Crews Continue To Fight Largest Fire In Lower 48
The Soda Fire has grown 219,000 acres in size and continues to grow. Find out what the crews are doing to save lives and land. The fire was started Monday by a lighting strike according to the BLM. High winds and dry conditions have hampered efforts to get the fire under control. Officials believe only 11% of the fire has been contained. Crews continue to fight the triple digit temperatures along with the intense flames and gusty winds.
Silver City is open to residents but not to visitors. Officials are concerned about tourists endangering themselves or getting in the way of emergency first responders. Several individuals held a news conference at the command center to update the public on the latest on the fire.
Jason Butler, operations section chief Great Basin Team 5, said 'things are going well, and we've deployed the resources we got in today.' He said the fire should increase a little through the burn period. The news conference featured fire behavior specialist who described the challenges of the Soda Fire.
Steve Cobb, Great Basin Incident Management Team 5's Fire Behavior Specialist, revealed that the gusty winds and dry conditions have helped the fire grow. He said the fire was started on Monday and was contained by local BLM crews to 6,000 acres. Cobb detailed that the winds caused the fire to grow impressively. He pointed out that the fire is growing in the North and East. The South and West are looking pretty good, according to his statement.
Another team will be coming in from the Rocky Mountains to deal with the size of the fire. Mike Wayland, the Incident Commander Great Basin Team 5, explained that one team cannot deal with the fire and be effective. He went over the extensive plans to save any stranded horses or livestock. He hopes the weekend weather will help contain the fire.
No structures have been lost at this time. Officials have stated that they are actively suppressing the fire and cannot give a suppression or control date.