Friday, August 10, 2012

Springs Fire Update August 10

Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team- Bill Hahnenberg, Incident Commander  

Information Center: 384-3266
Hours of operation: 8:00 am – 9:00 pm

August 10, 2012
11:00 am
Special Message: The Rocky Mountain Type 1 Incident Management Team, with Bill Hahnenberg as Incident Commander, assumed command of the fire at 8:00 pm on August 9, 2012. The Type 1 Team would like to acknowledge the great work that was done by the Type 3 team.
Current Situation: The south flank of the Springs Fire was very active through the night. The fire burned down to Highway 55, south of Banks. Four engines staffed this area through the night and worked to hold the fire to the east of the highway. On the east flank of the fire that is south of the Banks Lowman Road, crews will continue to reinforce handline by mopping up and falling trees that may pose a threat.

On the west flank of the fire, along Highway 55, crews will continue to patrol and mop up along the highway. Structure protection is in place in subdivisions to the west, east, and northeast of the fire area. Contingency lines are being created between the fire and those subdivisions in case fire activity increases to the north and east or the fire crosses Highway 55. A contingency line has also been created along Packer John Road to the north in the event that the fire makes a push to the north and east.
On the portion of the fire north of the Banks Lowman Highway, fireline has been completed on the east flank. Crews will continue to mop up and patrol this portion of the fire. On the north flank crews will continue to construct handline from Highway 55 to Zimmer Creek. From Zimmer Creek heading east, crews will continue to reinforce hand and dozer lines. Burnout operations may occur on the north end of the fire if conditions allow.
Weather: A Red Flag Warning is in effect today from 6:00 am to 9:00 pm. Widely scattered showers and thunderstorms with lightning are expected. Winds are predicted to come out of the west- southwest at 5-10 mph gusting to 15- 20 mph. The inversion is forecasted to break by mid-morning and an increase in fire activity is expected. The Haines Index, which measures the stability and dryness of air over a fire, is 5. This indicates that there is a moderate potential for extreme fire behavior, intensity, and growth.
Closures and Public Safety: A portion of Highway 55 is closed from Gardena to Smiths Ferry (mileposts 76 to 96). This closure was put in place at 5:00 am due to rolling material and fire activity adjacent to the road. The Highway will reopen as soon as it is safe to allow travel. The Banks Lowman Road is open to through traffic. The public is reminded to use caution when traveling on the highways within and adjacent to the fire area. Heavy fire traffic can be expected and rolling rocks and logs could fall at any time. The South Fork of the Payette River remains open to boaters, but they are asked to use caution as the river is being used as a dip site by helicopters supporting fire personnel.
Community Meeting: A community meeting is scheduled for Saturday, August 11, 2012 at 11:00 am at the Garden Valley School.

Fire Statistics:    
Location: 5 miles west of Garden Valley, ID                                                Start Date: August 6, 2012              
Size:  4574 acres (based on last night’s infrared flight)                               Percent Contained: 25
Total Personnel: 295 + as more resources are arriving                              
Cause:  Under Investigation
Resources Include: 6 Type 1 hand crews,
4 Type 2 hand crews, 5 engines, 3 dozers, 2 water tenders, and
overhead personnel.
Air Resources: 4 helicopters that are used for initial attack are currently being used to support the incident.
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Notes from Diane Caughlin:

Here is the online and phone number for the Idaho Transportation Dept. or dial 511, currently Hwy 55 is closed from mile marker 76-96 so if you need to leave here, you will have to go over Alder Creek to Harris Creek or drive to Lowman and go down through Idaho City. I’ve given you the contact info above, I would call them before I went out to make sure if the road has re-opened or not. This info was straight from Ben Roeber’s mouth! Also Hwy 21 at the Avalanche Gates (Banner Summit) is closed due to another fire.
I attended the briefing this morning, the type 1 Incident Command team took over last night, the reason they sent a Type 1 team here is so they have more “pull” to get crews, engines and air support for our fire. Resources are very low because of all the ongoing fires around the nation, so they are doing everything in their powers to get the resources we need to get our fire under control.
They are also bringing in an Area Command team to assess everything that is going on in our area, so they can put resources where they are needed most.
There was a rumor that a structure was lost in Banks, that is not true. Nothing has been lost to this point.
Don’t forget the meeting tomorrow Saturday at 1100 at the HS Gym, they will try and have as many of the team members there to answer your questions. Everyone is welcome to attend.
I will send you a follow up email of the fire map and photos that the team and Forest Service have sent me.
Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or concerns. I’ll be happy to help you out, or find the person that can do so. Just so you know I kind of have an idea of what’s going on, I have 7 years (when I was much younger) of wildland fire experience from working on an Engine on the Angeles National Forest, a Hot Shot on Arrowhead Hotshots and Helitack (here in GV as the first woman in 1980 and on the Mt. Hood N.F. prior to that), both Joe and my son’s Grady and Casey are Boise Hotshots and are on this fire.
Diane Caughlin, President
Garden Valley Chamber of Commerce
PO Box 10
Garden Valley, Idaho 83622

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