And we thought there was going to be less to talk about today!!! Here's the latest!
Today at the Sleeper Lakes Fire, crews will be working on further improving the line around the fire. Specifically, they will work the north and west side of the fire, south of County Road 420 and the Pine Stump Junction area to develop a stronger fire line.
A 20-person hand crew from the US Forest Service will work on the southeast end of the fire to hand dig out a trail along the fire line. This will help reinforce this line. They will literally hand dig out all vegetation and roots down to mineral soil to strengthen this line just to the west of M-123 and south of Chesbrough Lake.
A heli-torch and crew of ignition specialists have arrived from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources' Aviation and Forest Fire Management Program to help with a large burnout operation that we hope to be able to do today in the late afternoon and early evening if the weather cooperates and a dozer line is completed. The burn back will help us secure the northern ridge of the fire and protect the area south of Pine Stump Junction. This work will occur in an area to the south of County Road 420. A heli-torch is a helicopter with a large drip torch that can drop fire from treetop height to burn out vegetation quickly.
A National Guard Chinook helicopter capable of dropping 2,000 gallons of water will arrive today. This helicopter can drop the equivalent of what three Blackhawks can drop. This should greatly aid fire crews today.
Incident Command is working on a plan to relieve some of the volunteer fire departments who have been assisting with structure protection in the area of the fire. Other area fire department may become involved.
The National Guard is working to replace the four Blackhawk helicopters currently in service on the fire because they are approaching their required maintenance schedule.
We had our first injury on the fire line. A DNR fire officer from Crystal Falls injured his knee yesterday and was transported off the line.
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