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Monday, August 31, 2015

Selway Complex Update August 31, 2015

The Baldy and Wash fires  were caused by lightning strikes on August 10th and 13th. The Crown, Lone Park and Noble were caused by lightning strikes on August 17. The Baldy, Crown, Lone Park, and Noble fires are in the Red River Ranger District and the Wash is in the Moose Creek Ranger District of the Nez Perce - Clearwater National Forest near Elk City, Idaho, and are being reported under Selway Complex 2015. 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.

Fire
BaldyWash
Crown /
Lone Park
 
Noble
Start DateAugust 10August 13
August
17
 
August
17
 
Acres*6,71733,77527,4743,645
Percent Containment9000
Personnel287Included in Baldy
Included
in Baldy
 
Included
 in Baldy

Yesterday's Events
 

Baldy Fire: Large fire growth was discovered with multiple spots on the north side of the fire.  Firefighters continued assessing structures in the Elk City and Mud Springs area.

Wash Fire: Smoldering fire; has not crossed over Sadler Ridge; has not made it to the Meadow Creek Cabins. Firefighters continued assessing structures and performing structure protection in the Elk City area.  Contingency line completed on Green Ridge.
 
Noble Fire: Large spot fire to the east of Cook Ranch; has burned around the Mallard Creek Ranch; fire is burning in heavy fuels. Firefighters continued structure protection around the Mallard Creek and Cook Ranches.   

Crown/Lone Park Fire: Appears to not have much growth; no columns or headers.

A little precipitation Saturday evening, over the north half of the Red River District provided welcome relief for both firefighters and concerned residents.  Although certainly not suppressing any fires, it did slow fire behavior and activity. 
 
Point protection efforts focused on assessing, preparing, and defending structures in the areas of Mallard Creek Ranch and Cook Ranch.  Elk City, Newsome, the Red River Community (including the Hot Springs) were evaluated for protection needs and some structure protection was completed in those areas.  

Planned Events
Selway Complex firefighters will continue preparation/protection work around structures in the Elk City/Newsome area, Mallard Creek and Cook Ranches, and the Red River Community.  Mop-up will also continue in the lower Mallard Creek Ranch area.


Road Restrictions and Closures
Temporary flight restrictions are over the Selway Complex fires.  The entire Nez Perce National Forest is closed due to fires, with the exception of the Palouse Ranger District.  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 and Newsome areas 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 evacuations are still in effect for Mallard Creek and Cook Ranches.

Fire Weather
A cool and dry air mass will settle over the fire area today. While daytime temperatures will be mild, the dry air mass will result in low afternoon humidity. With some clearingtonight, temperatures will drop into the mid-30's. Transport winds will continue to be out of the southwest while surface winds could turn northwesterly at times in the afternoon. 

Smoke Concerns:  Air quality continues to be unhealthy.  For more information on current air quality conditions, visit  http://airquality.deq.idaho.gov/.  For information about mitigating smoke related health hazards, visit  http://idsmoke.blogspot.com/p/smoke-and-health.html.