The Tie Fire grew an additional 27 acres Sunday due to the accumulated effects of wind and dry, hot weather. Despite aircraft dropping water on the southern flank of the fire, torching trees are creating new spot fires that are making containment efforts difficult for firefighters.
As experienced handcrews construct containment line along the southern flank of the fire, they are taking cautious steps to extinguish spot fires that establish with the help of high winds. Airtankers and six helicopters are holding the fire in check allowing handcrews to be more successful. When water is delivered, firefighters retreat to a safe area until the water drops, then return to construct line around the new spot fires. Meanwhile, engines and personnel trained in using hoses and pumps are following behind handcrews to install an extensive water system that will assist firefighters with extinguishing the fire.
After a long summer of hot, dry weather, temperatures are expected to break record highs the next few days as they climb 10-15 degrees above normal. For firefighters, this means more active fire behavior during the day and night as conditions are not cooling down as is normal. In the northcentral flank, the fire made short interior runs upslope in the grass and sage as wind carried the fire across very dry vegetation. Firefighters are using engines and hoses to mop up, cold trail and monitor containment line.
The Level 1 evacuation notice remains in effect. Wind gusts up to 25 mph from the south are forecasted to arrive Monday night. These winds will be strong enough to test the northeastern perimeter. Firefighters, law enforcement and other cooperators area assessing this area over the next couple days to determine when it will be safe to lift the evacuation notice. It will be lifted as soon as safely possible.
There are no fire restrictions in place; however, with the approaching hunting season, firefighters are asking everyone to please be very careful with campfires, propane tanks and anything else that can cause an accidental sparks. Vegetation is in critically dry allowing fire to carry fire in places normally more wet. Please be sure to use extra caution and thoroughly extinguish any campfires you start.
Teachers and students are returning to school this week. Firefighters are using use extra caution when driving in the communities. Fire traffic will be on the highway to access the fire area. Please use caution while driving, especially along Pine Creek Summit and west of Victor where a helibase has been established.
A high pressure system moving in will likely funnel smoke from area fires through the valley. This may agitate those with respiratory concerns. Please stay indoors if air quality becomes poor. To view smoke information, visit the Idaho Smoke Blog spot at: http://idsmoke.blogspot.com