Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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Crews battle Buckskin 2 Fire

by CAROLINE LOBSINGER
Staff Writer | August 8, 2023 1:00 AM

CLARK FORK — Firefighters are working to gain control of the Buckskin 2 Fire, located eight miles south of the city.

The fire, which is being fought by a Type 3 team out of the Sandpoint Ranger District, has burned an estimated 180 acres since it was reported Aug. 4. There are five engines, two hand crews, two firefighter modules, and a dozer assigned to the fire, which is on the Idaho Panhandle National Forests.

"The primary objectives for fire officials managing the Buckskin 2 Fire are firefighter and public safety while working to keep it as small as possible," officials said in a daily update released Monday.

Two Interagency Hotshot Crews are scouting the northwest and eastern perimeters for areas to go with the assistance of heavy equipment. The two modules of firefighters have begun to build a direct uphill line along the southwest edge, officials said.

The fire remains roughly two miles from the nearest residence. As part of a structure protection plan, fire crews were expected to wrap up efforts in Twin Creek on Monday. Once complete, crews will begin protection efforts in the Dry Creek area.

On Sunday, officials said the fire was active, with some single and group tree torching.

Two Type 1 helicopters and four small, agile air tankers are assisting with suppression efforts. Aircraft are being shared with fires around the area but will be available as needed, officials said.

Residents in the Twin Creek and Rearden Road areas have been placed on "Ready" status and advised to be aware of the possible threat caused by the fire.

Under the "Ready" status of the ‘Ready, Set, Go’ evacuation planning stages, residents are advised to have a plan to evacuate if necessary. "Set" status asks residents to begin putting their plan into place. Under "Go" status, residents are told to leave immediately due to an imminent threat.

Beginning at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday Stage II fire restrictions will be in effect on lands managed or administered by the U.S. Forest Service, Idaho Panhandle National Forests, the Bureau of Land Management, the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, the Idaho Department of Lands, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai and Shoshone counties.

This also includes National Forest System lands in Washington and Montana that are administered by the Idaho Panhandle National Forests. Restrictions will remain in effect until further notice.

To view the fire restriction plan and a statewide map with current information regarding fire restrictions, go online to idaho.gov/fire-management/fire-restrictions-finder.

Consalus Fire

The Consalus Fire has burned an estimated 475 acres and remains 70% contained, USFS officials said. Crews continue to patrol and monitor the fire while working to complete the tasks outlined in the suppression repair plan.

Officials said smoke continues to be visible at times from pockets of unburned fuels that are well within the perimeter of the fire. Heavy equipment will be working on the roads impacted by fire activity for the foreseeable future; therefore, a forest closure order will remain in effect until further notice.

The Consalus Fire, located 10 miles west of Coolin, Idaho, in Pend Oreille County, Wash., was reported June 30. The fire, which has burned an estimated 471 acres, is 70% contained. There are 64 fire personnel assigned to the fire.

Road and trail closures

Bee Top Fire: There are no closures listed.

Consalus Fire: Forest Service Road 1108 is closed from the junction with FSR 333 to the junction with FSR 659. FSR 1094 will remain open for the first 4.5 miles from the junction with FSR 312, however, the remainder will be closed to the junction with FSR 1108. FSR 659 is closed from the junction with FSR 312 to the junction with FSR 659B; and FSR 333 from the junction with FSR 2730 to its end.

There is a temporary flight restriction over the fire area. Flying civilian drones is prohibited and could ground firefighting crews. If you fly, they can’t.

Buckskin Fire — The intersection of USFS roads 203 and 332 as well as the intersection of 1021 and 332 and also 1533 and 306 in Clark Fork are closed. UTV Trail 77 goes right into the drainage where the fire is burning and is also being closed.

Information: inciweb.nwcg.gov