The National Weather Service has issued a Fire Weather Watch for the area of the Cow Fire, 15 miles southeast of Prairie City.
Hot temperatures, an unstable atmosphere, shifting winds and very low humidity are forecast for the day, and could increase fire behavior, according to a press release.
The chance of thunderstorms increases in the evening and overnight through Thursday. The Incident Management Team is prepared to initial attack new fires in the vicinity of the Cow Fire and support other efforts in the area as requested by local agencies.
Primary control lines and landscape features are in place on all flanks. Firefighters will continue take advantage of any opportunity to control the intensity and rate of spread as the fire approaches these lines over the next several days. Firefighters continue to use hand and aerial ignitions to reduce surface fuels between the fire’s active edge and primary control lines.
Fuel removal along the southern primary line is complete. A hoselay supporting this line is mostly complete. Firefighters are finishing up this line this morning.
The eastern control line is mostly complete, with finishing touches completed this morning.
The northern control line is established. Several days of fuel removal are necessary to meet the goals for this line.
The western control line is comprised of higher-elevation areas and areas burned by previous wildfires, with limited potential to carry fire.
The fire is considered “contained” along Forest Road 13 from Short Creek north for about a mile, providing an anchor point from which additional containment can be achieved. The fire has generally shown low to moderate severity of effects on the forest, primarily consuming dead and downed fuels. These fire effects will provide positive benefits in the long term, resulting in a more resilient forest with broader options for managing future fires.
Firefighting resources assigned include 12 handcrews, eight engines, four dozers, three heavy and one light helicopters, two masticators and six feller-buncher and skidder teams.
This Labor Day weekend, the recreating public is requested to use extra caution and slow down for heavy fire traffic, road closures and traffic delays. To protect public and firefighter safety, a Closure Order is in effect for the vicinity of the 204 Cow Fire and surrounding roads. The Closure Order can be viewed on the 204 Cow Fire InciWeb site at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6526.