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Per the National Forest Service at 9:20 a.m. the Mountain Fire settled last night, allowing fire crews to attack it from the south. Northern crews put in “extraordinary effort in building line in steep terrain toward South Peak.” The National Forest Service said in the morning Incident Report.
According to their statement, the hot, dry with level eastern winds has changed the direction of the smoke column. The most active area of the fire, near Red Tahquitz Peak (avove Idyllwild and near Trails End), as stated: are the focus of Thursday’s firefighting activity:
Both air and ground crews work to slow the rate of spread of the fire. Structure protection contingency plans are being updated in all evacuated communities. On the east side of the fire, the fire continues to slowly back down the mountain as fuels become more sparse at lower elevations.
There are 2985 firefighters currently working the Mountain Fire.
Reports from the command center state that 22800 acres have burned–an area of 30 square miles–a 3000 acre rise from last night’s assessment. The Mountain fire remains merely 15% contained as of 6:45 a.m. July 18, 2013.
Smoke is in the air, and humidity and is on the rise. The fire has three fronts, northwest toward Idyllwild, northeast toward Palm Desert/Palm Springs, and southeast toward Trail’s End. The National Forest Service has stated that the northwest direction will remain the firefighters‘ primary goal for Thursday, hoping to halt the progress toward the town of Idyllwild.
Monsoonal moisture and the shift of the winds have the National Forest Service’s attention. The easterly wind will push the fire back in the direction of Idyllwild. This wind shift also comes with a Smoke Advisory warning for the following locations:
Residents should limit outdoor activity until the smoke advisory subsides.
The damage assessment on the Mountain Fire remains the same on the incident report, as fire crews focus on the blaze. Check InciWebs for up to the minute information.