21 Aug 2010, 9:01am
by admin

Banner Let It Burn Fire

Location: 18 mi NW of Stanley, Custer Co. ID
Specific Location: Banner Creek, Salmon-Challis NF, Lat 44° 22´ 49″ Lon 115° 12´ 35″

Date of Origin: 08/20/2010
Cause: Lightning

Situation as of 08/28/2010 6:00 pm
Personnel: 31
Size: 2,388 acres
Percent Contained: 52%

Costs to Date: $3,580,000

Minimum fire activity with interior smokes.


Situation as of 08/28/2010 6:00 pm
Personnel: 243
Size: 2,388 acres
Percent Contained: 52%

Costs to Date: $3,573,268

Transfer of command to a Type 4 IC at 0600 8/29. Uncontained portion of the fire continues to grow.


Situation as of 08/27/2010 6:00 pm
Personnel: 402
Size: 2,365 acres
Percent Contained: 52%

Costs to Date: $3,303,000

Incident strategies: 57% of fire is containment; 33% of fire is “limited supression” [sic].

Highway 21 road closure lifted today at noon, subject to single lane closure depending on fire activity. 100% of containment objective met.


Situation as of 08/26/2010 6:00 pm
Personnel: 542
Size: 2,365 acres
Percent Contained: 20%

Costs to Date: $2,908,000

Incident strategies: 57% of fire is containment; 33% of fire is “limited supression” [sic].

Red Flag warning today for winds and low RH; lightning on the fire with light precipitation.


Situation as of 08/25/2010 6:00 pm
Personnel: 561
Size: 2,077 acres
Percent Contained: 18%

Costs to Date: numbers reported are false

Incident strategies: 57% of fire is containment; 33% of fire is “limited supression” [sic].

Active single and group tree torching and spotting up to 1/3 mile in sub-alpine fir and lodgepole pine. Cold front blowing through today is expected to be accompanied by strong winds. Fire storm could result, sending burning embers across a wide region.


Situation as of 08/24/2010 6:00 pm
Personnel: 476
Size: 1,730 acres
Percent Contained: 0%

Costs to Date: $1,729,187

Transition to Let It Burn. Desired incinerated zone: 103,494 acres. Blow up expected Thursday.


Situation as of 08/23/2010 6:00 pm
Personnel: 372
Size: 1,594 acres
Percent Contained: 0%

Reduction in acreage due to more accurate mapping; today’s fire growth approximately 80-90 acres. Transfer of command to Wilde Type 2 Team occurred at 0600 hours on 8/23/2010. Highway 21 closure modified to allow single lane, escorted traffic through fire area.


Situation as of 08/22/2010 5:00 pm
Personnel: 344
Size: 2,010 acres
Percent Contained: 0%

Hwy 21 closed. Transition to Wilde Type II Team @ 0600 Aug. 23. Active torching and short range spotting in subalpine fir and lodgepole forest areas.


Situation as of 08/21/2010 8:30 pm
Personnel: 333
Size: 1,000 acres
Percent Contained: 0%

Closure of Highway 21 and limited access to Boundary Creek Road. Prepping Highway 21 for reinforcement of line to keep fire NE of highway. Preparation for Area closure. Type 2 IMT to take over fire.

Continued fire spread mainly to N and E with spotting and active growth on spots.


Situation as of 08/20/2010 5:00 pm
Personnel: 279
Size: 200 acres
Percent Contained: 0%

Evacuations in process for Marsh Creek and Lola Creek Campgrounds; Bradley BSA camp evacuated; Roads into campgrounds closed.

Spotting,torching,crowning. High winds forecast for the weekend.

22 Aug 2010, 8:27am
by paul h.

This information would be much more helpful if it could be updated at least every 24 hours if not more frequently. For those of us living very close to this fire, day old (or older) info is not very helpful. Also the direction and speed in which the fire is moving and projected to move is some vitally important info. Thanks for the opportunity to comment.

Reply: We are not the government. We don’t have access to information more than once very 24 hours. We post what we can dig up from obscure government websites. It’s not our fault if the government wants to hide information about wildfires from the threatened populace, and there is not much we can do about that.

The government does provide the InciWeb website [here]. The information there is also updated only once every 24 hours. They do provide phone numbers to call. (Right now the Banner Fire is not being reported at InciWeb.)

The best we can do here is provide a history of the day-to-day changes of selected wildfires, drawn from poorly written and difficult to find daily reports. We also provide this space to those who wish to comment on wildfires. We also provide our own commentary on selected wildfires at our forest commentary site, SOS Forests [here]. The Oak Flat Fire is the subject of a discussion there right now. Check it out, and add your two cents to the dialog if you care to.

22 Aug 2010, 2:11pm
by blu g

We were backpacking overnight close to the area on Friday/Saturday (two miles NW of the fire.) Thankfully we had registered our destination at the trailhead. Saturday morning the Forest Service flew a helicopter into our campsite and dropped us a note that we had to evacuate (a two hour hike out of there.) It was a surreal experience as we started hiking out into the smoke filled valleys: yellow haze, the sun turning red, and some ashes in the air.

25 Aug 2010, 4:30pm
by N. Pence

I was a smoke chaser in this area in 1957 and 1958. It had heavy fuels then and the fuels have dramatically increased. The lodgepole pine has been killed by the mtn. pine beetle for over five years and lodgepole is the main species. With the dry cold front predicted tomorrow with high winds I expect there will be rapid spread north and east into the Frank Church Wilderness. This fire will spread until snow fall. I expect the Challis/Salmon National Forest will exceed their target for acres burned. The area is also important for steelhead, Chinook salmon and bull trout with Idaho Batholith soils.

31 Aug 2010, 12:58pm
by william blount

Correction… don’t perpetuate “myth’s” like the government hides information on wildfires. I and my fellow fire managers don’t hide anything… the whole concept of being able to do that is ridiculous. Stop by the Challis office sometime and I’ll give you all the info you could ever need or desire. The information we get out today due to the web is light years ahead of where we were 20 years ago.

Bill Blount-FMO

31 Aug 2010, 1:51pm
by Mike

Thank you, Bill.

Please email me all the NEPA documents the Salmon-Challis NF prepared prior to implementing the Banner Let It Burn Fire. That would be the EA or EIS, the Section 7 ESA consultation, the Section 106 NHPA consultation, the WDDSS inputs and outputs, and records of all the public meetings and public involvement processes held prior to implementing this action.

That should be an easy task, since no such documents exist because no such NEPA procedures were followed.

Perhaps you can email me the USFS analysis of the economic and resource damages inflicted by the Banner Let It Burn Fire. Unless, of course, no such investigation or report is ever even attempted.

And perhaps you could send the Plan which specifies which acres are to be immolated and when on the S-CNF. You all have figured that out, right? You’re not just making it up as you go along, right? And please send me all the NEPA documentation associated with that Plan. It would be good to have some evidence that the S-CNF is compliant with NEPA, ESA, NHPA, CAA CWA, APA, etc. Unless, of course, the S-CNF is not in compliance with those laws, which is my current assumption.

Also, who writes the 209 reports? Can you hire somebody who knows how to use a spell-checker? Maybe somebody who also has some concept of what information is pertinent and useful to the public? I ask only because I read the 209’s and am daily impressed by the gibberish nonsense and useless rah rah found therein. After tracking some 500 fires and reading all the associated 209’s, I sense that fire managers might be good candidates for remedial English classes.

Thank you,

Mike Dubrasich, Exec Dir
Western institute for Study of the Environment



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