Beaver Creek Fire Update for August 18, 2013 10pm
Incident: Beaver Creek Fire Wildfire
Higher Temperatures and Winds Increase Fire Activity
Fire Information for Zone 1 (Fairfield): 877-608-0120.
Information Numbers Zone 2 (Hailey-Ketchum): 877-647-0663, 877-640-3904, and 877-711-1333 | Beavercreekcomplex@gmail.com
Red Flag conditions, including higher temperatures and wind gusts to 38 miles per hour, increased fire activity on the Beaver Creek Fire this afternoon and evening. 1,150 firefighters working with 10 helicopters and 8 bulldozers expanded fire lines while large unburned areas within the fire lines and along the north and south edges of the fire sent columns of smoke 15,000 feet into the air. The fire is now approximately 100,921 acres in size and 8 percent contained.
Today, fire crews were inserted via helicopter into key areas on the western edge of Zone 1 and will establish remote camps for the next several days while suppressing rugged sections of the fire. They will continue line construction from the existing containment line and work to the north. The southernmost portion of fire perimeter will move into patrol status tomorrow, as the control lines are holding and resources can now be used in more critical locations.
Zone 1 priorities include limiting the fire’s expansion to the west into Ditto Flat and to the east towards Croy Creek, to protect bull trout habitat in the Little Smoky drainage, and to secure the perimeter on the western side. Firefighter safety is a concern while working in rugged terrain and dense timber along mountain ridges. Though hampered by the challenging terrain, efforts to establish helispots along ridges are ongoing.
Along the eastern edge of the fire, dozers and hand crews connected fire lines around homes in the Ketchum and Hailey.. Large helicopters reinforced dozer lines in the Ketchum area with fire retardant to make them more defensible if the fire approaches.
The most significant fire growth occurred on the north and south ends of the fire. Ridges between Baker Creek, Kendall Gulch, and Oregon Gulch burned slowly through much of the afternoon. Fire in Wolftone and Kinsey Creeks spread south to Kelly Mountain and is actively backing down the south side of the mountain at this time. Six helicopters, supported by fixed-wing aircraft dropping retardant, were critical to slowing the fire’s advance in this area.
Fire Meteorologist Jeremy Wolf advised that firefighters will face similar conditions tomorrow. “Warm temperatures and relative humidity in the 10 to 11 percent range will again challenge firefighters, but wind gusts should drop slightly – down to 25 mile per hour gusts,” said Wolf. He also warned that there is a potential for thunderstorms beginning Tuesday afternoon.
Details about the fire are available at inciweb.org/incident/3635/. Current evacuation information can also be found at blainesheriff.com. Residents can register for the Everbridge emergency alert system at BlaineCounty.org by clicking on the Emergency Alert Program tab on the left hand side of the page. Fire information lines are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. at 877-647-0663, 877-711-1333 and 877-640-3904.
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