Type 3 Incident Team assumes command of suppression efforts

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CATALDO – Some new faces have joined the ranks of the wildland firefighters currently fighting for containment and suppression of the CCC Wildfire.

The Idaho Department of Lands Type 3 Incident Management Team assumed management of the blaze Friday morning and will continue under a full suppression strategy.

As of Aug. 9, the fire has affected 426 acres of land and is still zero percent contained.

Mother nature may offer fire crews some respite with predicted rain showers and lower temperatures, but also may make things worse with gusty winds and possible lightning strikes. A Red Flag warning is currently in effect.

The CCC Wildfire is currently burning in rugged/steep terrain with mixed conifer fuels and heavy logging slash. The fire started around noon on the north side of CCC Road, roughly 2 miles northeast of Cataldo. Cause of ignition is unknown at this time.

Areas where extreme fire behavior and conditions prohibit the ability to attack the fire directly, work will continue indirectly by creating fuel breaks through hazardous fuel removal along accessible routes.

On Aug. 8, the fire made some uphill runs with single and group tree torching in the fire’s northeastern/eastern perimeter due to windy conditions and warm temperatures.

Firefighters continued construction of an indirect fireline on the west and north sides of the fire. Efforts include fuel removal to tie in this constructed fireline with the CCC Road and the Cataldo mountain ridgeline to the #259 road. In addition, crews conducted firing operations to establish an anchor point off of the CCC Road in both Division Alpha and Bravo.

Crews will be scouting and assessing the fire’s movement throughout Friday in advance of the expected change in weather conditions. Firefighters will continue work on indirect firelines and also work to hold the established line on the heel of the fire.

With the expected change in weather, resources will look for opportunities to attack the fire directly. Additional heavy equipment will construct and reinforce firelines and reduce hazardous fuels.

Friday’s air operations will again be aggressive with both retardant and water drops.

Ground resources include two hotshot crews, four Type II IA crews, eight engines, two dozers and two water tenders. The total personnel currently on the fire is 200 with more arriving and in route.

Closures caused by the fire or suppression efforts include:

• CCC Road from Cataldo to Wall Ridge Road

• The Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes from Cataldo to Kingston

• FS road #259 on the backside of Cataldo Mountain

• Boaters on the river are asked to avoid the lower Coeur d’Alene River from Albert’s Landing to Cataldo for safety reasons as helicopters will be using the river to resupply water.

• A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) to provide a safe environment for fire aircraft operations. Drones are prohibited within the TFR. The TFR can be viewed at the following link- https://tfr.faa.gov/save_pages/detail_9_6967.html

Area personnel would like to remind the public to not stop on area roads to view the fire- crew and public safety is first priority. Smoke can be expected along the Interstate-90 corridor from Kingston through Cataldo.

Fire crews are completely full on donations and they are asking citizens not to bring anymore in, as they have ran out of room and the cache is full.

Air quality in the Silver Valley and surrounding area has improved recently with the weather, but residents should be aware of changing conditions.

To see the live air-quality map, visit http://airquality.deq.idaho.gov.

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