West Mullan Fire Morning Update, July 23
Incident: West Mullan Fire Wildfire
Incident Management Team
West Mullan Fire
Date: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 Time: 8:00 a.m.
Incident: West Mullan Fire Information Phone: 406-649-9032
(7:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.)
Location: northwest of Superior, Montana
Approximate Size: 6,090 acres Containment: 45%
Incident Commander: Tom Heintz
Resources: Hand Crews: (11) Type I crews; (13) Type II crews
Equipment: (43) Engines, (3) Dozers, (15) Water Tenders
Air Support: Helicopters (3) Type 1, (2) Type 2, (2) Type 3 Total Personnel: 914
Estimated Cost to Date: $6,500,000
Last night the crews were able to make progress on the northeast flank of the fireline near Wood Gulch. Firefighters worked on ‘burnout operations’ to remove unburned fuel in this steep and difficult terrain. They progressed slowly to keep flames low and more manageable. Today firefighters will strengthen fireline in the Wood Gulch area and continue to work in a grid pattern to locate and extinguish each individual hot spot they come across near the firelines. Mop-up will continue today on much of the fire perimeter with some areas being monitored for hot spots.
Helicopters will continue to drop water and retardant to help ground crews in their mop up operations.
Weather will be hot and dry. The smoke will lift early allowing the fire area to heat up more quickly. Some unburned islands and partially burned vegetation within the fire perimeter may ignite causing additional visible smoke and flames.
The Incident Commander and Sheriff are working cooperatively to develop a plan for the evacuees to return to their properties. If all goes as planned, the Incident Management Team will begin to develop a timeline to consider what resources be released to other fires across the nation.
Area closures and evacuation orders are still in place. West Mullan Road is closed to the public at the western end. It is open to residents only. Flat Creek Road is closed outside the Superior city limits. East Mullan Road is open to everyone. Big Eddy Fishing Access Site, Keystone Gulch and Pardee Road remain closed.
Closures: Iron Mountain Trail 242 (known as Cascade Falls Trail) from above the falls to the junction with Forest Service Road 97 and National Forest System Trail 51(known as Ninemile Divide Trail). The Clark Fork River remains closed to the public from Big Eddy Fishing access to Sloway Campground. Vista Trail north of Superior is closed to public access.
New fire starts! Please stay vigilant to ensure there will be no new fire starts. Fully extinguish campfires and be cautious with combustion engines. Helicopter work continues in the area and the public is asked to stay clear of all aerial activities. About 42 residences continue to be threatened by the fire; no structures have been damaged.
Visibility! Travel on area roads continues to be hazardous, especially in the mornings between Superior and St. Regis due to the inversion created by fire conditions. Watch for rollout material on roads below the burned area.