Crews Gain Ground on American Fire, Erratic Winds Still a Concern



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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Tuesday coverage: Heavy Timber, Weather Conditions, Make American Fire a Challenge
Latest U.S. Forest Service Incident Report

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.

0821 American Fire smoke

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.

Current Size: 15,715 acres Containment: 62 percent Structures Destroyed: 3 outbuildings

Resources: 51 hand crews, 72 engines, 42 water tenders, 46 dozers, 16 helicopters, and air tankers as available. Total personnel: 1,822

Start Date: 8/10/2013 Cause: Under Investigation

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 1,822
Size 15,715 acres
Percent Contained 62%
Estimated Containment Date Sunday September 01st, 2013 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels Involved

10 Timber (litter and understory).

Fire Behavior

Fire activity increased beginning early in response to solar heating: Surface fuels transitioning to crowns with single and group tree torching. Fire growth promoted with alignment of topography and heavy fuelsunder light diurnalwind conditions.

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 6 G 15 mph SW
Temperature Max 89 degrees
Humidity 24%
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