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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

8/10/2016 Kewa Fire Update

Yesterday’s actions and today’s plan
  • Until yesterday, a few rugged areas of the fire remained unlined, but the cooler temperatures and moisture provided optimal conditions for finishing these sections.
  • Efforts to widen these lines will continue today by extinguishing any remaining heat near the edge.
  • Total resources on the fire: 497, including 16 crews, 11 engines, 16 water tenders, 3 skidgens, one dozer, and one helicopter.
  • Today’s forecast is cloudy with a slight chance of showers. A warming trend will develop over the next few days.
Mopping up with specialized equipment
  • Following fire’s movement through an area, much of the vegetation and fuels above ground are consumed and flames are no longer visible. These areas can present problems. Fallen trees, needles, leaves and branches shed over time, accumulate and become buried. These hidden, underground fuels can smolder long after above-ground flames have been extinguished. Fire spread can continue underground, undetected, only to burn through the roots and emerge in areas previously unburned.
  • Crews use Infared radiation cameras to locate these interior underground pockets of heat and extinguish them so they don’t resurface later.
  • A skidgen is relatively new to firefighting. Similar to dozers, skidgens have a blade in front and move along on tracks or large rubber tires. In addition, skidgens come equipped with a 300-500 gallon water tank and attached hoses. They generally move along dozer lines to clear away remaining trees and brush. The skidgen provides much-needed moisture to areas otherwise inaccessible to water, helping firefighters extinguishing these smoldering underground pockets.
Evacuation levels and road closures
  • Evacuation levels have been reduced to a level 1 throughout the fire area.
  • Kewa-Meteor Road is closed between Twin Lakes-Nez Perce Road and Silver Creek Road.
  • Kewa Road is closed between Kewa-Meteor Road and Silver Creek Road.

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