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Saturday, September 19, 2015

9/19/2015 Kaniksu Complex Fire Update

Please remember parts of the Colville and Idaho Panhandle National Forests are still closed to the public for the safety of all. Law enforcement officers are patrolling closed areas and violators may be cited.  Please check with local ranger districts for more information.

There have been some changes on the Kaniksu Complex.  Most of these changes are administrative. Fire perimeters have been updated to reflect a slight increase in acreage. The containment strategy was also assessed.  The total acreage of all fires in the complex is 26,119 acres which is 80 percent contained.  This change from 100 percent containment is not because of significant fire activity.  The Kaniksu Complex has a mix of containment strategies.  The overall containment percentages were assessed to best reflect the current situation. The perimeters of the fires on the Complex with containment strategy are Onata, Baldy, Grease Creek, and Tower.  Hall Mountain, Slate Creek, and South Fork Creek Trail are in patrol status.

Meanwhile on the ground, as opposed to on paper, the fire and suppression repair crews were ticking through the suppression repair tasks.  These tasks include repairing dozer and hand line with heavy equipment and by hand, placing wood straw on areas with little vegetation to prevent erosion, removing hazard trees, and rehabilitating roads.  There are still areas with persistent heat which need to be mopped up.  The patrols are continuing to see fire creeping in the organic material (duff) until spot fires burn (jackpot burning) on both the Tower and Grease Creek Fires.

Here is a roundup of fire activity:

·    Tower Fire: 24,194 acres, 82% containment. Located 6 miles northeast of Usk, Wash., and
6 miles west of Priest Lake, Idaho.  The majority is in suppression repair. The areas near Paqua and Mill Creeks on the north edge of the fire are still in patrol status with hot spots being addressed.
·    Onata Creek Fire: 546 acres, 100% containment.  Located 8 miles east/southeast of Ione, Wash.  Suppression repair is complete.
·    Grease Creek Fire: 657 acres, 20% containment. Located east of Sullivan Lake. This fire is in patrol status. Fire activity continues on the northern portion of the fire.
·    Hall Mountain Fire: 39 acres. Located on Hall Mountain. This fire is in patrol status.
·    Slate Creek and South Fork Slate Creek Trail fires: 1 acre and 167 acres, respectively.
Located near the northwest boundary of Salmo-Priest Wilderness. These fires are in patrol status.
·    Baldy Fire: 515 acres, 100% containment. Located 6 miles north of Ione, Wash.
Suppression repair is complete.

Current Resources: The number of personnel on the fire is 147. Resources include: 2 crews, 6 engines,
1 helicopter, 3 water tenders, and a variety of fire management and support personnel at the incident base.

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