Cow Fire

The Cow Fire seen from outside Prairie City Aug. 20.

Fire crews continue constructing lines on the Cow Fire 15 miles southeast of Prairie City, which had grown to 2,944 acres as of Tuesday.

A community meeting will be held from 5-6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 29, at the Prairie City Senior Center, according to a press release.

Firefighters continue to use hand and aerial ignitions to reduce surface fuels between the fire’s active edge and primary control lines planned for final containment. The tactic, expected to span several days, reduces the intensity of the fire.

The fire reached Forest Road 13 near the Short Creek Guard Station, resulting in a low-intensity burn of surface fuels, enhancing the protection of the facility.

On the fire’s northern flank, hand crews and heavy equipment are building a control line along the 325 road to tie into an area where a previous fire reduced vegetation, creating a natural control feature.

Along Forest Road 13, which will serve as the eastern control line, hand crews and logging equipment are strengthening this control line by thinning and chipping brush and dead and downed lodgepole pine.

On the fire’s southern flank, crews have completed hand and dozer line west from Forest Road 13 toward Sheep Mountain, tying into another previous fire, and are installing a hose system. These control lines are planned to establish containment of the fire and protect values at risk including a cow camp, the Short Creek Guard Station, grazing allotments and active timber sales.

Firefighting resources assigned to accomplish these goals include 13 hand crews, eight engines, four dozers, three heavy and one light helicopters, two masticators, and six feller-buncher and skidder teams — a total of 584 people.

Weather forecasts for Wednesday and Thursday bring the potential for increased fire behavior with fuels increasingly susceptible to ignition from spotting.

To protect public and firefighter safety, a closure order is in effect for the vicinity of the 204 Cow Fire and surrounding roads: inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6526.

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