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Kootenai River Complex at 79-percent completion

September 13, 2022

USFS photo
Due to cloud cover, the overnight infrared detection flight was not able to fly last night and therefore no change in fire size was recorded today. Completion, a newer phrase in Wildland Fire, relates to the rate at which certain parts of the incident objectives have been completed. At present 346 personnel working the fires have reached 79-percent completion, the rate at which firelines have been completed alongside and using the Westside Road.

A fireline is a line of varying width constructed in the area within or adjacent to the perimeter of an uncontrolled wildfire to create the safest and most effect area where action can be taken to contain the fire.

Yesterday, smoky and hazy skies and light winds kept fire activity minimal. The Russell Mountain and Katka Fires continue to burn at low intensity with backing ground fire moving slowly downhill.

Firefighters continued to improve fireline, thin vegetation along Westside Road, and remained in place during both the day and night shifts to hold and suppress the fire as it reaches the fireline and Westside Road between Trout Creek and Ball Creek Road.

Crews will continue to work today along several parts of the Westside Road to thin out vegetation and make the roadside more defensible for when the fire reaches the road. The fire is expected to continue backing downhill towards the fireline and Westside Road. The Structure Protection Group will test pumps, hose, and sprinklers to make sure the areas around private structures remain prepared for when the fire arrives.

The Katka Fire will be monitored throughout the day. Helicopters are available to be used for water delivery as needed however, smoke conditions will likely prevent flying.

The weather today will be cloudy with smoke and haze. The smoke might start to clear out a little by mid-afternoon. Temperatures in the valley will be 75 to 81 degrees with minimum Relative Humidity levels at 35-45%. Winds will be light from the south at 3-6 mph.

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, 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. Temporary flight restrictions remain in place for air space over the Katka Fire (2-1234) and the Scotch Creek, Russell Mountain, Eneas Peak, and Trout Fires (2-1621) for aviation safety. Remember that temporary flight restrictions also apply to 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

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