The Woodhead fire is located on the Weiser Ranger District – northwest of Cambridge, ID. The Woodhead Fire started on September 7, 2020, north of State Highway 71 near milepost 6. A cold front bringing strong sustained winds fanned the flames and it quickly grew to approximately 26,883 acres within first 48 hours. Great Basin Team #4, Incident Commander Tim Roide, took command on Thursday, September 10 to help manage the fire.
High winds, high temperatures, and low relative humidity caused the fire to grow an additional 20,000 acres on September 13, prompting additional evacuations and updated Forest Area Closure. Since then, fire growth has mainly been to the north towards Wildhorse River and east towards Council-Cuprum Road.
The closure on Highway 71 was lifted September 14th to through traffic. All roads off Highway 71 are open, but the fire area itself is closed for public safety. Firefighters continue to monitor the western side of the fire, although it is now fully contained. As the fire continues to grow, opportunities to use both natural and manmade features are constantly being evaluated for use.
The fire has burned on lands managed by the Payette National Forest, Idaho Department of Lands, Boise District Bureau of Land Management, and private landowners.
Unknown, Under Investigation
Date of Origin:
Monday September 07th, 2020 approx. 02:30 PM
20 miles northwest of Cambridge, ID
Great Basin Team #4, Tim Roide
Estimated Containment Date:
Saturday October 31st, 2020 approx. 12:00 AM
Valley bottom dominated by short grass and brush, with sagebrush and pockets of mountain mahogany. The upper elevations and side drainages are dominated by pine and fire with grass and brush in understory, especially on the cooler north slopes.
Cool overnight temperatures with good RH recovery helped start the day with minimal activity. 1000-hr fuels are still receptive to spotting from group tree torching. By mid-day, fire behavior increased and was kept in check with aviation resources. Fire spread along the east and north flanks through torching and spotting into dead and down material as a mechanism of fire spread. Minimal surface spread in grass or brush models.
1) Patrol and begin repair on the west and south flanks.
2) Continue constructing direct line on the northwest flank and engage perimeter with crew and engines where directly threatening structures.
3) Remain prepared to defend structures in threatened subdivisions to the north and east if necessary.
4) Hold and secure the north flank and begin chipping along Ditch Creek Rd.
5) Continue to hold the indirect line and go direct where possible on the east flank
6) Maintain night shift to hold direct line, monitor fire progression, and patrol.
Projected Incident Activity:
Chance of showers overnight. Less than 0.03 to 0.15 is expected. Potential precipitation and very good RH recovery will keep fire activity to a minimum. Fire is spreading to the north and east primarily through heavy concentrations of dead and down fuels with occasional tree torching and short range spotting. 1000hr fuels are very susceptible to spot as they are at the 90th percentile. Minimal fire movement to the south or west is expected due to suppression efforts.
Predicted cloud cover, low temperatures, chance of precipitation, and good RH recovery will keep fire behavior to a minimum. Heavy dead and down fuels will continue to burn but expect little to no surface spread over the fire area.
Resources assigned include: 6 helicopters, 27 engines, 6 crews, 6 dozers,7 water tenders, and 1 masticator.
Extensive cloudiness, cool temperatures, and high humidities remained all day. Rainfall is likely tonight. Clouds continue through Saturday with temperatures leveling off and humidity drying slightly. Isolated showers are expected Saturday morning. North winds on Sunday will bring cold dry air. Starting Monday afternoon, high pressure will allow a quick warm up with strong drying but light winds.
Hours: 7 AM - 9 PM
Fire Unit Information
Payette National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
500 N Mission St
McCall, ID 83638