August 13, Gold Pan Fire Update
Incident: Gold Pan Complex Wildfire
August 13, 2013
Contact: Public Information Officers: Bob MacGregor, Glenda Scott
Phone: 406-349-0163 / Cell: 603-568-9893, 406-529-2308
What: Gold Pan Complex (Gold Pan & Goat Fires)
Location: 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
Size: 17,163 acres.
Summary: After a day of transitioning with Greg Poncin’s Type 1 Incident Management Team, Diane Hutton’s Wildland Fire Management Team assumed command of the Gold Pan Complex at 6 a.m. Tuesday morning. Poncin’s Team did a great job in taking advantage of the weather, including the .66 inches of rain on August 1st and the accompanying higher humidity since then to keep the fire west of the Hells Half Acre Road and south of the Magruder Corridor and to build a contingency line between the active flame front and private lands to the east. Fire managers remain wary of the potential of the fire due to the high concentrations of unburned fuel to the east, the predicted hotter and drier weather forecast for the end of the week and the fact that we are still early in the traditional fire season. The fire increased 13 acres in size on Monday as activity picked up after 2:00 in the afternoon and continued into early evening. The hottest areas are found on the ridge north of Grassy Gulch in the southeast end of the fire, along Deep Creek south of the Magruder Road and in the drainage north of Kim Creek Saddle. The ability of the fire to push too far to the south is limited by the 2012 Mustang Fire which eliminated many of the fuels in that direction.
Today’s weather forecast calls for an increasing chance of thundershowers in the afternoon. A southwesterly air flow has increased the chance that these storms will drop rain on the fire area. Temperatures for Tuesday will be in the 80’s in the valleys and 70’s on the ridge tops with humidity in the low twenties to upper teens. Winds on the ridges will be from the southwest at 3 to 6 mph with gusts up to 15 mph while winds on the slopes will generally push upslope and upvalley at similar speeds. Today’s operations will be concentrated on catching any spot fires that develop north of Magruder Road and keeping the Corridor open by clearing any falling snags. Culvert replacement on Scimitar Creek will began today and will be closely coordinated with fire operations.
The Goat fire is located southeast of Salmon Mountain lookout. The growth potential of this fire is limited because it is surrounded by bare rock terrain. Limited flames and smoke were observed on this fire during an aerial observation on Monday.
Closures: An emergency closure order is in place for all Forest Service roads and trails within and surrounding the fire. View the closure order/map at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3538/. There is also a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) over the fire. For the latest fire information/photos go to: 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.