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Gold Pan Complex Fire surpasses 14,000 acres

Published On: Jul 31 2013 12:17:52 PM MDT
Gold Pan Fire

Gold pan fire air patrol photo: July 21, 2013

DARBY, Mont. -

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

Summary: Greg Poncin’s Northern Rockies National Incident Management Team assumed command of the Gold Pan Complex at 6 AM this morning. The fire was active again yesterday increasing to 14,012 acres.  The inversion lifted early in the day causing the fire to increase in activity and spot north across the Magruder road in the vicinity of Deep Creek campground. There was also spotting across the road near Kim’s Saddle.  The east flank of the fire remains West of the Hells Half Acre Saddle and South of Pole Mountain.  It has not crossed the Hells Half Acre Road.

The Magruder road closure on the east side of the fire has been moved back to the Fales Flat campground on the Nez Perce road. This was done to allow safe use of Nez Perce Pass for helicopter operations. Fales Flat campground remains open to the public.  The Magruder road closure on the West side of the fire remains at Observation Point.

Today crews will concentrate on yesterday’s spot fires in an attempt to contain the fire South of the Magruder Road, conduct structure protection assessments along the Paradise Road and continue to protect the structures within the fire area including the Slow Gulch Cabin.

Today’s weather will bring hotter and drier conditions over the fire area.  A moist southwest flow aloft will increase the potential for late afternoon and evening thunderstorms.

The Goat fire is located southeast of Salmon Mountain lookout. Minimal fire activity has been observed as it is located on a rocky east facing slope with little fuel. The fire area remains at approximately 11 acres and is being monitored.

Area Closure: There is a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) of seven nautical miles surrounding the fire area. An emergency closure remains in place surrounding the fire area.   To see a map of the closure visit http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3538/ .  All forest service roads and trails within this area are closed. Road guards remain at closures along the Magruder road to divert traffic.

Smoke & Haze: Smoke will likely continue to settle in the southern Bitterroot Valley, possibly drifting to North Fork and Salmon, Idaho.  There are several fires burning in surrounding National Forests that are contributing to the smoke & haze in the Bitterroot Valley.       

For the latest fire information and photos http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3538/ .  Stay in touch with the Bitterroot National Forest through www.facebook.com/DiscoverTheBitterroot and www.twitter.com/BitterrootNF.