Mountain Fire Update 7/18/13 8:00 Am
Incident: Mountain Wildfire
FIRE UPDATE #3
July 18, 2013 6:00 A.M.
The Mountain Fire continues to challenge firefighters as it grows to the north and south. Firefighters take advantage of reduced fire activity whenever it is possible. Last night the fire settled down enough to allow fire crews to attack the south flank of the fire directly. The firing operation that was planned was not needed as crews built additional containment lines towards the east. This change in tactics demonstrates the flexibility firefighters use to keep the fire size smaller and avoid adding additional fire to the mountain. On the north flank, crews made extraordinary effort building line in steep terrain toward South Peak. The night shift did a great job last night.
The weather today remains hot and dry and the high level winds are coming out of the east. This change in wind direction aloft will be demonstrated by the top of smoke columns bending to the west. The most active parts of the fire are near Red Tahquitz Peak above the community of Idyllwild and near the community of Trails End to the south. These two areas will be the focus of today’s firefighting activities as both air and ground crews work to slow the rate of spread of the fire. Structure protection contingency plans are being updated in all evacuated communities. On the east side of the fire, the fire continues to slowly back down the mountain as fuels become more sparse at lower elevations.
Protection of the Idyllwild community reflects the interagency cooperation needed to meet the challenges of the Mountain Fire. The Idyllwild Fire Protection District, CAL FIRE, and Forest Service firefighters are working together to meet the incident objectives. The incident is under Unified Command with CAL FIRE. White, red and green fire engines and crew trucks can be seen throughout the town. The fire is color blind.
All road closures and evacuations remain in place. Driving hazards on steep winding roads remain as crews move to and from the fire lines.
Fire Facts: 22,800 acres at 15% containment
2,985 personnel including 51 crews, 228 engines, 15 dozers and 17 helicopters
23 structures have been destroyed by fire including 7 residences during the first day of the fire.
Total cost to date is 5.5 Million dollars
The latest fire information can be found on the Inciweb at http://inciweb.org/incident/3516/