Wildfire Update - July 26
Incident: Gold Pan Complex Wildfire
July 26, 2013 – NOON
Contact: Public Affairs Officer: Tod McKay
Phone: 406-363-7122 / Cell: 406-531-1130
What: Gold Pan Complex (Gold Pan & Goat Fires)
Location: 35 miles SW of Sula, MT. in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness in Idaho.
Jurisdiction: Bitterroot National Forest – West Fork Ranger District
Summary: The Gold Pan fire grew by 800 acres on Thursday to 5,100 acres. The most active parts of the fire are on the east side in lower Gold Pan Creek and Langdon Gulch. The fire has moved within 2.5 miles west of the Magruder Ranger Station and has spotted across the Selway River. Fire crews have installed sprinklers around Kim Creek Saddle to protect values in the area.
The Goat fire remains at 8 acres and is burning in timber approximately 2 miles southwest of the Gold Pan fire. It’s a “hold over” started by lightning on July 17th. The fire is surrounded on three sides by old burns including the 2012 Mustang and Porcupine Fires.
Due to Thursday’s growth and that the Gold Pan fire has now crossed the Selway River and is moving closer to structures (Magruder RS), a Type 2 Incident Management Team has been ordered to manage both the Gold Pan & Goat wilderness fires as a complex. This will free up Bitterroot NF resources and crews to be available and respond to any new fire starts and “hold overs” from previous lightning.
The Forest has ordered additional resources expecting that more “hold overs” will be discovered along with new fire starts this weekend, as the weather continues to be hot and dry.
Closures: There are no closures at this time. But trails near the fire area could be closed in the coming days. Terrain: Extremely steep, remote, rocky
Trails: Portions of trails 12, 89 and 74 have been impacted by the fire.
Resources Ordered: Type 2 Northern Rockies Wildland Fire Management Team (Hutton). Three 20-person crews.
Magruder Road: Currently there are no closures or delays on the Magruder Corridor Road due to the fires. The Gold Pan fire has moved within ¼ mile of the road. Temporary road closures/delays are possible if the fire moves closer. Fire personnel at Kim Creek Saddle will serve as road guards if needed. For the latest road information contact the West Fork Ranger District at 406-821-3269
Smoke & Haze: Due to the location of the fires and fuels burning, smoke will likely continue to settle in the southern Bitterroot Valley, possibly drifting to North Fork and Salmon, Idaho.
Current Fire Danger: The Bitterroot National Forest fire danger has been raised to ‘very high’ as a result of recent warm and dry weather. Forest officials are asking the public to be extremely careful when camping and to remember that it’s your job to properly maintain and extinguish your campfires.
Fire Restrictions: Stage 1 fire restrictions go into effect this Thursday, August 1st on the Bitterroot NF. These restrictions apply to campfires and smoking. Campfires will be allowed only within a designated campground or recreation site which contains a Forest-provided fire ring. Campfires will not be permitted at sites that do not have a Forest-provided fire ring. Smoking is also prohibited unless within an enclosed vehicle or building, or in an area of at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials. Individuals who violate these restrictions could face fines of up to $5,000 and be held liable for all suppression costs and damages for starting a fire. For more information visit www.firerestrictions.us
For the latest fire information and photos http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3538/