September 3, 2015, courtesy of US Forest Service:
The Northern Rockies Wildland Fire Management Team has assumed command of all fires in the Napoleon and Clark Fork Complexes and will manage them as the Clark Fork Complex under the command of Diane Hutton.
- The Clark Fork Complex is a collection of the following fires:
- Scotchman Peak (IPNF): 2057 acres Whitetail (IPNF): 1870 acres
- Sawtooth (KNF): 2465 acres Marten Creek (IPNF): 6 acres
- Napoleon (KNF): 8957 acres Government (KNF): 399 acres
Yesterday’s Activities [9/2/15]: There was an uptick in fire activity on Wednesday as sunshine and moderate winds caused hot areas to show themselves. Fortunately the activity was concentrated well within the fire perimeter or on flanks with little chance of growth. Infra-red photography showed growth across the Complex was limited to 20 acres on the west edge of the Sawtooth Fire.
On the Whitetail Fire crews started water-barring constructed fire-lines to prevent erosion from forecasted rainfall. Supervisors worked with Resource Advisor Lydia Allen to devise a rehabilitation plan for the area. Equipment continued construction of a contingency line along the private boundary south of the Napoleon Fire and north of Highway 200.
Crews pushed their mop-up activities deeper into the area west of the Highway 56 corridor. The focus of work on Wednesday was on the contingency line along the boundary of Eagle View Estates, northeast of the Sawtooth Fire. The work included structure protection and the strategic placement of pumps and hose-lays.
The final night shift was completed on Thursday morning as fire conditions along Highway 56 no longer warrant making engines work through the night.
Today's Planned Actions [9/3/15]: Additional sunshine on Thursday will likely "liven up" some of the fires, but the activity should be mostly interior single-tree torching on the Sawtooth and Napoleon Fires.
Firefighting activities will be similar to Wednesday with additional mopping-up of hot spots and the expected completion of the contingency line south of the Napoleon Fire. Structure protection will continue in the Eagle View Estates subdivision.
The Temporary Flight Restriction around Whitetail Peak that had prevented conflicts between Complex aerial operations and other aircraft will be lifted today. The Team will continue to demobilize crews and equipment to "right size" down to an organization that is appropriate for the present fire activity and forecasted future weather.
Forecasted Weather: Showers and thunderstorms will be passing through the area on Thursday. There is only a 20% chance of a wetting rain (greater than one-tenth of an inch) from these storms. Winds will be light on Thursday except for erratic gusts associated with thunderstorms. Meteorologist Scott Carpenter is feeling increasing confident that a wide-spread low pressure area will bring between ¼ and ½ inch of rain on Friday night and Saturday.
Evacuations: The following area in Montana is under a Pre-evacuation Notice: all residences south of mile mark 20.5 along the Highway 56 Corridor to the Highway 200 intersection, including Angel Island, Bull Lake Estates, Eagle View Estates, East Fork Bull River Road and the South Fork of Bull River, also the residences north of Highway 200 from mile marker 6 to the Highway 56 intersection (approximately 4 miles); and the residents of Old Bull River Road. A Level 1 Evacuation Order is in effect for an area in Bonner County, Idaho. This area is bounded by the State Line on the east, River Road (south of the Clark Fork River) on the north, the main fork of Johnson Creek on the west and the Shoshone/Bonner County Line to the south. Level 1 is a pre-evacuation notice that informs residents that they should have plans in case the fire moves in their direction.
Closures: An area closure order exists on the Idaho Panhandle National Forest around the Scotchman Peak Fire. A closure order on the Idaho Panhandle National Forest that closes the 332 Road, the 1066 Road and the 1021 Road at the intersection with the 332 Road, in the local area remains in effect.
The Idaho Panhandle National Forests and the Kootenai National Forest have instituted area and trail closures around many of the fires in the Clark Fork Complex; please consult the websites for the respective Forests at the Idaho Panhandle
http://www.fs.usda.gov/ipnf or the Kootenai
http://www.fs.usda.gov/kootenai for the latest updates. Closures on the Idaho Panhandle will likely last through the Labor Day Weekend to ensure public safety.
For the latest fire information and photos, visit http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4531/.
Stay current with the Idaho Panhandle National Forest on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/USFSIPNF and the Kootenai National Forest at http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/kootenai/home.
This ends fire reports.