Heavy Timber, Weather Conditions Make American Fire a Challenge


 
Fighting the American Fire is slow-going, thanks to heavy timber, rugged terrain and changing weather. The fire is nearly 15,000 acres, with containment at 54 percent as of Tuesday afternoon. Updated: 2:45 p.m.
Monday coverage: Cockpit Video From American Fire Airdrop
Latest U.S. Forest Service Incident Report

Update: 2:45 p.m. - Heavy Timber, Weather Conditions Make American Fire a Challenge

The fire is approximately 10 air miles northeast of Foresthill in steep, rugged terrain. While the fire is predominantly burning on the Tahoe National Forest within the North Fork of the Middle Fork American River drainage, there is a potential, given changes in weather or fire behavior, for the fire to threaten areas near Foresthill.

Active fire behavior continues on the eastern and southern flanks of the fire. Overnight, crews continued to build hand and dozer line to contain the active fire while evaluating future containment options. Firefighters will mop up and patrol containment line along Deadwood Road and Foresthill Divide Road south to the dozer line.

Indirect line construction and mop up will continue down Deadwood Ridge. On the east side near Antoine, Manila and Screwauger Canyons, direct and indirect line construction will continue, with support of retardant drops.

Active fire behavior and roll out of burning material continue to be of concern, and will be closely monitored. Strong, erratic outflow winds and lightning may occur today, as the National Weather Service’s Red Flag Warning remains in effect until 11 p.m. Wednesday.

Active fire behavior in very steep, inaccessible terrain makes preparation of contingency lines critical. Indirect attack is the safest way to manage fire in areas of steep and difficult terrain.

Advisories:

Duncan Peak Lookout and Robinson Flat Campground remain closed. The Placer County Sheriff has closed the Foresthill Divide Road beginning past the turnoff to Christmas Tree Lodge, which is northeast of Foresthill. The Tahoe National Forest has issued a closure order for the fire area that is posted on the Forest web site at http://tinyurl.com/mvx4w3c.

Smoke continues to adversely affect air quality. People with respiratory problems should avoid exposure to smoke and minimize outdoor activity For more smoke information see:www.placer.ca/apcd.


Basic Information

Incident Type Wildfire
Cause Under Investigation
Date of Origin Saturday August 10th, 2013 approx. 04:30 PM
Location 10 miles northeast of Foresthill.
Incident Commander Rocky Opliger

Current Situation

Total Personnel 1,813
Size 14,990 acres
Percent Contained 54%
Estimated Containment Date Sunday September 01st, 2013 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels Involved

10 Timber (litter and understory)Heavy Fuels,Westville Fire from 2008 with standing dead snags.

Fire Behavior

On the west side of the fire (Branch I), primarily creeping in DIV F,DIV H,DIV B; Branch II(to the south) -single tree torching; Branch III creeping.

Significant Events

The Incident is also supporting Initial Attack requests over the TFR foorprint. The fire area is under an NWS Red Flag Warning through 2300 Wednesday for lightning. Additional Branch added for projected fire growth. Public meeting held at Foresthill Veterans Memorial Hall Monday evening was well received and attended by approx 200 + people. A planned meeting with the Board of Supervisors is scheduled for 0900.

Outlook

Growth Potential

High

Terrain Difficulty

Extreme

Remarks

On the extreme south end, firefighters will begin building a very steep hand line today, which descends to the river. The west side of the fire was relatively inactive. Mop-up is occurring in this area, which involves checking the interior of the fire to ensure no hot spots remain that may threaten the containment lines.

Current Weather

Wind Conditions 3 G 6 mph N
Temperature Max 88 degrees
Humidity 55%



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