Evacuation of residents near the fire are being conducted using the “Ready, Set, Go” criteria used by the Interagency Fire Teams.
The Lava Mountain Fire near Dubois is active in about 600 acres of thick timber. A variety of resources are either on scene or enroute to the fire. These include a very large air tanker (VLAT), three heavy air tankers, two single engine air tankers, one heavy helicopter, one light helicopter, two hand crews, and seven fire engines with a strike team for structure protection.
Fire activity on the Lava Mountain Fire increased due to rising temperatures and stronger, gusty winds. As expected, some of the immediately affected residents have temporarily left the area as a safety precaution. Embers, carried by the wind, have started multiple spot fires along the Pelham Lake Road. Aerial resources are dropping water where needed to dampen the fire’s intensity and allow firefighters to attack the spot fires. The main body of the fire is gradually consuming the fuels within the perimeter causing occasional single or groups of trees to flare up. Highway 26 is still open. But, smoke along the highway has also increased throughout the afternoon so visibility is somewhat limited.
Fire spreading reduced overnight but will continue with continuous heavy fuels. Point zone protection and patrol were conducted near structures overnight. Today is expected to have more favorable weather with cooler temperatures, higher humidity, and less wind which may slow fire growth. Continued fuel preparation and structure protection measures will continue and use of aviation and ground resources to reduce fire spread as needed for point zone protection.
Residences from MacKenzie Highland Ranch to the Lava Creek Ranch are currently in evacuation stage “GO”. This means they are leaving immediately. All other residences west of Big Diamond Ranch are in stage “SET”. That is, you should have your emergency items packed. You should also stay informed of news and updates from the sheriff’s department, local fire department, public information.
Highway 26 remains open but Forest roads 540, 662, and a portion of 532, along with Motorized Trail 10 are closed.