Smoke Choked Skies Over Copper King Fire Ground Helicopters
Containment of the Copper King Fire near Thompson Falls has increased, to about 20 percent as Firefighters attempt to corral the largest wildfire in the state. Fire information Officer Mike Cole, says the skies are thick with smoke, which is actually helping firefighting efforts a little bit.
“I heard about Missoula being smoked in on Tuesday (August 30), and we are actually smoked in worse today than we were yesterday," Cole said. "It can help, it keeps the sun off the fire, so it can’t that heat directly on it and make conditions any drier than they already are, so that actually helped.”
The smoke has caused some problems though, on Wednesday morning the smoke was so thick, that helicopters couldn’t fly.
“We’re not flying yet today, though we were able to fly yesterday for a good part of the day," Cole said. "This morning, we are hoping that inversion lifts by noon so that we can get some helicopters up, it’s been really quiet this morning. It’ s real heavy smoke, you can just barely see the outline of the mountains from the incident command post, normally you can see that real easily.”
The Copper King Fire has grown by about 2,000 acres over the past three days and is now at over 27,000 acres in total.