The Mineral County Sheriff's Office is notifying residents of Cougar Gulch that they are now under a Stage Three mandatory evacuation due to the rapidly increasing size of the Sunrise Fire.

Fire Information Officer Dennis McCarthy said on Wednesday morning that the fire is advancing into new terrain that puts several structures at risk.

"The area of the fire to the west and northwest which has been unchecked at this point, namely the peaks at Verde Creek and Verde Gulch, and then just to the north, Cougar Creek and Cougar Gulch, and the fire is now making its way down into those drainages," McCarthy said. "There are approximately 10 structures in the lower end of the gulch that will be in need of protection and probably ignition preparations around those structures, and so those are now part of the current evacuation, and the sheriff is in the process of making those notifications right now."

There are two fires in the Sunrise Complex, the Sunrise Fire and the Burdette Fire. McCarthy provided details of the Sunrise Fire.

"We've called the Sunrise Fire at 20 percent contained, but due to the the fire's growth today, that could be even less at this point," he said. "The fire is up to 14,981 acres and we have 518 firefighters on the ground and overhead. The cost to fight the fire is estimated so far at $13 million, and the Burdette Fire at $1.1 million. Both fires started within a day of each other on July 14."

The cost averages out to approximately $481,000 per day.

KGVO News received the following information regarding the administration of the Sunrise Fire Complex;

'Effective Thursday, August 10th, 2017 the Mineral County Emergency Operations Center will be open at the Superior VFD Fire Hall at 105 Cedar Street in Superior. These meetings will take place at 10 am daily until further notice. George Gupton has returned to oversee the EOC as a liaison to the Mineral County Commissioners and will be attached to the Sunrise/Burdette Fire incident.  The EOC meetings will replace the Stakeholder meetings that had been taking place at the Tarkio Fire Camp.'


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