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BPA shuts down power line for crews to work West Mullan Fire

Published On: Jul 21 2013 10:45:45 PM MDT
West Mullan Fire Superior

MISSOULA, Mont. -

The following is a press release from the Northern Rockies Incident Management Team:

Good progress was made on the fire overall today, and even with high fire activity crews remained safe and no injuries occurred. Fire line was completed through the middle of the north line despite steep terrain, high temperatures, and erratic winds on ridge tops. Bonneville Power Administration de-energized the high voltage power line for firefighter safety for about three hours this afternoon while crews worked through the northern part of the fire.

Full perimeter control and firefighter safety objectives remain priority.  Night operations intend to work on the remaining amount of line in the far northwest section of the fire and hold constructed line on the remainder of the fire perimeter. Crews will also continue patrolling and cooling hotspots along Mullan Road and Flat Creek while watching for any possible fire outside the line.

Again, fire behavior is expected to be very active for the next 24 hours with high temperatures and very low humidity. Concerns include short crown fire runs, rollouts and short range spotting. The fire continues to be weather and topography driven and crews are working in very hot conditions on steep, dangerous terrain.

A portable retardant plant has been set up at the Big Eddy fishing access site. This allows for rapid retardant support to the helicopter operations. Due to critical weather and the predicted fire activity, the public is encouraged to be vigilant especially near residences for rolling rocks, burning stumps, and other debris that may come off the mountain as fire progresses through the area.

Area closures and evacuation orders are still in place. West Mullan Road is open to the public east of Sunflower Lane, however, west of Sunflower Lane is open to residents only. Flat Creek Road is open within the Superior city limits. East Mullan Road is open to everyone. Big Eddy Fishing Access remains closed.