West Mullan Fire has extended to over 6000 acres
The following release was provided by the Northern Rockies Incident Management Team:
Crews made excellent progress overnight working the line around much of the fire’s perimeter. Efforts focused on mopup along the line. That work will continue today as crews search for hotspots along the fire’s perimeter, both inside and outside the line. Suppression will occur in the northeast corner near Wood Gulch, although work is complicated because of difficult terrain and potential wind direction.
Weather will continue hot and dry. Winds may increase slightly in the afternoon which could increase fire activity. The effect of these weather conditions is continuing drying of fuels which increases the potential for rapid fire spread if any new starts occur outside of the perimeter.
Fire behavior is expected to be very active where unburned fuel remains with high temperatures and very low humidity. Concerns include short fire runs, rollouts and short range spotting. The fire is weather and topography driven and crews are working in very hot conditions on steep, dangerous terrain. Aggressive backing of the fire downslope could occur if the fire hits unburned fuel.
A portable retardant plant has been set up at the Big Eddy fishing access site. This allows for rapid retardant support to 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.
Incident Command Post was visited by former California Governor Schwarzenegger during morning briefing. Governor Schwarzenegger is here as one of the executive producers of a documentary being produced for the Showtime Channel. His film crew is following a hotshot crew and working on a documentary on effects of climate change on fires in the west.
Area closures and evacuation orders are still in place for some areas. West Mullan Road is closed to the public west of Sunflower Lane. It is open to residents only. Flat Creek Road is closed outside the Superior city limits. East Mullan Road is open to everyone. Big Eddy Fishing Access remains closed.