Idaho Fires Rage On
Fires in Idaho continue to rage on. The Mustang Complex Fire which was started by a lightning strike on the weekend of July 28-29 is currently only 5% contained and over 85,000 have been affected. The Broomtail Fire combined with the Mustang Fire and have burned together. The other active fires, Roan, Cayuse, and East Butte, continue to show some activity and increase in size. The potential for the growth of this fire is high and the terrain the firefighters are dealing with is considered extreme due to steep inaccessible terrain. Some fires are currently not staffed due to safety concerns. The Mustang Complex is currently backing down Colson Creek towards the Salmon River. There is currently no estimation on when this fire will be contained.
The Halstead Fire also started with a lightning strike on July 27. At this point the active fire is over 58,000 acres and over 77,000 acres have been affected and this fire is only 3% contained. A weak cold front is passing through the area and it brings a very high potential for fire spread to the southeast from the southern edge of the fire perimeter, to the east/southeast along Basin Creek drainage and in the area near the West Fork of Yankee Creek. Both the growth potential of the fire and the terrain in which they are fighting this fire are extreme. There is no projected date for containment.
Unlike the other two fire, the Trinity Ridge Fire's cause was human in nature. This fire started on August 3 and has currently affected over 68,000 acres. It is 3% contained. This fire is directly affecting towns and evacuations of certain zones are already in place. As fire advances on the west flank, firefighters will continue to provide structure protection in Alexander Flats and Barber Flat. To the north crews will continue to address protection needs in Atlanta and protect the Swanholm Lookout. Growth potential for this fire is extreme and the terrain is difficult. The projected date for contained is October 1.
This natural-color satellite image shows smoke from the fires streaming east. It was collected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Aqua satellite on August 14, 2012. Actively burning areas, detected by MODIS’s thermal bands, are outlined in red.
NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz LANCE/EOSDIS MODIS Rapid Response Team, GSFC. Caption by Lynn Jenner with information from the inciweb.org site