Wildfire Incident Information
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Fire Status
ACTIVE
Last Updated
45 mins, 20 secs ago
Fire Start
Friday, September 2, 2022 7:30 AM PDT
Incident #
2022-NWCG-8378
Primary Fire Agency

National Wildfire Coordinating Group

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Incident Overview

Inciweb information was updated: 3 hours, 37 mins ago

Incident Photo for the Kootenai River Complex  Fire

As of 5 pm PDT, on September 2, 2022, the Eneas Peak, Katka, Russell Mountain, Scotch Creek, and Trout Fires have officially been grouped into the Kootenai River Complex.

The Eneas Peak Fire, confirmed on August 13th, was started by lightning and is visible from the Kootenai River Valley and most of the Bonners Ferry area. The fire is located approximately 15 miles north-northwest of Bonners Ferry, on the south aspect below Eneas Peak and above Fisher Creek. The terrain is steep and inaccessible (60%-80% slopes), with numerous dead and downed trees. These conditions prevent the use of firefighter direct attack tactics where fireline is built directly next to the fire. Fire managers are assessing the area by air and ground for potential confinement lines.

In the afternoon of August 21, 2022, the Trout Fire was detected during district fire patrol. The Trout Fire is located within the Selkirk Mountain Range on the Bonners Ferry Ranger District of the Idaho Panhandle National Forests. It is approximately 10 miles southwest of Copeland Idaho near Trout Creek and it was determined to be caused by lightning. Due to the fire being situated in an old burn scar, snags and heavy downed-fuels is the chief safety concern for firefighters working on the ground. Fire Managers are strategizing methods for fire suppression and no structures are at risk.

The Russell Mountain Fire was reported early afternoon on August 24, 2022. It is located within the Selkirk Mountain Range on the Bonners Ferry Ranger District of the Idaho Panhandle National Forests. It is approximately 10 miles southwest of Copeland Idaho, near the Ball Creek drainage and burning on a southern aspect. There are currently no values at risk and its current strategy management is confine and contain.

The Scotch Fire was confirmed September 1, 2022. It is located in the Selkirk Mountain Range on the Bonner's Ferry District in the Idaho Panhandle National Forests. The fire is roughly 10 miles northwest of downtown Bonners Ferry, Idaho.

The Katka Fire was confirmed on September 1, 2022. It is located within the Cabinet Mountain Range on the Bonners Ferry Ranger District of the Idaho Panhandle National Forests. It is approximately 5 miles west from the Idaho/Montana border and 8 miles southeast of Bonner's Ferry burning in steep areas 1/2 mile from Katka Peak.

Residents of Boundary County, ID, can visit https://www.nixle.com, text their home zip code to 888777 to sign up for emergency alerts, or call the Boundary County Emergency Line available at 208-696-2626.

Basic Incident Details

Incident Type
Wildfire
Cause
Lightning
Date of Origin
Friday, September 2, 2022 2:30 PM PDT
Location
7 miles NW of Bonners Ferry, ID
Incident Commander
Eastern Area Incident Management Team Gold, Brian Pisarek, IC
Incident Description
Complex
Coordinates
48.783, -116.467

Current Situation

Total Personnel
224
Size (Acres)
22,043
Estimated Containment
Saturday, October 15, 2022 12:00 AM PDT
Fuels Involved
Timber fuels with a mix of Sup-alpine fire, lodgepole, larch, and cedar. Mixed shrub understory with huckleberry. Heavy dead and down combined with standing dead trees and steep topography pose a hazard to firefighters.
Significant Events
Increasing south winds ahead of cold front supported active fire behavior on exposed ridges and south-facing slopes. Widespread smoldering, creeping, and backing fire with isolated torching occured primarily along east and north of Russell Mountain Fire. Areas above inversion saw short flanking and upslope runs. Lost Canyon Fire continued to grow upslope but remains on south slope of Lost Canyon Creek. Katka fire showed increased smoke and growth to north/northeast. Dead and down fuels are primary carriers of fire with shrub and lower branches of live woody becoming available.

Planned Outlook

Planned Actions
Continue Point Protection strategy, strengthening hand and mechanical fire lines along Westside Road, and monitoring and maintaining existing hose lays as required. Continue structure triage and prep, installing sprinkler systems to protect threatened structures along Westside Road, and mopping up where the fire has reached the road and primary control lines. Due to poor access in steep, rugged terrain, alternative strategies are being assessed for Katka. Monitor the Katka and Long Canyon fires utilizing air resources. Assess Long Canyon by air to determine if it has entered Smith Creek drainage.
Projected Incident Activity
12 hours: Stronger south winds will continue active burning into later afternoon, with fires moderated by sun angle and increasing cloud cover.

24 hours: Cold front passage will bring increased humidity and potential for wetting rain. Fuels will be unavailable for active fire spread but heavy fuels and sheltered fuels will hold heat through the wetter, cooler period.

48 hours: Cold front passage will bring increased humidity and potential for wetting rain. Fuels will be unavailable for active fire spread but heavy fuels and sheltered fuels will hold heat through the wetter, cooler period.

72 hours: After cold front passage, temperatures will remain lower, with increased humidity, and fire behavior will continue to moderate. Fuels will be slow to dry, with low-intensity creeping and smoldering mostly in heavy fuels. Falling snags continue as a risk to firefighters, along with slick roads and weather exposure.

After 72 hours: Effect of cold front, with wetter and cooler fuels, will continue to moderate fire behavior. Heavy, sheltered fuels will maintain heat and smoldering will increase as drying trend returns.
Remarks
The Kootenai River Complex is characterized as a complex type wildfire where multiple fires are combined into one managed incident. Work on the perimeter will be measured by a total percentage of completion and not containment. The Kootenai River Complex is 85% completed and the total percentage of perimeter that will be completed is 20%.

Infrared imagery was captured 9/24/2022. Russell Mountain fire(11,765 acres) now includes the merged Trout(4,785 acres), Scotch Creek(2,844 acres) and Eneas Peak fires (2,298 acres). The Katka Fire is now 338 acres and the Long Canyon Fire is now 13 acres; for total Complex area of 22,043 acres.

Weather Synopsis

Weather Concerns
Fog/inversion dissipated earlier and south wind increased ahead of cold front, which has moved smoke to the north and led to earlier lifting of general inversion. Stronger winds following moisture on burned roots and on drought-stressed trees increased snag hazard. Wetting rains forcast for most of the fire areas within 24 hours.

Fire Incident Contact

Incident Contact
Kootenai River Complex Fire Information Line
Phone: 208-202-5021
Hours: Monday - Sunday 7am to 9pm
Fire Unit Information
Idaho Panhandle National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
3232 West Nursery Road
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83815