August 9th, 9 AM Fire Update
Incident: Gold Pan Complex Wildfire
August 9, 2013 9 a.m.
Contact: Thomas Kempton, Dixie Dies Phone: 406-349-0163
What: Gold Pan Complex (Gold Pan & Goat Fires)Cause: Lightning, July 16, 2013Location: 35 miles SW of Darby, MT. in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness in Idaho. Jurisdiction: Bitterroot National Forest – West Fork Ranger District
RED FLAG WARNING- from 2 pm to 10 pm for lightning and strong down drafts from passing, mostly dry, thunderstorms.
Saturday at 2pm…..For the residents of West Fork and Painted Rocks areas, there will be a fire information meeting at the ICP located at Scripps Yonder Ranch on the Nez Perce Road 4 miles west of the West Fork Ranger District office.
Last night’s engine patrols reported very active burning late into the night along the south side of Magruder Road near the mouth of Scimitar Creek.
This morning, Incident Commander Greg Poncin emphasized that with today’s critical fire weather forecast, firefighters will focus on holding on to gains they have made over the past several days. Lightning and strong down drafts of 35-50 MPH from passing thunderstorms will create numerous safety hazards and may severely restrict helicopter support this afternoon. There is only a 20-30% chance of wetting rain (at least 1/10 of an inch) from any of these thunderstorms.
Firefighters will hold lines along the Magruder Road, continue mop up along the road from Wednesday’s burnout operation in the vicinity of the old CCC camp, and keep the road open as their primary escape route. Helicopters and firefighters will also be available for initial attack on any additional lightning-caused fires in the southern Bitterroot Valley that may result from today’s predicted weather. Lookouts and aerial reconnaissance will keep a particular watch on fire activity in the area of Grass Gulch and Lunch Creek on the southeast side of the fire, which has the potential to burn east towards Hell’s Half Acre Lookout as fire activity increases. The spot fire reported late yesterday afternoon near Thompson Flat on the south is burning in an old fire scar from 2006.
Work on the contingency line west and north of the Nez Perce/West Fork road junction should be completed by the end of today, with the remaining hand line construction being finished by the Chief Mountain Hotshots. The rest of the contingency lines are completed. As a result, Forest roads No. 5644 and No. 1303 are now open. However, fire vehicles are still using the roads, so please slow down and drive with caution. Magruder road remains closed from Fales Flat campground on the east and Observation Point (Idaho) on the west. Fales Flat campground remains open to the public.
Incident status: 476 personnel, five Type 1 crews, six Type 2 crews, seven helicopters, 9 engines, two feller-bunchers, one excavator, 17,103 acres, cost to date $4,696 million.
Closures: An emergency closure order is in place for all Forest Service roads and trails within and surrounding the fire. The closure order and associated map can be viewed at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3538/ . There is also a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) over the fire.
For the latest fire information/photos http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3538/ . Stay in touch with the Bitterroot National Forest through www.facebook.com/DiscoverTheBitterroot and www.twitter.com/BitterrootNF.
Email Goldpan13@gmail.com to receive this information electronically.END