Beaver Creek Fire Update for August 19, 2013 AM
Incident: Beaver Creek Fire Wildfire
Fire Information Numbers Zone 2 (Hailey-Ketchum): 877-647-0663, 877-640-3904, 877-711-1333 | Information for Zone 1 (Fairfield) 877-608-0120; 877-608-0121. Beavercreekcomplex@gmail.com
TODAY: Community Meeting 7 PM , Community Campus, 1050 Fox Acres Road, Hailey, Idaho.
Air Operations Expected to be Busy Today
The Beaver Creek Fire’s size is now estimated at 104,457 acres, with containment at 8 percent. The number of personnel assigned to the fire is now at 1,150. Deputy Incident Commander Kim Martin reminded firefighters this morning about the citizens that have been evacuated and urged them to continue to work hard to “Get the folks back in their homes as soon as we can.”
Yesterday the fire backed down slowly in major drainages in the northern portion of the fire in the Baker Creek area. Firefighters were able to use direct attack methods in this area and performed burnout operations. Behind Fox Peak, winds may push the fire down Oregon and Kendall Gulches today.
South of Ketchum, the fire did not move much in Timber Gulch yesterday, but picked up steam late in the afternoon and air operations were used. Timber Gulch is a key piece to this fire and hot shot crews will do burnout operations and direct attack today. When Mother Nature allows, firefighters can safely perform direct attack on the fire. Activity is starting to subside in the Deer Creek and Greenhorn areas and firefighters are mopping up and making things safe around structures. The fire will continue to burn down Carbonite Mountain over the next few days; suppression action will take place when it is safe for firefighters to do so.
In the Ketchum and Hailey areas, firefighters will continue to watch for possible spot fires along the Highway 75 corridor. Air operations will support firefighters with retardant drops as firefighters focus on south Ketchum and the northern portion of the fire. Structure protection specialists are making detailed assessments of structures in Ketchum. Today, there are 14 helicopters assigned to the fire.
Today’s weather is expected to be slightly cooler, with relative humidity in the low to mid teens. Ridge top winds will be gusty again today. The incident fire behavior analyst said today that the Energy Release Component, the total heat release at the head of the fire, is setting nearly historical records in the area. A new fire called the Little Queens fire, near Atlanta, Idaho, experienced impressive growth yesterday and smoke from that fire may decrease fire activity today on the Beaver Creek Fire.
On the western portion of the fire, crews will continue to construct handline from the existing containment lines in the critical Smokey Creek and Dollarhide Mountain areas on the western edge of Zone 1 with support from water-dropping helicopters capable of delivering up to 2,000 gallons of water. The crews will establish remote camps today to facilitate line work for the next several days. The northernmost flank of Zone 1 presents a challenge due to rugged terrain, heavy timber, and active fire behavior. The southern portion of the fire perimeter is contained and will go into patrol status today.
Wind gusts of up to 20 miles per hour are expected on the ridges today with relative humidity levels in the lower teens, which is higher than the single digits observed over the past week. Thunderstorms bringing up to one inch of rain are forecast over the fire area beginning Tuesday night and into Wednesday. This weather will produce erratic winds and hazardous driving conditions on fire access roads.
Idaho National Guard has been working with the Blaine County Sheriff’s Department manning checkpoints at road entrances and preventing access by unauthorized persons.
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.