Gold Pan Complex Expands, But Not Toward Montana
The Gold Pan Complex fire is still burning just about ten miles from the western Montana Border in Eastern Idaho. Incident team spokesman Mike Cole says that the intense wind storm felt in Missoula last Friday also had an impact further south.
"Starting on Friday we had a micro burst from a thunderstorm over the fire that took down a lot of green trees along Macgruder road," Cole said. "It didn't really spread the fire, but it slowed down operations. [Crews] actually had to cut their way back out of the road to get to different areas of the fire and to get back to camp for supper."
The fire has grown by about 1,000 acres since last Friday, however, it doesn't appear to be growing in at least one direction.
"On the east side, it's pretty much in the same place it has been since we arrived two weeks ago,:" Cole Said. "It's still about a mile west of the Hell's Half-Acre Road. That's one of the points we put on the map, that we wanted to hold it west of there. So far I think the weather has cooperated a lot more than we anticipated when we first came here."
Cole says that the weather is supposed to change this week and that fire officials are bracing for hotter, dryer weather. The Gold Pan fire was started by a lightning strike on July 16th, so far it has cost 5.5 million dollars to fight.