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Trestle Creek Complex unaffected by rain

by ANNISA KEITH
Staff Writer | August 10, 2021 1:00 AM

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Monday’s one-month anniversary of the Trestle Creek Complex fires saw 0% containment, and uneasiness over this week’s rising temperatures.

The fire, located about 4 miles north of Hope, is within 1 mile of residences in the Flume Creek area, and within half a mile of residences near the main fire. The main fire in the Trestle Creek Complex has not moved according to the latest InciWeb report on the fire.

“Crews have been diligent in setting up fire hose lines, pumps and sprinkler systems as a precautionary measure,” fire officials said regarding the proximity of the fires to residences, on InciWeb, an interagency fire tracking website.

Spot fires have been observed by firefighters ¾ of a mile from the main fire. Burning materials rolling down steep terrain are also credited with starting spot fires about the complex.

Fire crews are clearing the west side of the fire on Forest Road 1082. Old logging roads and properties are also being identified in efforts to more easily defend against the fire, officials said on the website. Sam Owen Fire District is continuing to implement a structure protection plan to protect private residences in the area by utilizing pumps, hoses, and sprinkler systems. Residents in Trestle Creek, Trout Creek, and Flume Creek areas remain in “ready” status, they added.

“Although cooler temperatures, higher humidity and a little rain worked in our favor, it has not been sufficient to shift the fire danger level,” according to fire officials on the InciWeb database. Roads and trails surrounding the Trestle Creek remain closed.

Road closures begin on Highway 200. Closures proceed northeast along the forest boundary until reaching the peak of Mount Pend Oreille. Continuing south, closures continue along the forest boundary to the headwaters of Fork Creek, and onwards to Forest Road 1184. Closures continue west until reaching Lightning Creek Road (Forest Road 419), proceeding to the forest boundary until converging with Highway 200.

Citing high winds, previous containment efforts on the fire have experienced setbacks. A Nevade Type 3 team resumed control over the fire on Aug. 4.

Sparked by lightning strikes on July 9, the Trestle Creek Complex began as six independent fires before several of the fires merged together. Once all but the largest of the fires — Trestle Fire 6 — was contained, authority of the complex was transferred back to regional agencies. However due to high winds and high temperatures, containment efforts were hampered, and the Nevada Type 3 team resumed management.

To date, the Trestle Complex has burned 3,586-acres. Ninety-eight fire personnel are fighting the fire. For the most up-to-date information, go to inciweb.nwcg.gov and search “Trestle Creek Complex.”

Other fires in Bonner County have been making advancements in containment efforts.

The Pioneer Fire two miles north of Priest River continues to be 100% contained and is undergoing mop-up operations.

The Burnt Peak fire 9 miles southwest of Troy, Mont. has burned 3,560-acres and is 46% contained. Indirect fire fighting efforts by Great Basin Team 6 are being implemented due to a lack of hand-crews, which could create the potential for fire growth. Torching, flanking, and backing techniques are being used to fight the fire.

The same team fighting the Burnt Peak fire are also fighting the South Yaak fire, 4 miles northwest of Troy. Burning 10,388-acres, the perimeter of the South Yaak fire is 34% contained. As with the Burnt Peak fire, torching, flanking, and backing techniques are being implemented.

All fires affecting Bonner County originated from lightning, but human diligence can help in preventing new fires from starting. A Stage II burn ban remains in effect for Bonner County. Outdoor fires remain prohibited, don’t park on dry grasses, don’t litter flammable materials, and be mindful of your surroundings.

photo

(Photo courtesy IDAHO PANHANDLE NATIONAL FORESTS)

The Trestle Creek Complex fire had a Type 3 Incident team resume control over fire fighting efforts on Aug. 4 due to high winds hampering containment of the fire.