The following press release is from Northern Rockies Incident Management Team:
This morning firefighters will complete the burnout operations to help improve and secure the northeast portion of the fireline. This work will remove unburned fuels between the fire and the fireline, and make the line much more defensible. Crews will then focus their efforts on mop-up.
In the remainder of the fire area firefighters will continue to grid for hotspots near the fireline and extinguish them when located. They are also focusing on “backhauling” supplies that are no longer needed. Empty gas cans, fire hose, tools, garbage and the like are gathered from the fireline and brought back to camp. Rehabilitation of some roads and dozer firelines has begun in areas of the fire where it is safe to do so.
The orderly release of crews and equipment which are no longer required for the West Mullan Fire will continue today. There are still numerous engines, dozers, water tenders and crews left to continue the mop-up, patrol and rehabilitation on the fire.
Area closures remain in effect, but the evacuation order for people living up Keystone, Pardee and Flat creeks was lifted at 8 p.m. Wednesday. Residents only will be allowed to return to their homes. These roads remain closed to the general public and the fire area also remains closed to the public.
Unburned green islands within the fire’s perimeter will continue to burn out and could create some flames and smoke for the next several weeks. These small areas have been dried out by the passing fire and surrounding burned area, and can readily ignite by a spark or smoldering vegetation next to the unburned island.
Local areas have now moved into Extreme fire danger and the public is reminded that Stage I restrictions will be in effect August 1. The fire remains at 6300 acres. Stage I fire restrictions apply to campfires and smoking.