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Saturday, August 15, 2015

Clearwater Complex Fire Update for Saturday, August 15th

Public Meeting: There will be a public meeting at 4:00 p.m. this afternoon at The Life Center, 4432 U.S. Hwy 12, approximately three miles east of Kamiah. 

Incident personnel will be available to provide the most recent information available concerning what has happened on the fires today and what the plan is for managing all fires in the Clearwater Complex.

Three Incident Management Teams are currently assigned to the Clearwater Complex and are based in Kamiah, Kooskia and Craigmont, Idaho. Additional ground and aerial resources have been ordered. Air resources can only fly when weather and smoke conditions are favorable. Multiple lightning caused fires in the complex, in order of priority, are listed below:

Lawyer 2 Fire - Kamiah, Idaho area. The fire made a significant run yesterday afternoon on the east side of the U.S. Highway 12 and the Clearwater River. The areas affected included residences north of town along the Woodland Ridge and Frasure Ridge roads, east to Caribel and south to Nikesa Creek in Church Canyon. By 10:30 p.m. the fire had burned down to the water’s edge directly across the Clearwater River from downtown Kamiah. Firefighters were able to hold onto spot fires on the south side of the river directly south of Hearthstone Lodge just north of the city limits.
Mandatory Evacuations remain in place on the west, north and east sides of Kamiah outside of the city limits. U.S. Highway 12 is still open with a pilot car moving traffic through the fire area north of Kamiah.

Numerous structures on private property were lost or damaged yesterday. Early this morning, the Idaho County Sheriff and his deputies began working with firefighters within the fire area to identify and assess the condition of these structures prior to notifying affected property owners.
Firefighters are actively engaged in structure protection and in identifying the perimeter of the fire area since yesterday’s growth. They are also searching for any spot fires that may have resulted from yesterday’s weather. Additional fires assigned to, and included in, the Lawyer 2 Fire acreage are Carrot Ridge, Old Greer, Kamiah Gulch, Lawyer 6 and Adams Grade.

At approximately 4:00 p.m. yesterday, these fires were estimated at 12,981 acres, with significant growth occurring after that time. Containment is estimated at 15%.
Lolo 2 Fire – South of Weippe, Idaho and north of Woodland, Idaho (Woodland is approx. five miles northeast of Kamiah)

This fire also made a significant run yesterday. By midnight last night, the fire was reported to be near Cottonwood and visible from the Lolo Creek Lodge along the Caribel Road.

There is a spike camp at Frasure Park for firefighters. There are operations on both the north (Weippe) and south (north of Caribel) sides of Lolo Creek Canyon. Firefighters are focusing on work
in Grouse Creek on the east side and securing the west perimeter. Resources on the ground include a hotshot crew, a Type II Initial Attack crew, and local resources totaling approximately 60 firefighters. Firefighters are also doing recon to determine the exact location of the fire perimeter after its run yesterday.

At approximately 4:00 p.m. yesterday afternoon, the fire was estimated at 3,300 acres with significant fire growth occurring after that time.

Fisher Fire – Big Canyon area approximately 7 miles north of Craigmont, Idaho.
Yesterday the Fisher Fire experienced extreme fire behavior and grew in many directions. Early in the day, the fire grew to the north, establishing in Six Mile Canyon, but did not progress much north of the confluence of Six Mile and Big Canyon. By mid-day, severe northerly winds began to affect the fire, pushing it to the south out of Big Canyon in a few areas. To the southwest, the fire continued to grow in stringers of timber in Posthole Canyon towards Airport and Patton roads. To the southeast, the fire spread towards Mohler, burning timber and side-canyons, eventually breaking out onto the prairie, agricultural lands, and crossing highway 62.

Three outbuildings and one unoccupied residence were lost.

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office issued mandatory evacuations east of Craigmont in the Mohler area. The evacuations were issued east of Fisher road and west of Hwy 162 (bordering the western edge of Nezperce city limits), and north of the area between the southern end of Fisher Road and Highway 162. At the same time, a Level II evacuation notice was issued to the City of Nezperce, but was later downgraded to Level I as the winds subsided and cooler temperatures moved into the area by the late evening. This morning, Lewis County Sheriff’s Office downgraded the Mohler area to Level II evacuation.

At approximately 4:00 p.m. yesterday, the fire was estimated to be 12,500 acres, with significant growth after that time.

Containment is estimated at 0%
Syringa Fires (Wood Rat and Big Hill fires) - NE of Syringa, Idaho

The Woodrat Fire is estimated at 3,400 acres with 5% containment. The Big Hill Fire is estimated at 100 acres with 10% containment. No additional information is available at this time.

Pilot Knob (Red River, Idaho area). The Red River area was hit heavily by lightning yesterday afternoon, with numerous smoke reports. Recon is ongoing. The original fires are estimated at 100 acres with 0% containment. There is no information available on the size or number of new starts that occurred yesterday.

New Firefighting Resources: Additional ground and air resources remain on order. Fire activity is expected to remain high today. And due to yesterday’s weather event, there is a high potential for spot fires to be located as the day progresses.
Summary: Total Acres within the Complex (as of 4pm yesterday): 32,381
Total fire personnel assigned to the Complex: 774