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Thursday, August 11, 2016

8/11/2016 Rail Fire Update



fire operations on the rail fire

While the Rail Fire has been at 10% containment for several days, firefighters are making great progress as they work around the clock to provide for human safety and protect property and resources.  During initial attack in the first hours of this fire, conditions and terrain allowed for the use of direct suppression tactics (working right at the edge of the active fire).  Those actions were successful in limiting impacts on private land to 13 acres and those lines on the east side remain secure. 

However, this fire is now burning deeper into the watershed with steep slopes on three sides covered by thick forests of dead standing and down lodge pole pine.  Direct suppression in this area with its many snags and down trees would be an unacceptable and unnecessary risk to firefighters.  Indirect lines (lines back from the active fire edge) defined by ridges, existing fuel breaks, favorable terrain, and private property boundaries are being completed and will be used to contain the remainder of the fire. 

Approximately 34 miles of such indirect line have been completed to date and the line all the way around the fire should be complete in the next 2-3 days.  Once “the box” (the combination of direct and indirect lines) is completed around the fire, firefighters will conduct burnouts where the fire activity dictates and conditions allow to keep the fire within those lines.   Active fire will continue within the fire perimeter, and local residents and visitors should expect smoke on-and-off depending on wind direction and inversions for some time.

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