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Friday, September 8, 2017

Highline Fire Update - September 8th


Location: The Highline Fire and Goat Fire are both burning on the Payette National Forest, Krassel Ranger District, entirely within the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness (https://tinyurl.com/y8qomgpm), approximately 23 miles east/northeast of Warren, Idaho.

Cause/Date of Origin: Started by lightning, July 28, 2017 @ approx. 7:00 p.m.

Current Size: Highline Fire: 70,938 acres / Goat Fire: 605 Acres

Management Strategy: A National Incident Management Organization Team is managing both the Highline and Goat Fires with limited suppression actions to allow fire to play its natural role in the Wilderness.  This management approach allows fire to achieve ecological benefits for enhancement of forest health and wildlife habitat, while protecting values at risk. Suppression actions will be taken where the fires poses a threat to Values at Risk.
Current SituationFire activity remained moderate across most of fire area on Thursday. The southwestern portion of the fire continued to be the most active. A thunderstorm moved over the fire Thursday evening bringing gusty winds and little to no precipitation. Strong winds associated with the storm caused an increase in fire behavior and the fire crossed Wapiti Creek. Firefighters remain at Root Ranch prepared to implement actions to protect Values at Risk if necessary. The fire is estimated to be approximately one and one quarter mile from the ranch. Despite the persistent smoke, a crew swap at Root Ranch was conducted utilizing multiple helicopters. An infrared flight to detect heat was unavailable for the second consecutive night. A late afternoon wind shift to a southerly flow yesterday resulted in overnight clearing of the smoky conditions that have inundated the fire area for the past several days.

Cooler temperatures, cloud cover, and higher relative humidity are expected today, as well as additional thunderstorm activity. Resources assigned to the fire include one type 2 initial attack crew, one type 1 wildland fire module, one local hand crew, one light helicopter and multiple fireline leadership and support positions. A total of 107 personnel are assigned.

Weather: Friday brings another chance of thunderstorms.  Any storms that develop will be isolated and produce spotty rain.  Gusty and erratic winds may accompany thunderstorms. Southwest flow will continue through the weekend with cooler temperatures and higher relative humidity.  

Closures and Restrictions: A Forest Area Closure is in effect for public and firefighter safety. Included in the closure area, Chamberlain, Cold Meadows, Soldier Bar and Cabin Creek Airstrips are closed due to fire activity. Please visit the following link for the Highline Fire Area Closure Order: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/5500/40016/.
The Payette National Forest is also under STAGE 1 FIRE RESTRICTIONSClick this link for designated sites where campfires are allowed. If a site is not signed as being a designated site, then campfires are not allowed at that site. There are no fire restrictions in the Frank Church River or No Return Wilderness. For more information: http://www.idahofireinfo.com/p/wilderness-fire-restrictions.html.
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