Friday, July 19, 2013

Idyllwild: Mountain Fire Update, 7-19-2013 at 945am

Idyllwild, California - Under the cover of night and with the advantages of lower temperatures and higher moisture recovery, firefighter crews worked tirelessly to improve upon the southeastern fire containment
Photo Credit: CAL FIRE, Ed Sherman
and to keep fire at bay from the Trails End community. 
At the northwest flank of the fire, crews have been building direct handline to corral the fire away from Idyllwild and surrounding communities. Night air operations continue to support firefighters, increasing crew safety and capabilities of fire suppression operations.
Crews and fire support personnel hail from local districts, state stations, federal lands, and forests from all over the country. The conditions are difficult, but all personnel are fixed on the goals of protecting the public and keeping firefighters safe.
Photo Credit: NASA
Fire conditions today are conducive to extreme fire behavior given unstable atmospheric conditions. A large smoke column could form over the fire and then produce thunderstorms. Strong down drafts winds could develop, potentially causing spot fires and rapid fire growth.
Priorities remain to the North and Southeast—with crews and air support working in the north to slow fire progress and push the fire to the north away from communities. At the southeast flank of the fire, crews and engines are working to keep the fire away from residences. Structure contingency plans are in place in impacted communities. 
Since 2002, local, state, and federal agencies have been organized in Idyllwild, prioritizing community defense, safe evacuation routes, and protecting communications infrastructure.

The hard work of firefighters is allowing for the reopening to residents of the fire-damaged areas of Apple Canyon, Bonita Vista, Fobes Canyon, and Spring Canyon Ranch. Hwy 74 was reopened to traffic last evening. Hwy 243 remains closed from the intersection of Hwy 74 to the Nature Center, south of Pine Cove. 
All other evacuations and road closures remain in place.
Mountain Fire Facts: 
24,818 acres at 15% containment
3,316 personnel including 44 crews, 263 engines, 15 dozers, and 20 helicopters
23 structures have been destroyed by fire including 7 residences during the first day of the fire
Total cost to date is 8.6 million dollars

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