Mustang Complex Fire Update For Monday


By Paul Johnson

North Fork, Idaho (KMVT-TV) - The fire burning near North Fork has grown to 323,893 acres. Officials say Sunday’s fire activity on the east side of Highway 93 remained to the west of Little Silverlead Creek. In total 157 acres burned. The cause is still under investigation. Helicopters worked for several hours on Sunday dropping water to cool the fire while hotshot crews continued improving fire lines. Fire managers are cautiously optimistic that firefighters have contained the spread. In Hughes Creek, firefighters burned out another 1¾ miles of line, which slowly backed down to the creek. In Hull Creek, hotshot crews completed burning around the structures and backed that fire down to the road as well. Firefighters will work today to complete burnouts in these areas.

The evacuation order has been changed for residents in Sage Creek and for residents along the Highway 93 corridor from North Fork ( mile post 326.5) to Quartz Creek (mile post 339.6), just north of Gibbonsville, Idaho, including the Ditch Creek, Hughes Creek, and Hull Creek areas. The evacuation level for all areas has been reduced from Level 3 to Level 2, effective 6:00 am Monday, September 17. A level 2 indicates a situation where dangerous conditions exist and may threaten residents or homes. Residents must be fully prepared to leave at a moment’s notice.

Highway 93 is currently open. The public can expect thick smoke between North Fork and south of Gibbonsville. Travelers along Highway 93 should drive with headlights on and reduce their speed as fire personnel and equipment are working along the roadway.
A community meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 18, 2012 at 7 p.m. at the North Fork Community Church. The public is encouraged to attend for the latest information on the Mustang Complex Wildfires.

Montana fire crews improved the lines that will anchor the Johnson Creek area to the 2011 Saddle Complex Fire and the 2012 Chrandal Fire. Weather conditions did not allow for burnout operations on Sunday, as humidity levels remained too high. Crews continued to improve fire line in the Mine Creek area. The fir4e fire has now passed north of the Gattin Ranch area of Idaho and is now being monitored and in patrol status. While the structures are no longer immediately threatened, sprinklers and hose are still in place. The area of Hughes Creek, Montana to the Idaho state line remains under a stage 1 evacuation. Residents in this area have a high probability of need to evacuate and should remain vigilant.
Todays forecast calls for mostly sunny skies. Temperatures are predicted to be 59 to 69 at higher altitudes, and 70 to 79 at lower elevations. Relative humidity should be between 20 and 28 percent. Valley bottom and mid-slope winds becoming up slope between 3 and 7 mph. Ridge top winds west northwest around 5 mph with afternoon gusts to 10 mph. Haines Index 3.

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