Fire Update 8/12 Pm
Incident: Elk Complex Wildfire
For Immediate Release: Monday August 12, 2013, 8 p.m.
Public Information: inciweb.nwcg.gov
Facebook: Rocky Basin IMT #2
Date Started: August 8, 2013
Location: Prairie/Pine, Idaho
Size: 90,249 acres
Percent contained: 5
Structures lost: 15
Number of Personnel: 405
Water Tenders: 8
Injuries to date: 0
Early sunshine on the Elk Fire produced active fire behavior creating a column on the southern end of the fire. This column collapsed in the afternoon shading the Elk Fire and causing an increase in smoky conditions in the South Fork Boise corridor. Low fuel moistures and steep slopes are driving this fire’s behavior rather than the weather.
The southwestern edge of the fire has moderated. Concerns in that area, are the spot fires caused by the Pony Complex fire which are being lofted across the South Fork Boise River. Along the northwestern portion of the fire, crews have been digging handline, using roads and dozer lines to initiate firing operations from their fireline.
In the South Fork Boise River corridor, the extreme fire activity Sunday night in the subdivision south of the Pine airstrip has been mitigated. Air resources relentlessly made drops on hotspots and worked to pretreat problem areas. Additional structure engines, along with current resources continued to leap frog structure protection equipment up the South Fork, deploying small water reservoirs called “pumpkins”, portable pumps and hose lays around nearly every house in the small subdivisions “armoring up the homes.” Hotshot crews are clearing debris from hillsides along with building check lines to use for burnout operations when the timing is right. This operation will continue through the night. Night resources will fire off “little chunks of line” as they work their way along mountain sides. Resources will be keeping a watchful eye on any hint of fire across the South Fork Boise River.
An assessment team began work in Fall Creek to determine the status of all structures in the canyon. Assessment information will be released by the Elmore County Sheriff’s Office. A public meeting was held today at the Elks Lodge in Mountain Home.
Record low fuel moistures will continue as will the hot and very dry weather.
Evacuations & Closures
The following road closures continue to be in place:
Blacks Creek Road off I-84 at the Mayfield Road junction
Indian Creek Road off I-84 at exit 71
Anderson Ranch Dam south on the Dixie Creek Cut-off to Hwy 20
Prairie Road/Cow Creek Road heading north from Hwy 20
Due to extreme fire behavior, the following area evacuations have been issued by the Elmore County sheriff’s office:
The community of Prairie and Mayfield (which includes Regina, Indian Creek and Baseline);
Anderson Dam Reservoir up Fall Creek Road to Ice Springs Campground then east to Lester Creek Guard Station;
Pine area from Johnson Bridge south to Highway 20 and the Pine/Featherville Road.
The Boise National Forest has expanded a large area closure that is described specifically in the CLOSURES portion of Inciweb at http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3616/. A map of the closure area can be found under MAPS.
Stage I fire restrictions remain in effect including no campfires outside of an agency designated recreation site until further notice. For more information, please visit www.blm.gov/id.