Red Flag warnings brought stronger winds and low humidities to one of the megafires in Idaho, but as of 4 p.m. on Monday, the winds have not been quite as powerful as predicted in the Red Flag Warning that covered Sunday and Monday.
On the Mustang Complex the winds did not hit until 6 p.m. on Sunday. At the Squaw Creek weather station on the east side of the fire they averaged 10 to 13 mph with gusts of 18 to 27 for about six hours, then slowed until they increased at 2 p.m. on Monday, blowing at 11 mph with gusts to 21 along with a RH of 13%. But at the Pinyon Peak weather station farther west the winds have been consistently strong, averaging around 20 mph with gusts in the 30s and 40s.
There were some areas of growth in the northwest corner of the fire in a wilderness area.Additional activity was near the Gattin Ranch, but with support from helicopter water drops firefighters were able to defend the community. The anticipated fire growth along the Highway 93 corridor only occurred in the southeastern corner of the fire near North Fork, where the fire progressed down Donnelly Gulch towards the Salmon River.
Firefighters on the fire are not using any air tankers, but say the helicopters are sufficient for thier needs. They recorded 38 hours of time on the ships Sunday.
Evacuation orders are still in effect for the Highway 93 corridor.
Strong winds have not occurred on this fire. Over the last 24 hours they have been averaging from 1 to 5 mph with some gusts at 12 to 20. But the RH Monday afternoon has been in the single digits at a nearby weather station.
The fire is showing very little heat detected by satellites, however there are two areas on the east side with heat near the perimeter that could be problematic.
This fire has also been spared from the strong winds mentioned in the Red Flag Warning for Sunday and Monday. Fire managers were thinking that if the fire made it through the Red Flag Warning with no significant growth then it would be pretty much over. However on Sunday there was additional growth on the north side amounting to over 600 acres. The fire did not use any helicopter time on Sunday, in fact they loaned two Type 1 helicopters to other fires, the Mustang Complex and a new fire near Boise.