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Three west side fires merge into two

September 11, 2022

Shannon Schaeffer photo
Soke risese behind a Westside Road home.
Yesterday, the Russell Mountain Fire continued to slowly back down the mountain slope west of the Westside Road. The observed fire activity continued to be low intensity, with backing ground fire slowly moving downhill. The fire reached the constructed fireline and Westside Road in several locations between Trout Creek Road and Ball Creek Road as the Kootenai River Complex Fires grew to 19,304 acres, up 840 acres from Saturday morning.

On the west side, the three fires of yesterday morning converged into two, the Trout, at 7,034 acres as measured by infrared during an overflight at about 6:44 a.m. today, and the, Russell Mountain Fire, 11,958 acres in size. The Katka Fire stands at 262 acres, up 17 acres from the previous morning.

Fire Crews and engines continue to be in place during the day and night shifts to hold and suppress the fire as it reaches the fireline and road.

With light winds, the fire activity on the Katka Fire was again observed to be low to moderate.

Fireline construction will continue north of the Trout Creek Road with heavy equipment removing vegetation and crews setting up water hose systems. The fire is expected to slowly back downhill towards the road and fireline. Firefighters and engines will continue to hold and suppress the fire as it reaches the constructed lines and road along and near the Westside Road.
Crews have been preparing roads and structure protection equipment as well as constructed fireline in anticipation of the fire moving downslope in these areas.

Weather conditions are expected to be very smokey with light winds and additional smoke moving into the area from other fires to the west.

Fire activity on the Katka Fire will continue to be monitored. Helicopters remain available to be used for water delivery as needed however, smoke conditions will likely prevent flying today.

Temperatures will be warm with highs near 80 degrees as high pressure remains in place over northern Idaho. Relative humidity levels will drop as low as 20- to 25-percent in the afternoon. Winds over the fire area will remain terrain driven going upslope at five miles per hour during the day and then becoming downslope in the evening.

Due to active fires and fire suppression activities, the Westside Road is restricted to residents-only. Additionally, the following National Forest Trails are now closed: Ball Creek Road (FR 432), Trout Creek Road (FR 634), 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), Myrtle Peak Trail (No. 286), and Burton Peak Trail (No. 9).

There are no evacuations currently in place and temporary flight restrictions remain in place.

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
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