Home News Sports/Outdoors Social Business Calendar

Events & Entertainment Letters Obituaries Archives Advertise
Search ...

Kootenai River Complex fires grow to 12,487 acres

September 6, 2022

Shannon Shaeffer photo
Fire crews setting up to protect homes on Westside Road.
As of 9:08 a.m., the Kootenai River Complex encompasses 12,487 acres, an increase of 1,707 acres since Monday. Fire officials expect continued growth to the east and north, and an increase in fire activity mid-week due to red flag fire weather conditions. Increased efforts are underway to protect homes on the West Side Road, with several now less than a mile from the encroaching flames.

The greatest risk will be Wednesday and Thursday and numerous are expected to increase in size and intensity as shifting winds align with slopes over the next 72 hours.

At present, 168 personnel are working the fires, staging from the Boundary County Fairgrounds.

As of this morning, the Eneas Peak Fire is at 1,775 acres, the Trout Fire at 2,489 acres, Russell Mountain at 5,954 acres, the Scotch Creek at 2,195 acres. The Katka Fire is at 73 acres and the new Debt Fire, named ysterday, is at one acre.

Crews conducted structure assessments and installed structure protection equipment on private properties located along the Westside Road.

Bucket water drops were conducted to slow fire spread along the eastern sides of the Scotch and Russell Mountain Fires. Heavy equipment was used to start preparing old forest roads located to the west of the Westside Road as firelines.

On the Katka Fire crews scouted the fire area on the ground and by helicopter to assess the high risks to firefighter safety. Due to steep terrain, dead or fire weakened trees that could fall at any time, and a long hike into the fire area it was determined that an indirect fire suppression strategy needs to be developed.

Fire crews will look at existing road systems and other opportunities to develop a new plan with indirect firelines which provides for firefighter safety by reducing the risk exposure that existed by hiking into a remote location with dead trees and steep terrain.

On the Scotch Creek, Russell Mountain, Eneas Peak, and Trout Fires, helicopter bucket water drops will be done along the east side on the fires if wind and smoke conditions allow. Heavy equipment will be used to construct firelines in some locations west of the Westside Road.

Structure protection preparations on private properties located along the Westside Road will continue. The night shift will monitor fire activity and patrol the roads near the fire area overnight.

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 (No. 13), Pyramid Peak (No. 7), Fisher Peak (No. 27), Trout Lake (No. 41), McGinty Ridge (No. 143), Clifty Mountain and Clifty/Burrow (No. 182). 

There  are currently no evacuations in effect, though Westside Road residents closest to Ball Creek, Burton Creek, and Clark Creek have been placed in the "set" fire evacuation status in the Ready, Set, Go evacuation protocol. Flight restrictions remain in effect over all fires, to include flights by drones.

Questions or Comments? Send us an email!

Mike Weland, Publisher

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

A 9B Media LLC publication
Sign up for breaking news alerts