The Cache Creek Fire, now estimated at 71,000 acres, had very little southern movement Wednesday, holding up in the Thorn Creek canyon. The fire is considered 45 percent contained.
Predicted high winds did not materialize. Lack of high winds, cooler temperatures, and a higher relative humidity assisted firefighters in suppression efforts. Helicopters worked diligently with water drops to cool the perimeter. A contingency dozer line from the Indian Village Grove area down a major ridge between Log and Fence creeks has been completed.
In other areas of the fire, the north end was patrolled by aircraft; the northwest perimeter was patrolled by an engine and any hot spots mopped up; and the west and southwest containment lines were prepped and strengthened.
Thursday firefighters will work to improve and hold the Powerline Road, near the Imnaha River, on the southern portion of the fire. The goal is to hold the fire north of the Powerline Road. Firefighters are working to construct a line from Road 46 to Imnaha Road.
A total of ten helicopters, including another Type 1, will increase water delivery operations. To increase the efficiency of delivery air operations is moving the helibase closer. Conditions have provided the opportunity to put direct handline along a portion of the southwest perimeter allowing firefighters to reduce the number of acres burned. No large burnout operations are planned for today.
Minor cleanup of unburned fuels to secure the Powerline road in the south may be completed.
Two public meetings are scheduled: today (Thursday), 6 p.m. in Imnaha at the Christian Fellowship Community Church and Friday, 5 p.m. at the Joseph Community Center in Joseph. An update of the fire situation will be given.
Wallowa County issued a closure on Lower Imnaha Road/Dug Bar Road (Forest Service Road 4260). The closure begins at the junction of Fence Creek (six miles north of Imnaha) north to the Dug Bar Landing on the Snake River. The Wallowa County Sheriffs Office will be staffing the closure.
A Forest Area Closure remains in place on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. A map and description of the Forest Closure can be found at http://www.fs.usda.gov/wallowa-whitman or www.inciweb.org/incident/3202 A partial closure of Forest Service Road 46 remains in place. An alternate route is available to detour around the fire area. Road guards are staffing road blocks limiting public access into the fire area for both firefighter and public safety. The need for the closures will be assessed daily and removed as soon as possible.