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Wildfire declaration of emergency lifted

by WILL LANGHORNE
The Western News | September 3, 2021 7:00 AM

Lincoln County commissioners rescinded a declaration of emergency earlier this week following a reduction in local wildfire activity.

During a Sept. 1 meeting, County Commissioner Brent Teske (D-1) said he believed the Northern Rockies Incident Management Team 7, the current fire management team for the South Yaak and Burnt Peak fires, would remain in the area until Sept. 7. Local management would then take over work on the blazes.

The Burnt Peak Fire reached 4,097 acres at 41 percent containment on Sept. 2. Two water tenders, 18 pieces of heavy equipment, one crew and 141 personnel were on the blaze, according to a statement from fire managers. Crews are continuing work on containment lines on the northeast edge of the fire and suppression, repair and clean up efforts along the northern and southern perimeters.

Officials put the South Yaak Fire at 12,371 acres with 74 percent containment. Two crews, three engines, one water tender, 10 pieces of heavy equipment and 107 personnel were on the blaze. Crews planned to extinguish hot spots and build containment lines along the north and east edges of the fire.

During a trip to the South Yaak Fire area two days before the commissioners meeting, Teske said he saw no signs of smoke. He noted, however, that the blaze had burned hot and left portions of Eastside Road exposed to erosion. Recent rain had caused a couple sloughs in the road.

“There’s going to be some ongoing problems where it’s really steep there,” he said.