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Update on county 'Ready, Set, Go' evacuation status

September 12, 2022

By Andrew O'Neel
Boundary County Public Information

Shannon Schaeffer photo
Fire reached the Westside Road on Saturday.
Fires in the Kootenai River Complex have now grown together and have all become the Russell Mountain Fire. At the daily operations briefing this morning the combined total acreage burned in all three fires in the complex was at just over 19,700 acres.

Hundreds of firefighters from around the country have labored around the clock to keep the Russell Fire to the west of Westside Road. They are allowing the fire to gently ease down the slope towards the containment lines that they have constructed using heavy machinery and hand-tools. Meanwhile, structure protection teams have prepared defenses around residents’ homes and are ready in case the fire behavior suddenly changes. Firefighting crews are patrolling the road to keep an eye out for spot fires and unexpected fire behavior.

Residents may see an increase in smoke today at the northwest edge of the former Eneas Peak Fire area, as the fire is expected to burn into an area of heavy fuels consisting of dead and downed trees.

An increase in wind activity this afternoon from a storm system north of Boundary County may produce wind gusts in the valley of 10-15 mph. Fire behavior analysts with the Incident Management Team say the wind could increase fire behavior in certain terrain, especially at the south end of the Russell Fire where the expected wind direction will align with slopes. The team is expecting it and have resources at the ready.

The Katka Fire is increasing in acreage at a relatively slow pace and fire managers have identified roads that will be used as control lines around the fire to prevent it from advancing. Fire activity on the Katka Fire will continue to be monitored. Helicopters remain available to be used for water delivery as needed however, the smoky conditions have prevented flying the past couple of days.

The following “Ready, Set, GO!” pre-evacuation preparations are still in place in Boundary County:
  • “Set” - Westside Road from the Kootenai Wildlife Refuge north to Farnham Creek, have been advised to be in the “Set” stage of evacuation preparation, to evacuate immediately if it becomes necessary. (Russell Mountain Fire)
  • “Ready” - Westside Road north of Farnham Creek to Kerr Lake Road have been advised to be in the “Ready” stage of evacuation to begin evacuation planning for their families, pets, and livestock. (Trout Fire)
  • “Ready” – Katka Road up from the lookout area, Two-Tail Road, Misty Mountain Road and Toboggan Lane have been advised to be in the “Ready” stage of evacuation to begin evacuation planning for their families, pets, and livestock. (Katka Fire)

Residents can receive emergency notifications by opting in to receive Nixle text alerts on their smartphones by texting 83805 to 888777.

Current evacuation preparation status information is also available in a recorded message on the Boundary County Emergency Information Line at 208-696-BOCO (2626).

Updates to evacuation preparedness stages will also be posted on the Boundary County Emergency Management/PIO Facebook page.

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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