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Rabbit Foot Fire

Unit Information

Salmon-Challis National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
1206 S. Challis Street
Salmon, ID 83467

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Incident Contact

David Eaker
Email: RabbitFootFire2018@gmail.com
Phone: 208-879-1243
Hours: 8 am to 9 pm

August 16 perimeter map  showing fire perimeter and strategic segments of operational suppression planningImage options: [ Full Size ]

Yesterday focused on utilizing areas where roads, natural features, and changes in fuel types could be used for establishing anchor points as well as constructing indirect fire lines. The west side of the fire contingency line construction continued, with bundling of trees cut by a feller-buncher and point protection implementation. A total of more than 30 miles of existing roads have been improved using mechanized equipment. Between Panther Creek and Moyer Basin, on the northwest side of the fire, preparation continued for burning operations when conditions are favorable. Crews and dozers had also completed nearly 20 miles of indirect line in preparation for containing the approaching fire. There were technical communication issues during yesterday’s shift. Radio repeaters were temporarily down for 2 hours due to equipment failure. Firefighters disengaged from work during this time, due to safety concerns because of no communication capability. They reengaged when coverage was reestablished.

Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypeWildfire
CauseLightning/natural
Date of OriginThursday August 02nd, 2018 approx. 12:30 PM
Location22 Nautical Miles North of Challis, ID
Incident CommanderTony DeMasters IC, Great Basin Type1 Incident Management Team
Incident DescriptionWildfire
Coordinates44.856 latitude, -114.307 longitude

Current Situation

Total Personnel655
Size29,075 Acres
Estimated Containment DateWednesday October 31st, 2018 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels Involved

Fire is burning in subalpine fir and lodgepole pine with intermixed beetle kill throughout in the upper elevations. On the mid to lower slopes the fuel type transitions to a flashy sagebrush and grass mix, with stringers of continuous timber leading to the upper elevations within many of the draws. Fuel load within the fire perimeter averages 222 tons per acre. Fuels adjacent to the fire are similar on all sides.

Significant Events

Very active burning continued into the evening last night with dry conditions and poor humidity recovery. A slight increase in atmospheric moisture today along with lingering smoke resulted in decreased fire activity.

Outlook

Planned Actions

Feller buncher machines continue to thin timber on the northwest side of the fire in preparation for a burnout operation. On the north side of the fire, control line and road preparation operations continue. Resource advisors work closely with Branch Chief and Division Supervisors to scout and approve control lines throughout the incident. Structure protection assessments continue in this area. Two helicopters and one rappel crew are being utilized for initial attack responsibilities on the incident. Dozer and handline construction continues on the southeast side of the fire. Dozer and handline is complete tying into the Van Horn Fire of 2007 and the 061 road. Crews have begun burnout operations today and expect to complete 600 acres by the end of shift Friday. Successful implementation of this burnout will provide an anchor point for the south side of the fire. The southwest side of the fires is being scouted for opportunities to contain fire in previously burned areas and natural features. Access into this area will be difficult due to lack of road infrastructure. A project aviation safety plan was approved for anticipated aerial ignition operation when appropriate conditions occur. Resources have completed wrapping of some high value structures and will continue to identify and mitigate threats to structures, towers, communication infrastructure, and other values at risk.

Projected Incident Activity

Moderate fire activity is anticipated into the evening. The slight chance of dry thunderstorms brings concern for gusty and erratic winds along with dramatic changes in fire behavior.

Current Weather

Weather Concerns

Isolated to scattered thunderstorms at first dry through early Friday afternoon and the becoming wetter Friday evening, sill pose a critical fire weather threat across the incident area through early Saturday morning.