August 7th, 9pm Fire Update
Incident: Gold Pan Complex Wildfire
Weather: By mid-afternoon Thursday, dry thunderstorms will be coming through this area. Temperatures are expected to be about 10 degrees less, and fire intensity will increase.
As of 7pm, the burnout operation of about 350 acres was still in progress to bring the edge of the fire down to Magruder Road. About 16,000 delayed aerial ignition devices [ping pong balls] were dropped by helicopter over the fire area to complete the burn out. Crews will be on patrol through the night performing holding actions to keep the fire south of Magruder Road.
Forest road No. 5644 at its’ junction with Nez Perce road and at Mud Creek Saddle; and Forest road No. 1303 are now open. Fire vehicles are still using the road, please drive with caution.
Heavy equipment continued to construct contingency line on the Soda Springs road, working directly west of private property along Nez Perce and West Fork roads. Hand crews constructed fire line through drainages to connect road systems through this area.
Incident status: 477 personnel, five Type 1 crews, six Type 2 crews, seven helicopters, 9 engines, two feller-bunchers, one excavator, 16,412 acres, cost to date $4,225 million.Fire managers emphasize that this will be a long duration fire due to its’ size, topography, fuels, where it is located and the early dry warm weather this area of Montana and Idaho has experienced. Fire activity is steadily increasing in intensity as warmer, dry air has returned to the area.
Road Guards on the Magruder road closure are located at Fales Flat campground on the east and Observation Point (Idaho) on the west. Fales Flat campground remains open to the public.
Closures: An emergency closure order is in place for all Forest Service roads and trails within and surrounding the fire. The closure order and associated map can be viewed at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3538/ . Three roads are closed in the West Fork Valley associated with contingency line construction. There is also a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) over the fire.
For the latest fire information/photos http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3538/ . Stay in touch with the Bitterroot National Forest through www.facebook.com/DiscoverTheBitterroot and www.twitter.com/BitterrootNF.