Gold Pan Complex Fire burning over 31,000 acres


DARBY, Mont. - The following is a press release from the Northern Rockies Incident Management Team:

A public meeting will be held Saturday, August 24, 2013 at 2:00 p.m.
at the West Fork Ranger Station

Resources Assigned: Resources on the fire include 17 engines, 5 helicopters, 2 crews, 4 dozers and 4 water tenders (approximately 270 personnel). Additional resources are being ordered as needed.

Current Status: Once the inversion lifted today moderately active fire behavior was seen. Growth continues to be seen in the Slow Gulch area east to the State line. The fire burned approximately 395 acres over the ridge on the Montana side. As predicted it continues to move north/northeast into Cayuse, Scimitar and Gabe Creeks. Short crowning runs and spot fires near Round Mtn. caused firefighters to pull back up the Magruder Rd. The Nez Peak fire continued to slowly spread to the east. Spotting continues to occur ahead of the existing fires.

Planned Actions: Given weather forecasts, firefighters will continue with established Management Actions. On Gold Pan fire, firefighters will continue to snag along roads keeping travel routes clear and look for opportunities where work and values at risk are commensurate. Crews will continue to prepare contingency lines ahead of the fire spread. Due to safety concerns, only air resources are being used on the Nez Peak fire. The Goat Fire and Thirteen Fire remain in monitor status. While some moisture is predicted today and tomorrow, there is no significant relief in the forecasted fire weather conditions.

Given the current situation in south west Montana, we continue to share air resources as requested.

Closures: The Magruder Road closure area established by the Bitterroot National Forest remains in effect. Inciweb and the Bitterroot National Forest Website provide the up-to-date Forest Closure Map for specifics.

Weather: Temperatures will continue in the 70's over most of the higher elevations of the fire and in the low 90's in the valleys for the next few days. Inversions will lift early to mid afternoons providing opportunity for increase in fire activity. The fire area is included in the Red Flag Warning that was issued today for thunderstorms and possible outflow wind gusts up to 40 mph.

Cooperating Agencies: Ravalli County Fire Warden, Painted Rocks RFD, West Fork RFD, Ravalli County Sheriffs Dept., Ravalli County Office of Emergency Management, and the American Red Cross.

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