Wildfire Briefing, September 4, 2015

Snow slows fire in Idaho

Elevenmile Fire snow
NWS photo by Ryan Walbrun, the Incident Meteorologist at the Elevenmile Fire.

The National Weather Service in Pocatello, Idaho reports that Friday morning snow fell at the Elevenmile Fire between Bonanza and Challis.

Due to a forecast that included rain and snow, firefighters were removed from high elevation spike camps on the fire Thursday.

The lightning-caused fire discovered on August 24 has burned over 10,300 acres.

Cyclist who started fire by burning his toilet paper may be on the hook for large dollars

The bicyclist who accidentally started a fire near Boise on July 22 by burning his soiled toilet paper may have to pay a fine as well as a portion of the suppression costs. The Idaho Statesman reported that BLM spokesperson Carrie Bilbao said the costs are likely to be between $50,000 and $75,000 which includes the use of four air tankers and three helicopters. The fire was stopped before it approached homes after burning 73 acres.

Scooping air tankers drop 182,000 gallons on a fire in Montana

Below are excerpts from an article at KPAX about firefighting aircraft working out of Helena, Montana this summer:


“In an average year we have 15 to 20 aircraft that come through in a season,” says Helena National Forest public affairs officer Kathy Bushnell. “So far this year, we’ve had 20-plus different aircraft come through.”

Thanks to its location, aircraft staged here can reach many parts of central Montana quickly. The Aviation Center serves multiple aircraft.

“Helicopters, we have air tankers, single-engine air tankers, heavy air tankers that’ll come in depending on what is ordered for the fires,” Bushnell said.

This week, firefighters are also getting an assist from visitors from Canada, CL-415 water bombers.

“We requested some additional aircraft to come out to help us with the fires here in Montana, Idaho, and Washington,” said Bushnell.

The bomber scoops water from lakes into huge tanks – 1,600 gallons in 12 seconds.

The water bombers arrived in town Monday. On Tuesday, they were hard at work on the Bray Fire burning north of Holter Lake.

“They worked about six flight hours,” according to Bushnell. “They were able to do 112 loads which equates to about 182,000 gallons of water that was used on the fire.”

Health warning in California due to wildfire smoke

The Rough Fire east of Fresno, California has prompted the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District to issue a health warning to people headed to the mountains and foothills of Tulare and Fresno counties this weekend.

The district says children and the elderly are especially vulnerable.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

One thought on “Wildfire Briefing, September 4, 2015”

  1. Would this be THE Martin creek where Rufus Robinson and Earl Cooley made the first fire jump 75 years ago?


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