Crews finished building line on the lower two-thirds of the Francis Fire yesterday to accomplish 68% containment. Winds tested the fire and there was no growth outside the 365 acres. Minimal interior smoldering was found and extinguished just inside the perimeter. Several crews have been released this morning and about 55 personnel remain. Most of the aviation resources have been released with one helicopter available for any needs that arise.
As the suppression effort continues in the coming days, smoke coming from the inside of the fire area is expected. These interior pockets of fuel don’t present a threat for spread and are a normal part of wildfire.
Yesterday a Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) team made an assessment on the fire to determine the threat of erosion or runoff. Due to the extreme fire behavior and the steep terrain, there is a possibility of debris flow from rainfall. City, county and US Natural Resource Conservation Service officials met today to with the BAER team to strategize and prepare for the threat.
Interruptions to fireline construction happened yesterday as firefighters encountered people attempting to make unauthorized access to the closed trails. The public is reminded that trail closures are in place due to fire vehicle traffic, rolling rocks, smoldering material and other hazards. Forest staff are evaluating the closures every day; meanwhile, they are asking for patience.
Tomorrow, the Type 3 Incident Management Team will turn management of the fire back over to the local Forest Service Unit. This will be the final update on the Francis Fire.