West Mullan Fire Morning Update, July 21st
Incident: West Mullan Fire Wildfire
Date: Sunday, July 21, 2013 Time: 8:00 a.m.
Incident: West Mullan Fire Information Phone: 406-649-9032
(7:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.)
Location: West Mullan Fire extends for 9 miles northwest of Superior, Montana
Approximate Size: 5,230 acres Containment: 30%
Incident Commander: Tom Heintz
Resources: Hand Crews: (11) Type I crews; (11) Type II crews
Equipment: (44) Engines, (3) Dozers, (13) Water Tenders
Air Support: Helicopters (3) Type 1, (2) Type 2, (2) Type 3 Total Personnel: 799
Estimated Cost to Date: $4,700,000
Last night the fire remained active due to hot and dry weather. Crews made further progress at bringing containment lines together on the north end of Keystone drainage around Firman Gulch. The night shift’s burn out operations have been effective in stopping fire progress and that effort will continue today in the Keystone Creek area. Crews continue to cool hotspots in the Flat Creek Drainage and hold the fireline with full perimeter control as an objective at the east flank.
One of today’s objectives is to complete the containment line on the western flank of Keystone Creek. The fire burned under the BPA powerline and power was not interrupted. The majority of the work is in extremely difficult terrain and is complicated by hot and dry weather.
A portable retardant plant has been set up at the Big Eddy fishing access site. This allows for rapid retardant support to the helicopter operations. The fire is predicted to be active because of continued critical fire weather. It is encouraged for the public to be vigilant especially near residences for rolling rocks, burning stumps, and other debris that may come off the mountain as fire progresses through the area.
Area closures and evacuation orders are still in place. West Mullan Road is open to the public east of Sunflower Lane, however, west of Sunflower Lane is open to residents only. Flat Creek Road is open within the Superior city limits. East Mullan Road is open to everyone. Big Eddy Fishing Access remains closed.
Closures: Iron Mountain Trail 242 (known as Cascade Falls Trail) from above the falls to the junction with Forest Service Road 97 and National Forest System Trail 51(known as Ninemile Divide Trail) from the beginning at the intersection w/NFSR 582 Section 3, T17N, R25W to the intersection with NFSR 536 Section 30, T17N, R24W. The Clark Fork River remains closed to the public from Big Eddy Fishing access to Sloway Campground. Vista Trail north of Superior is closed to public access.
Evacuations: An evacuation center has been established at the Superior Elementary School by the American Red Cross. The evacuation center is scheduled to close Monday, July 22.
A public meeting will be held on Sunday, July 21st at 8:00 pm on the Superior, MT courthouse lawn.
New fire starts! Fully extinguish campfires and be cautious with combustion engines. Helicopter work continues in the area and the public is asked to stay clear of all aerial activities. About 150 residences are threatened by the fire, but no structures have been damaged.
Visibility! Travel on area roads continues to be hazardous, especially in the mornings between Superior and St. Regis due to the inversion created by fire conditions.