Home News Sports/Outdoors Social Business Calendar

Events & Entertainment Letters Obituaries Archives Advertise
Search ...

Kootenai River Complex to be transitioned to district

September 27, 2022

USFS photo
Fire behavior was a little more active causing widespread smoke and fog at lower elevations due to an inversion layer coupled with light winds. This made fire progression monitoring challenging for operations at night and in the early mornings, including the ability to monitor control lines by air. The Kootenai River Complex is at 21,805 acres, Russell Mountain Fire 21,472 acres, Katka Fire 333 acres, up 617 acres in the week since Wednesday, September 21.

More smoke expected in the lower elevations with another day of heavy air settling over the area. Crews will be actively looking for opportunities for suppression repair in areas that will not impact secure control lines.

Dead and down heavy fuels continue to be the main carrier of fire, particularly on the southern and eastern slopes. The main operations firefighters are focusing on are reinforcing and patrolling fire control lines, mitigating hazard trees and snags, and chipping cut materials.

As the complexity of fires change, so does the infrastructure supporting those fires. The Eastern Area Incident Management Team is expected to transition the command of the Kootenai River Complex, back to the Bonners Ferry Ranger District this weekend.

Over the next several days, some resources on the fire will be timing out or shifting their efforts to other objectives such as suppression repair.

Fire intensity is expected to remain low, smoldering and creeping through dead and down fuels. Priorities are reinforcing and patrolling fire control lines and monitoring fire behavior, especially in canyons that have shown recent activity. There will still be testing of structure protection equipment, chipping, excavating and hazard tree removal.

The Katka Fire and Long Canyon Fire have shown minimal fire growth and will continue to be unstaffed and monitored by aircraft if conditions are safe for flying.

Weather patterns will be warm and dry through Wednesday, but winds should be relatively calm. High temperatures in the valley will be in the upper 70s to low 80s with minimum relative humidity hovering around 25- to 37-percent. On Thursday, temperatures are expected to drop 20 degrees with a chance of precipitation.

Due to active fires and fire suppression activities, Westside Road is restricted to residents only. Additionally, the following National Forest Trails and Roads 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).

Temporary flight restrictions remain in place for air space over the Katka Fire (2-2384) and the Russell Mountain Fire (2-1621) for aviation safety, including 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

A 9B Media LLC publication
Sign up for breaking news alerts