Wednesday Update 9-5
Incident: Powell Sbw Complex Wildfire
POWELL SBW FIRE COMPLEX
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Nez Perce - Clearwater National Forests
Contact: Bob MacGregor
Date Started: 7/20/2012 Total Personnel: 142
Cause: Multiple Lightning Strikes Size: 35,241 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 Type 2 crew, 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: A favorable turn in the weather kept the fires in the Powell SBW Complex relatively quiet on Tuesday. The smoky inversion limited fire behavior until 1:00 p.m. when it lifted to reveal sunshine but without any accompanying strong winds to move the fire. Individual torching continued to occur on the hillside above Highway 12 near the Warm Springs Trailhead and the fire had moved to within approximately 150 years of the Lochsa River. Fire Managers, Ranger Craig Trulock and representatives from the Idaho State Police and Idaho Transportation Department met and devised a strategy for managing traffic on Highway 12 if smoke or fire activity begins to affect the road corridor. The burnout along the Beaver Ridge fuel break continued with firefighters slowly lighting small strips to keep the prescribed fire behavior within manageable parameters. A proposed aerial ignition of the area around the Bear Mountain Lookout with the objective of removing fuels from near the tower was cancelled when observations showed the wildfire was presently posing minimal risk to the structure.
Today's Activities: Weather conditions should be similar to Tuesday which will benefit firefighting efforts. The inversion is forecasted to lift around 1:00 p.m. so conditions in the valley will be smoky until then. Operations on Wednesday will be focused on two objectives. One is keeping the fire on the south side of Highway 12; firefighters will be patrolling the hillside north of the Highway to make sure no spot fires get established there. North of the highway the slopes face south and receive more sunlight, making them hotter and drier so it is important to keep the fire off this hill where fuels might be more receptive to rapid fire expansion. The second objective will be to continue the burnout operation on Beaver Ridge to strengthen the contingency line.
For Updates follow this incident at: http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3226/