August 9th, 9 PM Fire Update
Incident: Gold Pan Complex Wildfire
RED FLAG WARNING- still in effect until 10 pm for lightning and strong down drafts from passing thunderstorms.
Saturday at 2pm…..For the residents of West Fork and Painted Rocks areas, there will be a fire information meeting at the ICP located at Scripps Yonder Ranch on the Nez Perce Road, 4 miles west of the West Fork Ranger District office.
Firefighters continued mop up operations along the Magruder Road and the fire line up to Pole Mountain this morning, but predicted thunderstorms that arrived over the fire this afternoon shut down helicopters and sent firefighters scrambling for cover to the old CCC camp area and other safety zones. There were numerous lightning strikes in the area around Hells Half Acre Lookout, with one new fire start about 1 mile south of Nez Perce Pass. Severe weather continued throughout the afternoon, with a thunderstorm-produced micro-burst, estimated at 60 mph, which snapped the tops out of over 2 dozen green ponderosa pine trees along the Magruder Road through the fire area. Numerous fire-weakened trees, snags and rocks came down into the road as a result of thunderstorm-associated winds. Flare-ups occurred within the fire area as erratic winds crossed the fire. At the same time, hail pounded the west side of the fire and it hailed on Nez Perce Pass, which was covered at one time with about ½ inch of pea size hail! However, overall moisture was light over the fire area. Rain did not penetrate the tree canopy in most places, and only 3/100 of an inch of rain was recorded at Hells Half Acre where winds gusted to 41 mph.
There will be a night shift tonight with engine crews patrolling Magruder road to clear snags and continue holding operations and mop up along the south side of the road.All contingency lines east of Nez Perce Pass are completed. Forest roads No. 5644 and No. 1303 are open, however, fire vehicles are still using the roads, so please slow down and drive with caution. Magruder road remains closed from Fales Flat campground on the east and Observation Point (Idaho) on the west. Fales Flat campground remains open to the public.
Incident status: 382 personnel, four Type 1 crews, three Type 2 crews, seven helicopters, 8 engines, 17,116 acres, cost to date $5.2 million.
Closures: An emergency closure order is in place for all Forest Service roads and trails within and surrounding the fire. View the closure order/map at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3538/. 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.
Email Goldpan13@gmail.com to receive this information electronically. END