Monday Update September 3
Incident: Powell Sbw Complex Wildfire
POWELL SBW FIRE COMPLEX
Monday September 3, 2012
Nez Perce - Clearwater National Forests
Contact: Bob MacGregor
Date Started: 7/20/2012 Total Personnel: 171
Cause: Multiple Lightning Strikes Size: 31,626 Acres
Percent Contained: 0% Injuries to Date: 0
Resources: 1 Type 1 Helicopter, 1 Type 3 Helicopter, 3 engines, 2 Type 1 crews, 2 Type 2 IA crews, 2 feller-bunchers, 2 skidders, 2 skidgines, 1 log forwarder and 1 excavator.
Location: The complex consists of three main and numerous small fires situated in an arc running southeast to southwest of the town of Powell, Idaho, straddling the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness boundary. The three main fires are named from east to west as: Fern, Cedar and Freeze Out Queen.
Yesterday' Activities: An inversion kept smoke over the fire until approximately 1:00 p.m. when it quickly cleared and fire activity increased. The north end of the Freeze Out Queen fire continued to back down the slopes above Highway 12, near the Warm Springs Trailhead. The fire was moving down the hill in a slow and controlled manner and removing a large fuel load while not threatening the highway. A planned insertion of firefighters into the Bear Mountain Lookout area to assess protection measures for the tower was postponed because smoky conditions prohibited the use of helicopters early in the day. Most of the operational activity on Sunday was concentrated on planning for a burnout operation to strengthen the Beaver Ridge fuel break. One objective of the work on Beaver Ridge is to protect some whitebark pine seed trees. Whitebark pine is a species that is threatened by a combination of insects and diseases, including white pine blister rust and mountain pine beetle. Protecting these trees is an important part of the restoration strategy for this species. The structure assessment of the Powell and Lochsa Lodge area was completed on Sunday.
Today's Activities: The burnout operation along Beaver Ridge will commence on Monday if conditions are favorable. The majority of resources have been moved to this area of the fire to support the firing operations. Successful burning of the fuels on Beaver Ridge will provide a good buffer between the fire and the checkerboard pattern of private land to the north. The insertion of a small group of firefighters into the Bear Mountain Lookout will be attempted again on Monday. They will be equipped to camp out for up to three days in case smoke conditions delay their exit by helicopter. The Complex was expanded to include the Mocus fire which was initially attacked on Sunday. The inversion on Monday will be stronger than yesterday, creating smoke-filled air quality in the valleys until its projected lifting at approximately 3:00 p.m.
For Updates follow this incident at: http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3226/