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Kootenai River Complex growth slowing

September 18, 2022

The amount of daylight in a 24-hour period, also known as ‘diurnal effects,’ has an impact on wildland fire behavior, especially during late season fires. The temperature, wind and humidity values fluctuate throughout the day. When the sun sets earlier in the day, this creates shadier spots on south facing mountain slopes and minimizes the pre-heating and drying of vegetation resulting in lower fire intensity during peak burn times.

Recent weather conditions have not resulted in any significant fire growth. An infrared flight detected a 69 acre increase in overall fire size, bringing the Kootenai River Complex tom 20,9908 acres. Reports off the fireline and from the air indicate the fire is mostly creeping and smoldering with some smoke from islands where the fire met unburned material. This fire behavior is allowing crews to focus on hazard tree removal, chipping and mop up operations along the fireline on Ball Creek Road north to Trout Creek Road and along the Westside Road. Minimal fire activity was also observed over the Katka Fire by a patrol helicopter.

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 and monitor fire activity.
Structure assessments around the homes adjacent to the Westside Road are complete; crews will continue to routinely test pumps, sprinklers and hoses. Fire activity is expected to be minimal.

Both the Russell Mountain and the Katka Fires will be monitored by the helicopters during the day and patrolled by engines from the ground at night.

The weather today will be mostly sunny. Temperatures in the valley will be 73-77 degrees with minimum relative humidity levels of 30- to 35-percent. Winds are forecasted to be light from the north at four to seven 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).

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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