Overnight Sunday, lighting sparked around 20 fires in the Banks-to-Lowman area, and three of those in the complex remain a concern, burning hundreds of acres, some close to homes at times.
The new Type 1 team taking control indicates the fires have been upgraded in priority, so they’re getting more national resources.
A local Type 3 incident management team has been working the fire, but hot, dry weather, a need for more resources and relief for firefighters means a need for the shift to a new team with national resources.
Ahead of the new team’s Wednesday morning takeover, the outgoing team worked to put the incoming team in the best position.
“We’re trying to get resources into these fires to establish a place where we could start safely and start flanking these fires to where it’s going to give the team coming in a great starting point,” Tony DeMasters, Type 3 Incident Commander, said.
Members from the Type 1 team got calls to head to Idaho on Monday and gathered within 24 hours to strategize. They first met in Boise near the airport to get briefed on the fire and begin creating a strategy.
“Our folks right now, our operations sections chiefs, as well as our divisions, are working right now with the local team that’s on those incidents to get a feel for what the fire is doing and how best to assist and combat this fire,” Marty Adell, incident commander trainee, said.
Priorities in fighting the Whiskey Complex are two-fold: Protection of natural resources and land, and saving infrastructure and homes.
“The high recreational activity in that area, obviously the homes, structures, cabins, other entities in that area,” Adell said.