Wildfire Update - September 5, 2013
Incident: Gold Pan Complex Wildfire
September 5, 2013 - NOON
Contact: Public Affairs Officer: Tod McKay
What: 5 New Wildfires
Location: Bitterroot National Forest
Summary: Firefighters are responding to five new wildfires burning on the Bitterroot National Forest today. Crews have arrived on scene at 3 of the fires and are working to extinguish them under a full suppression strategy. 2 fires are located in steep and rugged terrain and crews are currently hiking in to the fire locations.
Two fires are located on the Darby Ranger District in the Tip Cup and Burnt Ridge areas. Both fires are estimated at .10 of an acre. There are currently 10 firefighters assigned.
Three new fires are burning on the West Fork Ranger District near Boulder Point and the Trapper Peak trailhead. Nine firefighters are assigned there and were assisted by a helicopter using buckets to drop water on the fires. All of them are estimated at .10 of an acre and there are no structures threatened by any of the fires and no closures are in place for these fires.
All of the new starts are likely lightning-caused. The Bitterroot Dispatch center reported 2,500 lightning strikes occurred Wednesday night across Western Montana and Central Idaho.
Gold Pan Complex: Cooler temperatures and higher humidity has led to decreased fire activity on the Gold Pan Complex burning along the Idaho-Montana border in the Frank Church Wilderness. The fire is currently estimated at 42,560 acres. Approximately 3,310 acres has burned in Montana, south of Nez Perce Pass.
There are currently 80 personnel assigned including 7 engines and 2 helicopters. ½ rain fell overnight at fire camp. But just 15 miles west at the Hells Half Lookout station, only .03 inches of rain was recorded over the fire area.
Weather: Strong thunderstorms with heavy rain, hail, and high winds are forecast for the next several days. Humidity levels are expected above 40% in many areas which should greatly decrease fire activity and movement.
Magruder Road Corridor: Magruder Road between Fales Flat Campground and Observation Point remains open between 10am-2pm daily. However, travelers should be advised to use caution and be alert to the many hazards associated with travel in this area. All motorists are being stopped and handed a “Travel Advisory” flyer at Fales Flat Campground. See attached.
Selway Road: Selway Road to Paradise Campground is closed through next Friday, September 13th for road repairs. Crews are working to stabilize several sections of the road that have deteriorated due to erosion. Just last week, a large mudslide blocked travel along the road near Indian Creek Campground.
Area Closure: To provide for public safety an area closure remains in place for parts of the fire area located in the Frank Church and Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness. To see a map of the closures visit http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3538/. All forest service roads and trails within this area are closed.
Cooperating Agencies: Ravalli County Fire Warden, Painted Rocks RFD, West Fork RFD, Ravalli County Sheriff, Ravalli County Office of Emergency Management, American Red Cross.
For the latest fire information, maps, and photos visit http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3538/