West Mullan Fire Morning Update July 18
Incident: West Mullan Fire Wildfire
Incident Management Team
West Mullan Fire
DAILY INFORMATION FACT SHEET
Date: July 18, 2013 Time: 8:00 a.m.
Incident: West Mullan Fire Information Phone: 406-649-9032
NEW NUMBER (7:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.)
Location: West Mullan Fire extends for approximately 6 miles just north of Superior, Montana
Approximate Size: 3,650 acres (estimated) Containment: 20%
Incident Commander: Tom Heintz
Resources: Hand Crews: (5) Type I crews; (9) Type II crews
Equipment: (25) Engines, (3) Dozers, (5) Water Tenders
Air Support: Helicopters (2) Type 1, (2) Type 2, (3) Type 3 Total Personnel:479
Estimated Cost to Date: $1,300,000 (estimated)
Fire Update: Erratic winds from area wide thunderstorms moved the fire in several directions yesterday afternoon. No precipitation occurred over the fire and fire behavior reacted to the instability. On the west side the fire has crossed Pardee Creek and moved upslope to the ridgetop above Keystone Creek. The fire expanded downslope the east side into the Flat Creek drainage. The decision to disengage fire personnel from their suppression line work was made and air operations continued as the primary attempt to hold the fire. On the north side, fire spread continued toward the BPA powerline. Superior VFD has requested mutual aid support from other fire departments in Montana to help with structure protection.
Today’s weather is predicted to start a warming and drying trend into the foreseeable future . Drier air has already arrived. Winds should be reduced, predominatelhy from the west. Temperatures should increase to the 90’s with humidity in the teens during the day. Humidity will have little recovery overnight and thermal belts will develop. This will influence fire behavior as it will stay active and move downslope during nighttime hours.
Today’s operations will focus on protecting structures and limiting further expansion into Keystone Creek on the West. Significant efforts, combined with the Superior Fire Dept, will be made at Flat Creek above the town of Superior. The feasibility of constructing a dozer line from Road 7072 to the ridge between Pardee and Keystone Creeks will be evaluated. A direct fireline will be constructed along the ridge back to Pardee Creek from the dozer line. The road system between Wood Gulch and Flat Creek will be prepared for possible burnout operations. Preparation of Flat Creek Road from Mullan Creek Road north will take place. This includes providing structure protection both in Flat Creek and along the Clark Fork River. Hose lays for water support along Mullan Road and Flat Creek Road are underway. Aircraft operations will continue to support ground activities.
Closures: The Clark Fork River has been closed to recreational use through the town of Superior because of helicopter operations. Vista Trail just north of Superior has been closed to public access.
Evacuations: A road block is in place on the bridge in Superior crossing the Clark Fork River restricting access to the north. Pardee and East Pardee Creeks and part of West Mullan Road remain under mandatory evacuation. West Mullan and East Mullan Road West of Big Eddy fishing access site are now under mandatory evacuation. Flat Creek Road is also under this evacuation order. Residents along Dry Gulch and Keystone Road have received pre-evacuation notification.
Special Concerns: New fire starts! The public is asked to stay clear of the helicopter dip site for their safety. Residents are reminded that periods of heavy smoke may be a health hazard and are advised to limit their exposure. Bonneville Power Administration has been alerted of the potential for the fire to approach the transmission line within the next 24 to 48 hours. About 80-100 residences are threatened by the fire, but no structures have been damaged.
More Information: Visit Inciweb at www.inciweb.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call fire information 406-649-9032. A community meeting is scheduled for Thursday evening at 8:00 p.m. at the Mineral County Courthouse in Superior.