August 22, 2013 PM Update: Beaver Creek Fire
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; Beavercreekcomplex@gmail.com
Fire Containment increases to 67%
The Beaver Creek fire is estimated at 111,163 acres with 67 percent containment. Nearly 1500 personnel are assigned to the fire.
On the northern perimeter of the fire, hotshot crews continued constructing handline from the northeastern corner of the 2007 Castle Rock fire, east along the ridge line towards the East Fork of Baker Creek road. Aerial ignition from Wednesday afternoon’s burnout continued to creep down from the ridge line to the East Fork of the Baker Creek road. Crews were stationed along the road to secure the line and any spots across the road. The fire has stalled above the Norton Lake road. Plans are to hold the fire where it has stopped and not burn out down to the road and trailhead.
Hotshot crews continue to work in Timber Gulch, securing hotspots inside the fireline. Smoke will be visible in this area until the heavy fuels burn out. All rehabilitation was completed in Deer Creek. Two hotshot crews worked towards each other on the southern perimeter of the fire to tie in the ridge lines above Kinsey Creek, Wolftone and over to Kelly Mountain. Good progress was made to finish construction of this fireline. If conditions permit, a burnout could take place Friday.
Mandatory evacuations are still in effect from Galena Summit south to the SNRA Headquarters on both sides of Hwy 75 including Baker Creek and Easley and also Croy Creek Canyon west of Red Elephant Gulch Road.
In Zone 1 of the fire, thunderstorms did not arrive as expected although crews were pulled off the line in anticipation of gusty winds and heavy rain, delaying full containment. Several firefighting crews were released for required days off or reassignment to other fires. Remaining firefighters will continue to construct containment lines along the western flank. With the assistance of a resource advisor, rehabilitation crews are recontouring and reseeding bulldozer lines and handlines along the south edge.
Rehabilitation planning efforts for the entire fire area began today. Immediate work will be directed towards the dozer line behind St. Luke’s Hospital, up and across the ridge top ending at the Seattle Ridge Lodge on Bald Mountain. Considerable miles of dozer line were constructed in Croy Canyon. Rehabilitation plans are being formulated for areas where the dozer lines are no longer needed. This work is slated to start Friday.
Air Operations provided a current summary of the work aviation assets have safely accomplished on this fire. The Very Large Air Tanker (DC-10) flew just over 12 hours releasing over 125,000 gallons of retardant. All other contract air tankers assisting the firefighting effort flew over 250 hours dropping just over 310,000 gallons. The MAFFS (C-130 National Air Guard tankers) flew 5.52 hours for a total of 11,200 gallons. The seven sky crane heavy helicopters dropped nearly 250,000 gallons of water and retardant with 50.5 hours of flight time. Altogether, air resources have flown nearly 350 hours, costing just over $2.2 million.
A Red Flag Warning continues through midnight tonight for the possibility of thunderstorms producing gusty erratic winds. Relative humidities tonight will be in the 50% to 65% range tonight.
Idaho big game hunting seasons are fast approaching with the first controlled hunt for Antelope beginning on August 30th. Hunters are reminded that area closures are in effect for the Forest Service and BLM managed lands in and around the fire area. Updated hunting information can be found at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov.
More fire details 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.