Tuesday Update September 4
Incident: Powell Sbw Complex Wildfire
POWELL SBW FIRE COMPLEX
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Nez Perce - Clearwater National Forests
Contact: Bob MacGregor
Date Started: 7/20/2012 Total Personnel: 123
Cause: Multiple Lightning Strikes Size: 33,916 Acres
Percent Contained: 0% Injuries to Date: 0
Resources: 1 Type 1 Helicopter, 1 Type 3 Helicopter, 4 engines, 1 Type 1 crew, 2 Type 2 IA crews, 1 feller-buncher, 1 skidder, 2 skidgines, and 1 water tender.
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: The fires on the Powell SBW (Seeley-Bitterroot Wilderness) Complex became active after a morning inversion lifted at approximately 1:00 p.m. The Freeze Out Queen fire continued to back down the hillside above Highway 12, just to the west of the Warm Springs Trailhead. The slow movement down the slope makes the possibility of the fire staying south of the Highway more likely. A combination of wind, ladder fuels and topography aligned in just the right pattern for the Cedar fire to make a short crown run on its north edge above Muleshoe Creek. An infrared flight on Monday night showed that there are still edges of extreme heat throughout the complex. The planned operation to insert a small crew into the Bear Mountain Lookout to attempt a burnout around the tower was cancelled due to unfavorable weather conditions. The burnout along the Beaver Ridge fuel break was begun but operations were halted when the fire began to burn hotter than forecasted. The burnout continued later in the afternoon when the weather became more favorable. The heavy helicopter was loaned to the Black Tail fire near Plains, Montana for three fuel cycles while the inversion limited its usefulness here.
Today's Activities: Fire behavior should be similar to Monday with the inversion, and therefore the smoke, lifting at approximately 1:00 p.m. The burnout operation along Beaver Ridge will continue on Tuesday if conditions are favorable. The majority of the logging resources are being demobilized now that the construction of the Beaver Ridge fuel break is complete, these machines and operators did an excellent job during their time on the incident. Fire managers are considering an aerial ignition of the burnout around the Bear Mountain Lookout; this will minimize the risk to ground personnel. Crews along the Highway 12 corridor will keep a close eye on the Freeze Out Queen fire as it bumps the Lochsa River to make sure no spot fires get established north of the Highway.
For Updates follow this incident at: http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3226/