CASCADE, Idaho — A wildfire is burning on East Mountain roughly 10 miles east of Cascade. As of Monday, the fire has burned 3,313 acres. The containment has increased to 39%. The U.S. Forest Service said the fire is burning near the East Fork of Clear Creek.
The fire, dubbed the 'East Fire,' is burning in heavy timber, subalpine fir and in an area with a "heavy component" of downed and standing trees. The fire was first reported on August 16. Rainfall of 1.5 inches in the past week kept fire activity to a minimum and rain on the evening on Aug. 26 also helped firefighters battle the blaze.
"Firefighters reported that visible smokes on the west and northwest edges of the fire have diminished as they used the information from infrared technology to find and mop up heat sources near the perimeters of the fire," a news release on Aug. 27 stated.
The East Fire is located east of Forest Road 409 and south of Forest Road 405, within the Cascade Ranger District. The public is asked to limit unnecessary traffic near the fire area and especially the Clear Creek Road.
Forest Service officials said that although activity was kept at a minimum in the last 4 days, crews did witness creeping and smoldering in the underbrush on Thursday - and warn that as fuels dry out and temperatures rise, increased fire activity and smoke may be visible in the coming days. Officials said that drift smoke may also be visible from wildfires burning in Washington and Oregon.
Currently, there are no evacuation orders, but a number of closures are in place for lands, roads and trails in the Cascade and Emmett Ranger Districts. People cannot be in these areas unless they are exempted by means of a permit or job description. People can go to this link to see a full list of the closures and exemptions.
Flight restrictions are in place as a result of the fire. The U.S. Forest Service said full-suppression tactics are underway utilizing retardant planes and scooper planes. Helicopters are also assisting extinguishing efforts by enforcing ridge lines and trails in order to create an anchor point at the East Mountain Repeater site.
Hand crews dug direct fire line next to where retardant planes laid layers of retardant. On Thursday, line construction personnel increased as crews came in from across the country to aid in suppressing the fire. On Saturday, Aug. 19, teams were working with fire managers to learn more about how to contain the fire.
The fire is threatening timber sales, trail systems and private lands in the area.
The fire is under investigation.
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