Fires Continue To Burn In Central Idaho
Stanley/Salmon, Idaho (KMVT-TV) – Fire crews are gaining ground in the battle of lightning caused fires that are burning in the central Idaho Mountains. The fire called the Halstead fire, now burning three miles north of Stanley has chard 104,072 acres and is 7% contained. Officials at the scene are continuing to monitor today’s weather as forecasters are saying that a isolated thunderstorm is still possible today. A warming and drying trend should begin today with winds out of the south and southwest. Humidity will be around 20 percent and temperatures in the mid70’s. Firefighters will continue to monitor the Bench, Copper, and New fires today from the air as they haven’t shown smoke for several days. There was a large column of smoke visible from Stanley as the Halstead fire continued to burn in the Ibex drainage and move towards Lightning Creek. After infrared flight Sunday night, a roughly 100 acre spot was found about a mile east of East Basin Creek near Coal Creek and 1 ½ miles north of Hwy 75. Firefighters will set up for aerial ignitions near Valley Creek if weather allows. On the south and eastern side of the fire, the crews will finish installation of a heliwell at the Four Aces campground. Crews will continue to work with the dozer line that is south of Kelly Creek and bring the fire line down to tie in with the road at Joe’s Gulch road.
The Mustang Fire complex burning near Salmon in the Salmon-Challis National Forest is 11% contained and has burned 136,885 acres. Between the two fires over 1200 personnel are on the scene’s. The complex is under a Red Flag Warning today for thunderstorms and high winds. Moisture moving in from the south will increase clouds with a few isolated afternoon thunderstorms. Any storms that do develop will produce very little rain, gusty winds to 45 mph, and lightning. These dry and unstable conditions will produce a Haines Index of 5. Breezy southerly winds with gusts up to 30 mph are expected on the ridge tops and the south-to-north-aligned canyons after 1:00 pm.
No residences have been lost in Spring or Indian Creeks. Mandatory evacuations in the Spring Creek and Indian Creek drainage's remain in effect. An ongoing evaluation of the fire current situation in the evacuated areas is being conducted and re-entry will be announced as soon as it is possible for residents to return to their homes. A pre-evacuation notice has been issued from Gibbonsville south to and including North Fork. This pre-evacuation notice is intended to give residents time to prepare for a potential evacuation. These residents should visit the Ready, Set, Go website for important information that will help them prepare for a potential evacuation. www.wildlandfirersg.org
On the east side of the Mustang Fire, firefighters are building fire line from the Salmon River and Indian Creek intersection, up through the Indian Creek road matrix to the Butcherknife Ridge. This fire line will continue to be burned out as fire and weather conditions become conducive. On the north side of the Mustang Fire, fire is slowly moving toward the Gattin Ranch. The Lost Packer Fire is continuing to move to the west and has reached Lantz Bar. Unburned areas within the fire perimeter are continuing to burn.
Preparation of homes along the Highway 93 corridor will begin today as fire crews will be working within the corridor to install sprinkler systems. These crews will also clear hazardous fuels on National Forest lands. Homeowners are encouraged to talk with firefighters in the area to learn what they can do to remove hazards on their private property. The Salmon River road remains open; however, travelers should expect delays in the Indian and Spring Creek areas as active fire behavior is causing rocks and debris to roll down onto the road, along with smoky conditions that cause poor visibility.