Thursday’s Fall like weather provided for minimal fire growth for the majority of the day. Operations personnel were able to conduct a helicopter flight over all three fires to assess current fire behavior, growth and terrain; given the limited resources available, this is beneficial for planning and tactical operations in the coming days. With the fuel reduction and salvaging operations continuing, there will be an increased amount of heavy equipment on the roads around Lowell today. Due to being in National Preparedness Level 5 and a scarcity of national resources, local qualified volunteer fire department personnel are assisting on this fire. By doing this, they are increasing their experience working on larger, more complex fires and assisting their community when called upon.
The Eastern Area Incident Management Team (EA IMT) took over the Coolwater Complex Fires on September 9th at 6 pm. The Complex includes Andy’s Hump, Glover and the Old Man fires. The team is also supporting other fires on the Nez Perce- Clearwater as requested.
The main objectives include: safety of the firefighters and public, protection of private property, the historic Fenn Ranger Station and other identified values at risk, maintaining positive relationships with the public and cooperators and lastly the consideration of key resources in the area including cultural, Wild and Scenic Rivers, Inventoried Roadless and Wilderness and high value fisheries.
Andy’s Hump Fire:
The fire has had moderate activity for the last several days. The majority of the active burning occurred on the ridgetops with the fire slowly backing down, creeping and smoldering in the duff. Crews continued to improve fire line around the community of Lowell by installing hose lays and using heavy equipment to cut and remove heavy slash and timber to enhance pre-established fuel breaks. Additional work is being done to strategize for structure protection along the Selway River corridor to include USFS properties.
Yesterday’s flight observed several smokes burning on the interior of the fire perimeter. Minimal fire activity and growth occurred. The west side of the fire is burning into a previously burned area. This fire continues to be in monitor status.
Old Man Fire:
This fire showed the most activity in the northeast and northwest parts, with mostly backing down ridgetops with short uphill runs. Sparse vegetation resulted in minimal smoke. This fire continues in monitor status.