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Fire Update Thursday May 29

This morning's briefing was fairly upbeat.  The incident team clearly was pleased with progress made yesterday.  The cooler temperature and lighter wind apparently gave them a chance to begin consolidating gains.  They did volunteer that Saturday would be a target "evaluation" day.  While temps remain elevated and humidity in 20% or less level, the light winds forecast through Saturday seems to be the window they need to begin getting control of the fire.  In the short term, I don't think there'll be any change in existing threat status, but that may change on Saturday if weather forecasts are accurate.


It is clear that they are now at the point where they are literally taking on the fire by hand.  Safe access routs have been scouted and cleared, and the hot shot teams are now in position to hand clear fuel and force the fire to consolidate - limiting burn to existing perimeter and preventing fingers from capturing new fuel.  Concerning areas generally reflect the south west wind which will continue to push the front in a northeasterly direction.  Preventing that seems the priority now, and given the milder wind window it seems they have some confidence they can accomplish that.  I would again suggest, for a more granular look at how the fire is being approached, you check out the USFS FB page.  I have requested upgraded fire maps that would clear identification of neighborhoods and roads as they relate to the relate to the fire.  


Apparently they have received "permission" to take heavy equipment into the wilderness so dozers are working to build fire lines, and secondary (back up?) lines in support of the hands on attack on the fire.  Those of you more familiar than I am with the local topography and the names of various canyons and peaks can better better sense of the fire's progress.  Hopefully the addition of neighborhood names and street will make it easier to understand for the rest of us, or at least for me.


The incident commander went out of his way to underscore the close working relationship Incident Command Team Three has developed with our Office of Emergency Services and other local assets.  He went on to indicate this fire is receiving national attention.  I know Congresswoman Stansbury has been watching this closely, and the incident commander indicated at today's briefing he had received a phone call from her offering whatever federal resources he might need.  It is my impression they are well supported with personnel and equipment, but it never hurts to have a direct line to Washington. 


Another indication that they are becoming more confident that this fire is coming under control is they have reduced the morning briefings from daily to M, W, F.  So the next 11am briefing will be Friday the 31st.  They will continue to publish daily incident reports such as the one I circulated this morning, and they will continue to update their FB page.  I am relatively confident that should things take a turn for the worse, I will receive an immediate update and of course will immediately circulate that.


For those suffering from respiratory issues, they continue to take air measurements and are supposed to begin working with Lincoln County Medical Center to begin to publish those numbers in a manner more easily understood by ordinary individuals.


I will circulate tomorrow's incident report which I expect will be available about the same time as today's.  No 11am briefing tomorrow, but I'll do real time updates if there are significant changes in Incident Team Three's assessment or fire containment progresnotic. 


As a reminder that we are not "out of the woods" yet, I just received this updated Stage 2 USFS fire danger notice - they have upped the danger level in all the surrounding forests to "very high."  What is attached is the notice from USFS, the prohibited activities and other general information including a map.  This is not inconsistent with what was described at this mornings briefing.  It is the lack of wind for the next few days that remains key to continued progress.


Pierre

619-992-4534 (cell)



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