45 Homes Evacuated, but Good Firefighting Weather Helping to Tame Copper King Fire
45 homes have been evacuated near the expanding Copper King Fire by Thompson Falls, but a new weather system has made firefighting easier. Fire Information Officer Tom Rhode says that cooler temperatures have helped the new type one management team lay down a lot of new fire line.
"We've had very benign fire behavior yesterday and today," Rhode Said. "Our incident meteorologist is calling for these conditions for the next two or three days, so that is why these crews are actually in there trying to establish lines around the north and north east sections. We expect very light fire behavior and light winds over the next few days, so that's good news."
The fire is now over 21,000 acres and is burning through mixed conifer and some very steep terrain. The number of people tasked with fighting the fire has also grown.
"Right now we have a total of 516 personnel on the fire and that, of course, includes the overhead that comes with the team," Rhode said. "We have 12 hand crews, 25 engines and 9 helicopters working the fire."
Although the Copper King fire grew this week to become the largest fire in the state, there is some good news. Rhode says that the fire hasn’t burned through any structures and that the homes that have been evacuated are mostly seasonal vacation homes.