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Saturday, August 29, 2015

Selway Complex Update August 29, 2015

More information can be found on Inciweb: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4574/  
Background
The Baldy and Wash fires in the Selway Complex were caused by lightning strikes on August 10th and 13th in the Red River Ranger District of the Nez Perce - Clearwater National Forest near Elk City, Idaho.  With dry conditions, gusty winds, steep terrain and a shortage of firefighting resources due to multiple fire starts and existing fires, the fires quickly grew.  Fires are expected to be active until a significant, season-ending weather event occurs, which may not occur until mid/late October.
Yesterday's Events
Baldy Fire: Firefighters continued to reinforce fireline along roads 284, 464, 1858 and existing trails around the Baldy Fire. Now that structure protection is in place in the Newsome community, structure assessment has begun near Elk City to prepare for any future threats to the community.

Wash Fire: Firefighters continued opening old fire contingency lines from the previous Slim's Fire on Green Ridge and installing  hose lays in these areas and along the Anderson Butte Trail.
Because of increased fire activity south of Elk City and the forecast weather and fire behavior, there is a greater potential for threats to structures in the Mallard Creek and Cook Ranches.
Planned Events
Baldy Fire: Firefighters will continue assessment of structures in the Elk City area.

Wash Fire: Firefighters will finish opening old fire contingency lines from the previous Slim's Fire on Green Ridge and installing  hose lays in these areas and along the Anderson Butte Trail.  A public meeting is scheduled today beginning at noon at the McGuire Cabin in Orogrande, Idaho. 
Point protection efforts will focus on assessing and preparing structures in the areas of Mallard Creek Ranch, Cook Ranch, Red River Community, and along Dixie Road.
FireBaldyWash
Start Date
August 10
August 13
Acres2,22033,775
Percent Containment
9
0
Personnel
283
(included in Baldy)
Restrictions and Closures
 Temporary flight restrictions are over the Wash and Baldy fires.   Several areas are closed due to fires in the area. For more information, visit the Nez-Perce-Clearwater National Forest web site.
Evacuations
A Level 2 Evacuation Alert has been issued for the Elk City area, including Newsome, due to potential high winds and fire growth on both the Baldy and Wash Fires and increased fire activity south of Elk City. A Level 2 Evacuation means be ready. This level indicates there is significant danger to your area, and residents should either voluntarily relocate to a shelter or with family/friends outside of the affected area, or if choosing to remain, to be ready at a moment's notice.  Level 3 evacuation notice for Mallard Creek and Cook Ranches.
Fire Weather
A cold front moving through the area may bring winds of up to 35 mph from the southwest in the morning, changing to the northwest in the afternoon.  Temperatures will continue to be 72-75 degrees with relative humidity 35-40%.
Smoke Concerns:  Air quality continues to be unhealthy.  For more information on current air quality conditions, visithttp://airquality.deq.idaho.gov/.  For information about mitigating smoke related health hazards, visit http://idsmoke.blogspot.com/p/smoke-and-health.html.