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U.S.F.S. fires update: 155 personnel working out of fairgrounds base camp

September 4, 2022

At 6 a.m. today, Northern Rockies Type 2 Incident Management Team 4 and incident commander Rick Connell assumed command of the Kootenai River Complex of fires. Yesterday, the smoke inversion layer kept fire activity quiet until later in the day when the inversion partially lifted and evening winds caused an increase in fire activity. The overnight infrared detection flight mapped an increase in size by 2,437 acres to 9,421 acres on the complex, with most growth occurring on the Trout, Russell Mountain and Scotch Creek Fires.

An incident command and base camp to support fire crews and engines is being established at the Boundary County Fairgrounds and 155 personnel are now working the fires. Additional crews and engines have been ordered and will be arriving over the next several days. One heavy helicopter and one medium helicopter are now assigned to the fire and several other helicopters are available to be borrowed as needed.

Direct suppression efforts continue on the Katka Fire, at 52-acres this morning with one type 2 crew and a Hotshot crew arriving tomorrow. Helicopters and airplanes will be used to monitor and take fire suppression actions as needed on the Scotch Creek, Eneas Peak, Trout, and Russell Mountain Fires.

Engines and crews continue to assess and prepare structure protection equipment and measures for the private properties and structures located along the Westside Road.

Due to active fires and fire suppression activities, visitors are advised to avoid Ball Creek Road (FR 432), Trout Creek Road (FR 634) and trails. Additional trails to avoid include Russell Mountain (No. 12), Russell Ridge (No. 92), Ball and Pyramid Lakes (No. 43), Pyramid Pass Trail (No. 13), Pyramid Peak (No. 7), Fisher Peak (No. 27), Trout Lake (No. 41), McGinty Ridge Trail (No. 143), Clifty Mountain and Clifty/Burrow Trail (No. 182).

There are no evacuations currently in place, however, those living on the Westside Road closest to Ball Creek, Burton Creek and Clark Creek have been placed in the "set" fire evacuation status. Set is the stage of readiness before an actual evacuation takes place. If not voluntarily evacuating already, residents in this stage are advised to at least gather their evacuation supplies or pre-load them into their vehicles to enable a quick exit if evacuation is triggered.

When living in fire-prone areas, all residents should have an evacuation plan, including all essential documents, pictures, prescriptions and pets, and be quickly transportable.

Temporary flight restrictions are in place for air space over the Katka Fire (2-1234) to lesson impacts to local aviation operators. Remember that temporary flight restrictions also apply to unmanned aircraft systems, or drones. If you fly, we can’t!

Questions or Comments? Send us an email!

Mike Weland, Publisher

6931 Main St.
P.O. Box 1625
Bonners Ferry, ID 83805
(208) 295-1016

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