winds to channel down the Highway 93 corridor from the north. On the northern perimeter of the fire, spread will be limited as the wind pushes the head of the fire back into the black. A final point of interest on the now 41-day challenge of suppressing the Mustang Complex - yesterday's winds caused the fire to spot over four miles into the wilderness on the northwest corner of the fire. Continued fire growth in a northwesterly direction may lead to the fire burning into other fires to the northwest. The Mustang Complex still has a high potential to move quickly and unexpectedly, thus area residents, business owners, and visitors, should continue to maintain a high level of awareness and vigilance about this wildfire until it is either contained by firefighters or suppressed by eventual rain or snow.
Evacuations: The Highway 93 corridor remains under an Evacuation Level 3 form North Fork Fire Station to Quartz creek just north of Gibbonsville. The evacuation map, which includes six safety zones along the highway, and shelter information, can be found on Inciweb (http://inciweb.org/). 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. Contingency work crews remain available to assist with firesuppression if needed.
For information on the latest Salmon-Challis National Forest Area Closures #6 and #7, and for other trail, and road closures, visit http://www.inciweb.org/incident/closures/3100/.For more information follow us on Twitter at scnf fire info