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Just 18 acres growth on Kootenai River Complex Fires

September 17, 2022

USFS photo
Today is a transition day on the Kootenai River Complex Fires. The Type 2 Eastern Gold Team is shadowing Northern Rockies Team 4 in all aspects of managing this complex of fires. Personnel in all functions will share information and details from what has been experienced and completed over the past two weeks and help set up the new team to be successful managing the fires moving forward. Incident Management Teams are typically on assignment for 14 days, so this transition is a regular part of managing a large fire.

The complex is now at 20,839 acres, up 18 acres from Friday morning. The Russell Mountain Fire is at b20,528 acres, the Katka Fire at 310. There are 338 personnel on the fires, which remain at 79-percent completion.

Crews worked on chipping the vegetation material yesterday that was thinned along the Westside Road north of Trout Creek Road. From Ball Creek Road north to Trout Creek Road firefighters worked on hazard tree removal and mop up along the fireline. In addition, some remaining hand fireline work was completed near Ball Creek Road.

The Cascade Creek Fire discovered on Thursday was controlled at .10 acre in size. Two new fires were discovered by air on Friday, the Yellow Creek Fire was staffed and controlled at .10 acre and the Long Canyon Fire is less than .10 acre and currently unstaffed.

Minimal fire activity was observed on the Katka Fire.

Today, firefighters will continue chipping the vegetation material that was thinned along the Westside Road from Trout Creek Road north to Fisher Creek. From Ball Creek Road north to Trout Creek Road crews will continue to mop up along the fireline, remove hazard trees, monitor fire activity, and check on structure protection equipment.

Incoming and outgoing fire operations personnel will be on the fireline to share and learn what has been done on the fireline and what work remains to be done. Fire activity is expected to be minimal.

The Katka Fire will be monitored by the air. Helicopters are available for air monitoring over both fires and for water delivery as needed if the smoke and weather conditions allow for safe flying.

The weather today will be mostly sunny. Temperatures in the valley will be 67-74 degrees with minimum Relative Humidity levels of 30- to 45-percent. Winds are forecasted to be from the northeast at three to five miles per hour.

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. Yesterday, those living on the Westside Road closest to Ball Creek, Burton Creek, and Clark Creek were moved back to the "ready" fire evacuation status.

Temporary flight restrictions remain in place for air space over the Katka Fire (2-7802) and the Russell Mountain Fire (2-1621) for aviation safety to include 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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