Mustang Complex Saturday, September 15
Incident: Mustang Complex Wildfire
Location: North of the Main Salmon River, currently 0.5 miles west of the community of North Fork, Idaho.
Jurisdiction: USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Region, Salmon-Challis National Forest
Resources: 866 personnel, including 10 hand crews, 81 engines, 3 dozers, 13 water tenders, and 3 helicopters.
Idaho: Highway 93 is currently open. The public can expect intermittent traffic delays between North Fork and south of Gibbonsville, due to decreased visibility from smoke. Pilot cars may be needed to escort traffic during night hours to facilitate safe travel. Visibility and smoke conditions will be closely monitored. The public is urged to remain vigilant to changes and avoid unnecessary travel along Highway 93, as fire personnel and equipment will be staged roadside and in adjacent neighborhoods.
The Mustang Fire burned into the Hamilton Fire to the northwest yesterday, increasing the overall acreage by 18,000 acres. The fire will continue to spread eastward into the Highway 93 corridor between Hull Creek and Hughes Creek today. The northeast perimeter of the fire will continue to move to the north/northeast in the direction of Allen Mountain. Firefighters are also focusing efforts in the area of Indianola, north of the Salmon River. Firefighters will focus on burning out the unburned vegetation in these areas on foot and by air, as weather conditions permit. The majority of the southern perimeter of the fire remains quiet. Structure protection resources and brush chipping crews will continue to support firefighters efforts throughout the fire area.
Montana: Fire activity was minimal in both the Mine Creek and Johnson Creek areas yesterday. Fire crews completed the fire line that anchors the Johnson Creek area to the 2011 Saddle Complex Fire and the 2012 Chrandal Fire. A burnout operation was successfully implemented on Friday, further strengthening this line. Mop-up operations continued to wind down in the Gattin Ranch area with crews breaking down the spike camp and returning to the Scripps auxiliary camp.
Evacuations: Level 2 evacuation is in effect for Indian Creek, Idaho, west of North Fork. Level 3 evacuation remains in effect within the Highway 93 corridor from North Fork Fire Station to Quartz Creek, just north of Gibbonsville. Ten forest area closures are in place including portions of both the Salmon-Challis and Bitterroot National Forests. The Idaho National Guard continues to assist by staffing traffic control points around the fire. The area of Hughes Creek, Montana to the Idaho state line remains under a stage 1 evacuation. Residents in this area have a high probability of need to evacuate and should remain vigilant.
Forecast: Low relative humidity, dry conditions and gusty winds shifting from westerly to northerly are expected today as a cool front approaches the fire area this afternoon. Red flag warnings will be issued for both high and low elevations. Temperatures are predicted to be 61 to 73 at higher altitudes, and 72 to 82 at lower elevations. Relative humidity should be between 10 and 18 percent. Valley bottom and mid-slope winds between 3 and 6 mph, changing north 6-10 mph at 3:00 p.m. Ridge top winds west at 12 to 17 mph with gusts to 25 mph. Haines Index 4.
For more information on the Mustang Complex Fire, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/scnf fire info, Inciweb http://inciweb.org/incident/3100/, Facebook www.facebook.com/mustangcomplex. Pictures and maps can be viewed and downloaded at www.flickr.com/salmonchallisnf