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Friday, August 18, 2017

Highline Fire Update - August 18

Highline Fire Facts

Date of this updateAugust 18, 2017

ContactMike Ferris, Public Information Officer, 208-559-5367

Location: The Highline Fire is burning on the Payette National Forest, Krassel Ranger District, entirely within the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, approximately four miles north of Chamberlain Basin.

Date of Origin: July 28, 21017 @ 7:00 p.m.

Cause: Started by lightning

Current Size: 10,991 acres

Percent Containment: The Highline Fire has no current containment. It is a lightning-caused, natural fire burning in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. Firefighters on scene are conducting point protection which is a wildfire response strategy that protects specific assets or highly valued resources from the wildfire without directly halting the continued spread of the wildfire. Points or zones being protected may be communities, individual structures, areas of high resource value, etc. Continued wildfire spread may be desirable in order to achieve management objectives or may be inevitable due to extreme burning conditions, safety concerns, or other limitations.

Fire Resources Assigned: Two fire crews are on scene including the Hells Canyon Wildland Fire Module (10 personnel) and Weber Basin Type 2 Initial Attack Crew (10 personnel). Both crews and miscellaneous overhead are spiked-out (24-hours on-scene because of the remote nature of the fire location in the wilderness) at the Chamberlain Guard Station and the Stonebraker Ranch. Crews are conducting burnout operations and point protection at these administrative sites in order to protect the Chamberlain Airstrip, Chamberlain Guard Station and Stonebraker Ranch structures and facilities. In addition to these crews, there is also fire leadership and a paramedic with the two crews. Crews are being supported (food, water, equipment, supplies) with a Type 3 helicopter and fixed wing aircraft.  

Fire Management Strategy: The Payette National Forest has selected a monitor/point protection fire management strategy as the fire is burning within the wilderness, started naturally by lightning and burning in the right place, at the right time, with the right resources. This approach allows the Highline Fire to play its natural ecological role in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness to the greatest extent possible while protecting the known values at risk. Suppression actions will be taken where lightning-caused fires pose serious threats to life and/or property within wilderness or to life, property or natural resources outside of wilderness. Monitoring and point protection will continue to be the course of action and Point protection will be implemented for values at risk should they become threatened.

Structures Threatened - Values at Risk: Chamberlain Guard Station, State of Idaho Fish and Game facilities at Stonebraker, Root Ranch, Artic Point Lookout, Cold Meadows Guard Station, heritage and natural resource values within the Wilderness. No buildings or structures have been destroyed or damaged by the fire. Historic structures at Stonebraker Ranch, a State of Idaho Fish and Game administrative site under Forest Service protection includes one residence, three cabins, one bath house, four sheds, one historic barn and an airstrip. Historic structures at Chamberlain Guard Station includes seven cabins, four outbuildings and a public airstrip.

Fuels/Terrain: Majority of the Highline Fire is burning within old fire scars from 2000. Fuels consist of stringers of mature mixed conifers at mid-elevations, stands of subalpine fir at higher elevations and areas of heavy dead and down logs with regeneration and brush. Terrain is steep and remote.

Injuries: None

Closures: The Chamberlain Airstrip is closed due to fire activity. A Forest Area Closure Order is also in effect for the Highline Fire area. For more information on the Highline Fire Area Closure Order, go to: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/5500/38216/. For a map of the Highline Fire Area Closure, go to: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/map/5500/1/68941/.

For More Information: Highline Fire InciWeb page: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5500/. Members of the public interested in receiving fire information updates are asked to send an email request to payettefireinformation@gmail.com. Follow the Payette National Forest on Twitter at @Payette Forest and on Facebook at U.S. Forest Service – Payette National Forest.