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Friday, July 21, 2017


Craig Mountain Complex Fire Update


The Craig Mountain Complex includes the Corral Creek fire and the Powerline fire.  Both fires are burning in heavy grass and brush in steep, rough terrain.  The Corral fire is located between Corral Creek and China Garden Creek drainages, with the Snake River on the southern perimeter.  The Powerline fire is located between Wapshilla Creek and Deer Creek, south and southwest of Winchester, Idaho.  Mike Almas’ Northern Rockies Incident Management Team (IMT) is managing the incident.

Firefighter and public safety is always the number one priority.  Recreationists accessing the Salmon and Snake rivers will see active fire above and near beaches.  Hazards that could be encountered are rocks and rolling debris and helicopters dipping from the river drainages.  Although no closures exist along either waterway, fire managers encourage recreationists to access locations outside of the active fire area and continue down or upstream away from helicopter dip sites.

The Powerline fire saw continued growth to the south and west yesterday and overnight as the fire backed down ridges in the Snake River drainage.  Today, the fire will continue to spread west, down slope to the Snake River and towards Cottonwood Creek. The fire also continues to spread south towards the confluence of the Snake and Salmon Rivers.  The Powerline fire is also expected to reach the Corral Creek fire today. 

Today firefighters will conduct burnout operations on the west, south of the Corral Creek fire perimeter and east of the Deer Creek drainage.  Implementation of today’s plan is a result of several days of dozer and hand line construction, firefighters successfully holding fire in strategic boundaries, and working closely with the Incident Meteorologist and Fire Behavior Analyst.

Burnout operations are implemented under specific conditions that allow the greatest probability for success.  Today’s cooler temperatures, higher Relative Humidity, and north winds are favorable conditions for firefighters to implement burnout operations.

12 residences and cabins are threatened including an Idaho Department of Fish and Game work station.  There are no evacuations at this time and no structures have been lost.  Crews and equipment will be in place today to implement structure protection as needed.

The Corral Creek fire did not experience growth yesterday.  Fire line has been completed to the north and is being held to the east and the west by green creek drainages.  Minimal to no fire growth is expected on the Corral Creek fire today.

Road Closures & Special Announcements: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Cottonwood Field Office has issued a temporary emergency closure order for the Eagle Creek Road, from the intersection of Zaza Road to the Salmon River due to fire suppression activities and to ensure public health and safety.  Recreationists floating the Salmon River will not be able to exit at Eagle Creek.  The next take out location is at Heller Bar.


Lewis County Sheriff’s Office will be closing public access to the affected fire area at the intersection of Hoover Point and Soldier Meadows roads.


Nez Perce County Sheriff’s Office will be closing public access to the fire area at the intersection of Deer Creek and Zaza roads.


Residents and landowners will be identified and allowed access from both closures.


Idaho Fish and Game has also closed the Craig Mountain Wildlife Management Area 30 miles south of Lewiston.


A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is in place. Members of the public who fly drones over or near wildfires threaten the safety of firefighters and the effectiveness of wildfire management operations.  If you fly, we can’t.

 

For more information:  Information for the Craig Mountain Complex can be found on InciWeb at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5376/, by phone at (208) 502-1166, or on Facebook at Craig Mountain Complex fire.  Questions can also be emailed to craigmountaincomplex@gmail.com.

The current Fire Danger level is Very High.  There are no fire restrictions at this time, but recreationists are reminded to use caution with any outdoor activity that may cause a spark.  Never leave campfires unattended.  Pour water and add dirt to your campfire until your campfire is cold.  Remember:  If it’s too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave.

 
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