News

Martin Fire Update for the Morning of July 9th

Fire Map for July 9th Morning
Courtesy: BLM

Start Date: July 5, 2018           Cause: Under investigation      

Fuels: Grass, sage brush & small stands of timber

Acres:  399,429 (624 square miles-estimated)         Percent Contained: 8%   Total number of personnel: 517

What happened overnight: Night operations personnel patrolled fire lines to ensure the fire didn’t escape the containment lines and consolidated containment lines along the southern flank. Fire managers continue with a 24-hour/day strategy for fighting this fire, running both day and night time operations. Above-normal temperatures, single-digit humidity, and gusty SW winds will continue to challenge firefighters.

Yesterday, fire spread slowed significantly due to the hard work of the local Elko Task Force that hit the head of the fire early Sunday morning and throughout the day.  The task force took advantage of the fire naturally slowing as it entered flatter terrain with lesser fuel loads.  Operations personnel report that the fire is moving into patches of greener vegetation such as Siberian wheat grass, which was planted as part of the BLM’s rehabilitation and fuel treatment efforts on previous fires. Green fuels slow the fire’s advance, making it easier for bulldozers and engines, with the aggressive assistance of super scooper air tankers and heavy and light helicopters, to catch up and get containment lines in place.

As mentioned above, over the last two days, a task force from the BLM-Elko District Office has secured over ten miles of containment lines along the eastern head of the fire.  Prior to this, the fire was advancing northeast at an average rate of 15 miles per day.

Current Situation:  Crews have completed containment line on the south and most of the west flanks near Paradise Valley.  Firefighters continue to secure containment lines on the northwest portion of the fire and are now concentrating suppression efforts along the active northern flank as well as the southeast flank of the fire.

Crews and equipment are making excellent progress building containment lines along the southeast flank of the fire.  Due to the heavy, fine fuel loads, high winds and extremely fast fire rates of spread, an innovative tactic has been developed to combat these conditions using a three-prong attack.  First, a long line of water is laid down by super scoopers, immediately followed by a retardant drop from air tankers. The approaching fire is thus cooled sufficiently that dozers and crews can safely and immediately dig a containment line right up against the side of the retardant line facing away from the flame front.  Very close timing and coordination of air drops of water and retardant with ground forces has been proven to be the most effective tactic in these volatile burning conditions.

Beth Lund’s Type I Great Basin Management Team #1 will assume command of suppression operations on the eastern side of the fire in Elko County, starting at 6 p.m. this evening. Taiga Rohrer’s Type II Great Basin Incident Management Team will continue to manage suppression operations on the western side from the Incident Command Post in Paradise Valley.

 Please check the Martin Fire on Inciweb for updated information, the latest maps and other information.

Resources:  Crews 15, Helicopters 8, Engines 22, Dozers 7, Water Tenders 9, and Total Personnel 517.

Aerial Resources Assigned: 2 VLATs (Very Large Air Tankers), 2 CL-145 Large Water Scooping Aircraft, several heavy air tankers, 7 Single Engine Air Tankers (SEATs), 2 Heavy Helicopters, 1 Medium Helicopter, 2 Light Helicopters, & 1 Air Attack to coordinate all aerial operations.

Courtesy: Inciweb