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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Craig Mountain Complex Update - 7/20


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.  Although no closures exist along either waterway, fire managers encourage recreationists to access locations outside of the active fire area.
The Powerline fire saw growth to the south and west yesterday and overnight as the fire backed down and crossed Wapshilla Ridge.  The fire is now burning on the Snake River side and is established in that area.  Today, the fire will continue to spread down slope to the Snake River and towards Cottonwood Creek. 
Dozer line is complete on the eastern perimeter of the fire and a Type 1 hand crew completed hand line from the dozer line to the river yesterday.  Contingency lines north of the fire along the old Big Cougar fire perimeter are being constructed and reinforced.  Additional contingency lines are being constructed to support burnout operations.  A weak cold front is expected to cross over the area today and erratic winds will create risk for fire movement.
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.  Crews will be conducting mop-up operations on the northern perimeter of the fire today and completing line from the ridge top to the northeast perimeter.  The fire 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.
An illness was reported late last night from a spike camp along the Salmon River.  A Hot Shot crew member was sent by Life Flight to a local hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.
Road Closures & Special AnnouncementsThe 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 tocraigmountaincomplex@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.