September 17, 2012 - Wesley Fire Update
Incident: Wesley Wildfire
For Immediate Release
Payette National Forest
Date: Monday September 17, 2012 9 a.m. Fire Information: 208-253-3112
WESLEY FIRE UPDATE
Beth Lund's Great Basin Incident Management Team assumed command of the approximately 9,581 acre Wesley Fire as of 6 a.m. Monday. Projected fire growth is expected in the headwaters of the Rapid River drainage with some spotting with north winds, burning in timber litter and understory. There is continued movement south toward Bear and Wesley Creeks, with spread in the Rapid River headwaters to the south and west as high pressure returns to the area.
Crews on the south side, using extensive hose lays are continuing to hold the fireline and scouting opportunities to continue to the west. On the east side, crews and multiple engines are supporting hose lays and patrolling the Ant Basin Road, to keep the fire west in Twin Creeks. On the north end we have three crews, supported by aircraft, continuing to construct fireline towards Cabin Creek. Contingency plans are being developed in preparation for potential fire spread toward the Highway 95 corridor.
Weather forecast for today includes north winds of 5-10 mph along ridge tops, 3-6 in the valleys, with gusts in the mid-teens, temps of 70 degrees and relative humidity of 20-25%. Fire behavior experts gage fire growth potential on a scale from 1 - 6. This index is called the Haines Index and the forecast for today is a Haines 4; which is moderate with potential for torching and spread in heavy down fuels. An inversion may develop after sunset.
Closures and Public Safety:
The closure area will expand west and will include the Huckleberry Campground, and south to Butterfield Gulch to the Lick Creek/Grouse Creek junction. On the North the closure will expand from Huckleberry Campground to Black Lake Road to the Wallowa-Whitman and Nez Perce National Forest boundaries. Due to imminent fire danger all hunting camps, including outfitter guides, will need to remove all personal property from National Forest managed lands, within the closed area. Fire activity has potential to impact residential structures in Boulder Creek and Rapid River areas, historic Pollock Lookout, the Northern Idaho Ground Squirrel (NIDGS), fish habitats and could significantly impact air quality to local communities.
Road closures remain in effect and are posted at information boards, local businesses and post offices.
There will be a Community Meeting at the Bear Community Center at 7:00pm Tuesday, September 18th.
Start Date: September 9, 2012
Size - 9,581 acres
Injuries to date - 0
Number of helicopters - 4
Number of engines - 14
Number of crews - 16
Number of personnel- 558
Structures Lost: 0
Out Buildings Lost: 0