Cougar Rock Complex Fire now 23% Contained
Northern Rockies Incident Management Team
The Cougar Rock Complex Fire burning east of Elk River is now up to 23% contained and has burned 4,874 acres thus far.
Though some rain fell on the fire area yesterday, the moisture was not enough to significantly impact fire activity. As a result, conditions were not favorable for burnout operations. Crews are waiting for conditions that will allow them to safely and efficiently “burn out” unburned fuels between the fire's edge and containment lines.
In some areas, hotshot crews took advantage of reduced fire activity to construct direct attack containment lines. Firefighters will continue direct attack methods when terrain and fire activity is conducive to success. Firefighting resources are being allocated where they will have the most impact on containment. In limited locations, work continued with the use of feller bunchers and skidders to remove logs cut during road improvement operations.
Smoke from around the region continues to impact the fire area, reducing fire activity, but also preventing air operations. The public may expect smoke to linger for at least a few more days.
A red flag warning is in effect until 10 p.m. PDT this evening. There is a potential for a rain shower and thunderstorm in the vicinity of the fire area Wednesday morning. The rest of the day some drier air will move into central Idaho with a light westerly wind. Thursday a cold front will pass through the region. West winds will increase in the afternoon, primarily on the ridges and areas well exposed to a west wind. Otherwise, valleys may not receive enough wind to mix out smoke. Temperatures will be in the high 70’s to mid-’80s. A return to hotter, drier conditions is forecasted for Thursday through the weekend.
Two closures remain in place for firefighters and public safety:
1) Granddad Bridge on the Dworshak Reservoir and
2) at Captain’s Cabin near Elk River.
These roads remain open for fire and industrial traffic.