Report about the current plans to control the Whale Butte Fire

By | August 22, 2018

Bill Walker reports…

Wow! Karina Pettey put together this very impressive and very encouraging report about the current plans to control the Whale Butte Fire, as well as a project to work on a “fire break being built to protect Polebridge and private properties both north and south.”

Highly recommended reading…


This afternoon, the Type 1 team is taking a crew into direct contact with the fire for the first time since the initial crew attempted to access it on August 12. That is GOOD NEWS!!!! If you should see additional smoke or fire activity later this afternoon (about 1800 hours), it is from the “boots on the ground” crew doing black lining or fire break work close to the fire perimeter. We were told the goal was to black line along the SE edge of the fire and along a dozer line north through the saddle between the buttes. There may be work to put in a fire break line by hand using a crew down the northern slope from the saddle. The fire is creeping and favorable conditions and resource availability make this type of work possible.

One of the folks explained the difference between black lining and back firing as I’m a “newbie” to fire management and techniques. Black lining is a term used to describe small back fires set by hand crews within close proximity of the fire (He demonstrated this for me and it appeared to be 20’ or less). Back firing, on the other hand, is a technique used when a fire is totally out of control and involves starting back fires from a plane. THERE ARE NO PLANS to use backfiring on the Whale Buttes fire at this time.

Fire command has reallocated 1 crew of equipment resources from Whale Buttes shaded tree break work to continue work on the fire break being built to protect Polebridge and private properties both north and south. The shaded fire break will run from the Hay creek drainage to Whale Buttes to provide some protection to property owners and improved fire management access to crews. There was a fire crew sitting at the old USFS road 1685 on Moose Creek, directly across from the eastern edge of our property. They are getting ready to open up that road for fire break work. The road forms the western property boundary for homeowners using “Moose Crossing”…

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About NFNews Editor

Patti Hart is the editor-in-chief and founder of the Patti lives on the North Fork during the summers and travels the world for the rest of the year, updating NFNews every day wherever there is an internet connection.

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