Update Thursday September 6
Incident: Powell Sbw Complex Wildfire
POWELL SBW FIRE COMPLEX
Thursday, September 6, 2012
Nez Perce - Clearwater National Forests
Contact: Bob MacGregor
Date Started: 7/20/2012 Total Personnel: 143
Cause: Multiple Lightning Strikes Size: 36,440 Acres
Percent Contained: 0% Injuries to Date: 0
Resources: 1 Type 1 Helicopter, 1 Type 3 Helicopter, 5 engines, 1 Type 1 crew, 2 Type 2 IA crews, 1 Type 2 crew, 2 feller-bunchers, 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 weather continued to assist firefighters by limiting fire behavior. This lack of fire behavior had been forecast by Incident Meteorologist Dave Lipson based on the predicted Haines Index. The Haines Index is a measure of the potential for wildfire growth centered on the temperature difference between various levels of the atmosphere (stability) and the moisture content of the lower atmosphere. It was developed in 1998 by Donald Haines, a Forest Service Research Meteorologist and is rated on a scale of 2 to 6 with 6 having a high potential of fire growth and anything less than 4 having a very low potential. The Haines Index across the Powell SBW Complex was a 3 on Wednesday and the fire behavior reflected that by moving slowly, mostly backing up hills with occasional torching. There was a short crown run near the Bear Mountain Lookout when fuel, weather and ignition conditions lined up favorably, the Sky Crane helicopter was able to drop water on this flare-up and knock it down. The burnout and further strengthening of the fuel break continued along Beaver Ridge and made good progress. Firefighters in the Highway 12 corridor established lookouts to track the progression of the Freeze Out Queen fire toward the Highway and make sure it did not spot across to the north side. In order to get personnel the most up to the date weather information a Remote Automatic Weather Station (RAWS) was established on Johnson Saddle that can be reached via handheld radios to get real-time localized weather conditions.
Today's Activities: The weather situation should be similar to Wednesday with a Haines Index of 3, so fire growth will be limited. The inversion is forecast to lift about 1:00 p.m. when the smoke in the valleys should clear out. Operations on Thursday will be to continue the Beaver Ridge burnout and fuel break strengthening and to continue to monitor the progression of the fire toward the Highway near Warm Springs Trailhead.
For Updates follow this incident at: http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3226/