Thursday, August 8, 2013

Dry Fuel Threatens Ridge Fire

The Ridge Fire, located about 14 miles northeast of Lowman, Idaho, continues to show some activity with some interior burning and in the past few days, burning just outside of the fireline built earlier on a site near the west flank.

The overall concerns today (Aug 8) are the new multiple fire starts from lightning and the ability to deal with them and the 50-acre Ridge spot fire that is burning on the west flank, in the upper Clear Creek drainage. That fire was caused by trees torching inside the fireline, which cast embers outside of the line, starting the new fire, which is a priority. 
(Photos: Aerial shots of rapid increase of flame in a 4-minute window, which shows the dryness and potential for quick fire growth. With the abundance of dry fuel, insect-killed dead standing timber, and steep slopes, fire fighter safety is important)

Yesterday, a twenty-person fire crew was flown into the area, and is establishing a fireline, using what is called an anchor point to begin. The hope is then to work along the fire flanks and contain it. Two additional fire crews have been ordered, and two helicopters worked Wednesday to cool and slow the spot fire movement.

The fire has burned 5,315 acres and is 46 percent contained. Elsewhere, most of the perimeter is cool with no, or minimal, smokes showing. There continues to be some torching of trees and under burning just south of the Castro and 8-mile Creek junction, with very slow movement south in that area. The old Castro Fire (2011) is acting as a fuel buffer, and holding any easterly movement of the fire. In addition, the old 8-Mile Fire (2009) to the south is a barrier.

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