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Potato Incident Narrative.doc - NIFC

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									             Potato Fire
 Salmon-Challis National Forest
        Incident Narrative




Great Basin Incident Management
              Team

August 5, 2006 – August 23, 2006




 Prepared By:           ______________
  Larry Sutton – Planning Section Chief


Approved By:
  Paul Broyles – Incident Commander
         TABLE OF CONTENTS


Introduction……………………………………..3

Incident Commander…………………………...3

Information……………………………………..11

Safety……………………………………………14

Liaison…………………………………………..17

Human Resources………………………………18

Operations and Planning………………………19

Logistics…………………………………………43

Finance………………………………………….47




                  2
Introduction
The Potato Fire started from a lightning strike on July 24, 2006 nine miles northeast of
Stanley, Idaho. It was burning in sub-alpine fir and lodge pole pine. The Blue Mountain
Interagency Incident Management Team was assigned to the fire after extended attack
complexity exceeded the Type 3 level. Resources were scarce due to the heavy demands
of the National situation and the fire continued to grow. The Blue Mountain Incident
Management Team was extended beyond fourteen days and the complexity was
subsequently determined to be at the Type 1 level. The Great Basin Incident Management
Team 1 (Paul Broyles, IC) was assigned to the incident on August 4th.

The Great Basin Incident Management Team 1 traveled to the incident on August 5 and
began interfacing with their counterparts on the Blue Mountain Team. Command of the
incident was transferred from Incident Commander Nick Lunde to Incident Commander
Paul Broyles at 0600 on August 7, 2006.

The selected Wildland Fire Situation Analysis No. 3, dated August 11, 2006 alternative
set parameters for containing the fire at 50,059 acres at an estimated suppression cost of
$15.9 million. The objective was to provide for firefighter and public safety, protect
structures and other improvements, and use a direct/indirect strategy to confine the fire
within the selected size.

Command transferred from Great Basin Incident Management Team 1 to VanBruggen‟s
Type 2 Incident Management Team at 1800 on August 23. At that time, the fire was
determined to be 90% contained, and the acreage was estimated at 18,454 acres. This
acreage consists of the Potato Fire at 18,236 acres, and the Zane Fire at 218 acres. The
Zane Fire was a new fire that was initial attacked by Great Basin Incident Management
Team 1, per direction from the host agency.


Incident Commander
Saturday, August 5, 2006
IMT traveled to Challis; received in briefing from the Forest.

Initiated transition with the Blue Mountain IMT2

Sunday August 6, 2006
0800 hours – Incident Commanders conference call with the Great Basin.
1000 hours – Great Basin MAC conference call.
1030 hours – Western Great Basin Operations conference call.
1200 hours - Command and General Staff meeting to discuss issues and concerns.

Continued transition with Blue Mountain IMT2.


                                             3
Monday August 7, 2006
0800 hours – Incident Commanders conference call with the Great Basin.
1000 hours – Great Basin MAC conference call.
1030 hours – Western Great Basin Operations conference call.
1200 hours - Command and General Staff meeting to discuss issues and concerns.

The Great Basin Incident Management Team assumed command of the incident at 0600.

Most of the crews were in place at spike camps. The weather forecast predicted a more
windy and unstable condition than during the previous several days. A thunderstorm
passed over the incident with little or no precipitation on the fire. Lightning from this
storm started two new fires. The team assumed command of these fires that were within
the TFR where the team had initial attack responsibility.

An “incident within the incident” involving reported cases of MRSA ( methicillin-
resistant staphylococcus aureaus) staph infections. This incident demanded a tremendous
amount of time and attention of the command and general staff and other units within the
incident organization. This medical incident resulted in five crews being unavailable and
isolated for two operational periods. The MRSA incident involved one individual being
diagnosed with this disease, and two others with a more common strain of staph
infection.. One of the individuals returned to the fire line. This resulted in all of the crews
being released from the fire and returned to the ICP, subsequent to an on-site medical
review of crews and the overall situation by a physician and nurse contracted from the
Boise area. Actions to contain the spread of these serious infections were taken and the
situation was concluded on August 9th. (See Medical Unit report).

One of the new initial attack fires, the Zane Fire, had remained active throughout the
night. This new fire grew to an estimated fifty acres by the end of the operational period.

A dry weather front was moving through the fire area this day. The fire had crossed
Deadwood Creek and Division S and Division C disengaged operations at this time to
evaluate the situation. The fire made a major crown run toward the north with long range
spotting, crossing the West Fork of the Yankee Fork about 3.5 miles west of Bonanza.
The trigger point for evacuations and firing operations was reached and appropriate
actions were implemented at about 1845. The day operational period ran late conducting
a burnout along the Division S constructed fuel break and providing structure protection.
The burnout operation continued until midnight and secured two miles of perimeter.

The fire had exceeded the selected WFSA boundary to the north. The primary objective
was to hold the south and east sides of the fire and protect structures. Suppression action
to keep the fire from moving north was obviously not feasible during the existing weather
patterns.




                                               4
Tuesday August 8, 2006
0800 hours – Incident Commanders conference call with the Great Basin.
1000 hours – Great Basin MAC conference call.
1030 hours – Western Great Basin Operations conference call.
1200 hours - Command and General Staff meeting to discuss issues and concerns.

The WFSA #2 was initially revised during this operational period by the Operations
Section and Agency Representative District Ranger Carol Benkosky..

Burning operations continued in Division S toward the west along the West Fork of the
Yankee Fork. The Zane Fire was mapped at 212 acres and needed additional resources.
During the planning meeting consensus was reached to help focus the attention on the
Zane Fire as a priority for additional crews.

Wednesday August 9, 2006
0800 hours - Incident Commander conference call with the Great Basin.
1000 hours – Great Basin MAC conference call.
1030 hours – Western Great Basin Operations conference call.
1200 hours - Command and General Staff meeting to discuss issues and concerns.

 The fire became active on the north end in Lightning Creek and made another run toward
the north and east. Divisions R and S resources were withdrawn back toward Bonanza.
The Forest approved the use of a dozer to construct a one-blade wide line to tie off some
old roads through a sagebrush opening above the old cemetery to protect the interface
from fire advancing from the north. The zone archeologist directed dozer operations.

John Szymoniak assisted the Forest with the development and completion of a new
WFSA #3.

Thursday August 10, 2006
0800 hours – Incident Commanders conference call with the Great Basin.
1000 hours – Great Basin MAC conference call.
1030 hours – Western Great Basin Operations conference call.
1200 hours - Command and General Staff meeting to discuss issues and concerns.

A burnout operation was prepared to protect Bonanza and Custer State Historic Town
site. The plan was to burn south down Jordan Creek Road from the Hecla Mine.

The new WFSA increased the strategic boundary to include the Custer Motorway/ Eight
mile Road on the east and the Wilderness boundary to the north.

A frontal passage produced gusty winds throughout much of the day. The Zane fire
continued to be active within the perimeter. Division Q did preparation work along
Jordan Creek Road and initiated some firing operations in the vicinity of Hecla Mine.
The fire had no major growth on this day other than some movement toward the north in
Lightning Creek and some backing toward the east into Jordan Creek.



                                           5
The Trail Creek Fire west of Loon Creek Guard escaped extended attack efforts and grew
from thirteen acres to approximately 3000 acres. People from Loon Creek and the
Diamond D Ranch were evacuated through the Potato Fire road closures. The Salmon-
Challis National Forest requested assistance for structure protection from the incident
management team. Division supervisor Tony Demasters, Task Force Leader Vic Morfin,
Task Force Leader Mike Miller, and Salmon Challis Forest Regular crewmember Justus
Whitworth responded to Loon Creek Guard Station on a temporary assignment to
supervise structure protection operations.

The Forest asked the Team to assume command of the Trail Creek fire, but Broyles
declined, based on limited (insufficient) resources available to deal with the Potato
Incident itself, and logistical supply issues.

Friday August 11, 2006
0800 hours – Incident Commanders conference call with the Great Basin.
1000 hours – Great Basin MAC conference call.
1030 hours – Western Great Basin Operations conference call.
1200 hours - Command and General Staff meeting to discuss issues and concerns.

More firing continued in the vicinity of the Hecla Mine. Structures were wrapped at the
Estes Mine site.

Saturday August 12, 2006
0800 hours – Incident Commanders conference call with the Great Basin.
1000 hours – Great Basin MAC conference call.
1030 hours – Western Great Basin Operations conference call.
1200 hours - Command and General Staff meeting to discuss issues and concerns.

Operations planned to continue the firing operations south down Jordan Creek from the
vicinity of Hecla Mine. The firing progressed south throughout the afternoon and was
halted late in the afternoon when shading on the east facing slope caused the wind to shift
and the column collapsed and smoke crossed the road. On the north end of division Q the
fire started to outflank the north end of Hecla mine and was stopped.

Broyles flew the fire with Operations.


Sunday August 13, 2006
0800 hours – Incident Commanders conference call with the Great Basin.
1000 hours – Great Basin MAC conference call.
1030 hours – Western Great Basin Operations conference call.
1200 hours - Command and General Staff meeting to discuss issues and concerns.




                                             6
Firing operations began again in Jordan Creek in the afternoon. Firing operations were
stopped when the prescription for the burnout was exceeded. There were several spots
across the Jordan Creek road..

At 1600 Branch II reported the fire was running down Red Rock Creek with the wind and
the fire was blowing out in Lightning Creek.

During the late afternoon the winds abated. The winds died down in the late afternoon
and firing operations resumed. Conditions were good for burning, so the IC approved
permission to exceed shift length and continue burning. Burning continued until 0330 the
next day. Crews were brought back to camp and excessive shift length was mitigated by
allowing crews to sleep in and start shift at 1200 hrs Monday, August 14.

After the Planning/Strategy meeting, approx. 1940 hrs., District Ranger Carol Benkosky
advised Broyles that a helicopter crash had occurred on the Payette N.F., involving 4
fatalities. One fatality from Krassel Helitack was the daughter of Broyles IMT1 Air
Tactical Group Supervisor Larry Zajanc. Broyles, Benkosky, and Air Operations Branch
Director Gardetto drove to Challis, where, along with District Ranger Ralph Rau, Broyles
advised Zajanc. Zajanc was subsequently driven by his supervisor, Chris Ourada, back to
his residence in Pocatello, ID. (Ourada coincidentally at the time was at the same motel
as Zajanc in Challis, as he has assumed command of the Svalberg Fire Use Team that
date. Ourada was subsequently released from the Fire Use Team assignment.)


Monday August 14, 2006
0800 hours – Incident Commanders conference call with the Great Basin.
1000 hours – Great Basin MAC conference call.
1030 hours – Western Great Basin Operations conference call.
1200 hours - Command and General Staff meeting to discuss issues and concerns

The operational plan was adjusted at the briefing to mitigate the long shift for the three
crews that continued firing operations during the night.

Two spot fires were located east of Jordan Creek and crews were directed in to suppress
them.

The Zane Fire reported a 2-5 acre spot fire on the slope to the east.

Power to the Hecla mine was energized at midnight August 14th because there was one
sediment pond without auxiliary power that was filling and threatening to spill into the
creek. During the following morning operations requested to have the lines de-energized
again because snags were falling across the power lines.

The Forest Fire Staff flew the fire to evaluate options and agreed the best plan at this time
is to secure the fire perimeter in place.




                                              7
Tuesday August 15, 2006
0800 hours – Incident Commanders conference call with the Great Basin.
1000 hours – Great Basin MAC conference call.
1030 hours – Western Great Basin Operations conference call.
1200 hours - Command and General Staff meeting to discuss issues and concerns

Crews continued line construction from the north end of the Hecla Mine around the north
end of the fire. This operation was supported by SEATs. One dozer was released in the
morning and the remaining dozer began rehabilitation of the dozer lines constructed from
the West Fork trailhead to Bonanza.

Air operations established helispots in the bottom of the West Fork of the Yankee Fork
and Lightning Creek.

At noon Operations made a decision to release the portable retardant base.


Wednesday August 16, 2006
0800 hours – Incident Commanders conference call with the Great Basin.
1000 hours – Great Basin MAC conference call.
1030 hours – Western Great Basin Operations conference call.
1200 hours - Command and General Staff meeting to discuss issues and concerns

Five Alaska type 2 crews arrived at the incident. .


Thursday August 17, 2006
0800 hours – Incident Commanders conference call with the Great Basin.
1000 hours – Great Basin MAC conference call.
1030 hours – Western Great Basin Operations conference call.
1200 hours - Command and General Staff meeting to discuss issues and concerns

Resources were timing out and replacement crews were not at the incident.

A rehab Branch Director was established to work with the resource advisor to identify
work and ensure that crews were deployed to complete the required work. Three type 2
crews began doing line rehab work.


Friday August 18, 2006
0800 hours – Incident Commanders conference call with the Great Basin.
1000 hours – Great Basin MAC conference call.
1030 hours – Western Great Basin Operations conference call.
1200 hours - Command and General Staff meeting to discuss issues and concerns




                                             8
The Rehab Branch made good progress after being inserted into Hay Creek Spike by
helicopter. Rehab was completed from Hay Creek Spike to the Division Y/W break.
Another crew finished rehab within Divisions R and S.

In Division P one crew ran a hoselay to mop-up the lower end of the division. A hoselay
was also established to the base of the large spot fire on the slope in Division F that
burned very aggressively during the afternoon despite constant action by three type 1
helicopters. The spot increased by an estimated 40 acres. Relative Humidity had dropped
to 8% by mid-afternoon.

Operations and the Deputy Incident Commander flew a helicopter recon of the fire in the
vicinity of Divisions E/F/P to evaluate whether the perceived risk of continued direct
action was worth sustaining. Divisions E and P looked nearly secure. Division F, which
was not staffed, appeared to be safe ground to engage the fire while it was still in a
tactically advantageous place. A contingency plan of holding the main ridge upstream to
a rock faced mountain and then hold the fire at the bottom of the slope to the west side of
Lightning Creek.

Two additional Type 1 crews from Canada were confirmed to arrive at the incident on
August 20th.


Saturday August 19, 2006
0800 hours – Incident Commanders conference call with the Great Basin.
1000 hours – Great Basin MAC conference call.
1030 hours – Western Great Basin Operations conference call.
1200 hours - Command and General Staff meeting to discuss issues and concerns

Canadian crews were briefed and assigned to the fire.
One crew was deployed to Division D to secure hot spots that were identified by the
Bullard IR flight of August 18th. Two crews continued suppression rehab and worked to
Basin Lake Spike.


Sunday August 20, 2006
0800 hours – Incident Commanders conference call with the Great Basin.
1000 hours – Great Basin MAC conference call.
1030 hours – Western Great Basin Operations conference call.
1200 hours - Command and General Staff meeting to discuss issues and concerns

Fire Restrictions were initiated on Idaho southern Forests, eff. 0001 hrs. The voluntary
evacuation notice for the Yankee Fork area, and the road closures for Yankee Fork,
Jordan Creek and Custer Motorway were lifted in the morning..

Canadian crews were briefed and assigned to the line.




                                             9
A conference call between Boundary IC Brunner, Salmon-Challis Fire Ops Svalberg and
FMO Wurst, Broyles and Dondero finalized plans for an IMT2 to be ordered, to assume
command of both the Potato and Boundary Incidents eff. 1800 hrs. Wednesday, August
23. In briefing of IMT2 to occur in Stanley, Tuesday, August 22.

Broyles flew the fire with Operations and confirmed tactics to implement strategy:
keeping fire within Div. E/F/P.


Monday August 21, 2006
0800 hours – Incident Commanders conference call with the Great Basin.
1000 hours – Great Basin MAC conference call.
1030 hours – Western Great Basin Operations conference call.
1200 hours - Command and General Staff meeting to discuss issues and concerns

At 1000 hrs. Great Basin MAC con call, it was decided to reassign Raley‟s Southwest
IMT2 (IC Bill Van Bruggen) to Potato/Boundary Incidents.

A conference call at 1200 hrs.with Bruner‟s, Broyles‟ and VanBruggen‟s command and
general staff was conducted to discuss the transition and ICP locations for Van Bruggen‟s
team to assumed command of the Potato and Boundary Incidents. It was agreed to have
all command and general staff to contact counter parts on other teams and discuss
personnel and equipment needs for the combination of the fires. The combined ICP will
be at Brunner‟s ICP with the helibase at Dry Creek.

Van Bruggen‟s Operation Section Chiefs (Mark South and Jim Copeland )arrived late
afternoon and imbedded with Broyles‟s Operations for intelligence gathering and
transition.


Tuesday August 22, 2006
0800 hours – Incident Commanders conference call with the Great Basin.
1000 hours – Great Basin MAC conference call.
1030 hours – Western Great Basin Operations conference call.
1200 hours - Command and General Staff meeting to discuss issues and concerns

Transition Plan completed for transfer of command to Van Bruggen.

1300 hrs., Large Fire Cost Review Team (Team Leader Stephanie Phillips) meeting with
Command and General Staff.

1800 hrs., Command and General Staff attend Forest/Van Bruggen in-briefing in Stanley.
Transition briefing of Van Bruggen‟s IMT2 conducted by Broyles‟ IMT1 C&G
immediately afterward.




                                           10
Wednesday August 23, 2006
0800 hours – Incident Commanders conference call with the Great Basin.
1000 hours – Great Basin MAC conference call.
1030 hours – Western Great Basin Operations conference call.
1200 hours - Command and General Staff meeting to discuss issues and concerns

Transfer of Command from Broyles‟ IMT1 to Van Bruggen‟s IMT2.


Information
Overview
The incident information unit identified three primary objectives for the incident. Listed
by priority, they are:
      Reduce anxiety within local communities, especially to evacuees, by providing
       accurate and timely information utilizing a single point of contact.
      Provide accurate and timely information to the land and homeowners, media,
       forest visitors, Salmon-Challis NF, Sawtooth National Recreation Area (NRA)
       and Sawtooth National Forest (NF); Federal, State and local agencies, and other
       interested parties.
      Keep incident personnel informed.
Contacts with the media and the general public were tailored to reflect the mission and
objectives of the incident command, as well as the Salmon-Challis NF and cooperators.
The Great Basin National Incident Management Team was able to coordinate and provide
accurate and timely information to communities, evacuees, media outlets, other agencies,
and members of the general public. Salmon-Challis NF personnel at the Challis -Yankee
Fork Ranger Station and Salmon-Challis NF Supervisor‟s office were invaluable in their
support to the Information Unit.
Community/Media Information
The primary method for informing local communities and evacuees regarding the status
of the fires was information routes and community information meetings. Key local
residents and businesses were visited daily in an effort to utilize the local communication
networks. The information routes were: 1) Yankee Fork Work Center to Challis; and 2)
Yankee Fork Work Center to Stanley.
Two Community meetings were held. The first was in Clayton, Idaho on August 6 at the
Clayton American Legion Hall, with 18 attendees. The second meeting was held at the
Challis-Yankee Fork RD office, with 10 members of the public attending. Also, Incident
Commander P.Broyles, Deputy Incident Commander Mike Dondero, and Liaison/Public
Information officer B. Paxton met with Custer County Commissioners on Monday,
August 13 at the Challis County Office.
The team used contact lists from a previous assignment in the area on the Valley Road
Fire near Stanley, ID in 2005. This list was expanded to include additional contacts.
These targeted contact locations were visited daily by a PIO and provided information
regarding the fire in daily updates and when requested.


                                            11
Bulletin Boards were maintained at Challis-Yankee Fork RD, Stanley Chamber of
Commerce, Sawmill Station near Clayton, and at Sunbeam Store at the entry into the
Yankee-Fork.
The Information Unit manned the Mussie Braun concert in Challis, ID on Saturday,
August 12, 2006. Over 200 contacts were made with members of the public. On
Saturday, August 19, 2006, the Information Unit gave an update dealing with the local
fires with emphasis on the Potato Fire and general fire information to the City of
Sawtooth Home Owners Association; 25 people were in attendance.
Media interest was surprisingly low. Media principally utilized Inciweb for obtaining the
twice-daily updates; Forest Public Affairs also sent out the update electronically to their
contact list.
The team used contact lists from a previous assignment in the area on the Valley Road
Fire near Stanley, ID in 2005. These targeted contact locations were visited daily by a
PIO and provided information regarding the fire in daily updates and when requested.
During the incident, the safety of the general public and incident personnel was
emphasized in updates, information meetings, and interpersonal discussions. No media
representatives from local or regional newspapers visited the incident. We were visited
by two travel writers from Germany and a local videographer. A visiting family with
their children was given a tour of the ICP.
Information boards were set up at several locations. These locations included the ICP,
Yankee Fork-Challis RD office, Sawmill Station near Clayton, and Stanley Community
Center in Stanley and at Sunbeam Store at the entry into the Yankee-Fork. Fire
information, including photos, was posted on these boards each day.
The frontliners at the Yankee Fork-Challis RD and Sawtooth NRA office near Stanley
provided invaluable support in the distribution of information to the public. They were
able to answer most questions from the public regarding the wildland fire with the
information provided in daily updates and from PIOs who visited daily.
The Incident Information Unit scheduled no media flights. The three visitors listed above
were informed of safety concerns and proper attire, and provided personal protective
equipment (PPE), including gloves, Nomex, fire shelters, and hardhat. Safety messages
on fire behavior, as well as the use of fire shelters and Nomex clothing were also
provided.
Internal Communication
At its largest, almost 800 people were assigned to the incident. To keep incident
personnel informed, one information bulletin board was maintained at the ICP. An
information board was also maintained at the Silver Creek Spike Camp, which was
updated daily. Also, newspapers were provided to this and other spike camps. Daily
updates were posted on these boards along with Situation Reports, 209s, fire photos, and
news articles on the fire. This information, particularly as regards the fire, provided
firefighters accurate information that could allow them to knowledgeably answer
questions if posed to them by the public.




                                            12
Donations and Volunteers
No significant donations were received. Donations were collected for fallen firefighters
by Human Resources.
Dignitary Visits
Custer County Commissioner Wayne Butts visited on August 10. Two Command and
General staff members of the Australian firefighter contingent visiting the US (Incident
Commander and Planning Section Chief) were assigned to the fire for several days
shadowing Great Basin IMT members from August 14-18. They re-located to the Red
Mountain Fire near Lowman on August 18.
Coordination
The Information Unit and Liaison Officer coordinated information with the Salmon-
Challis NF and cooperators. The Unit coordinated the use of Inciweb with the Forest.
The Unit provided informational support to and at road and area closures in support of
the Salmon-Challis NF and Custer County Sheriff„s Department, and assisted the Safety
Unit with an infection incident by providing staff for documentation purposes.
The Information Unit coordinated with Boundary and Middle Fork Complex fires in
distributing their daily updates with our information routes at agreed locations as a cost
savings and efficiency measure for all the fires.
Website
Potato Fire information was posted on the web at http://inciweb.org/ or
www.inciweb.org. For information about the Salmon-Challis NF, the public and other
interested parties were referred to their website at www.fs.fed.us/r4/sce /.




                                             13
Safety
A.     Statistics

Total hours worked: 198,088

Hours worked by function:


                                               MISC
                                       INFO
                                                3%
                                        4%
                              SAFETY
                                4%


                                                                AIR OPS
                                                                  31%



                                                                                   AIR OPS
                                                                                   OPS
              LOGISTICS
                24%                                                                PLANS
                                                                                   FINANCE
                                                                                   LOGISTICS
                                                                                   SAFETY
                                                                                   INFO
                                                                                   MISC




                          FINANCE
                             6%                           OPS
                                                          19%
                                       PLANS
                                        9%




Maximum number of personnel on one day: 838 on 08/08
Total number of vehicles: 145
Reportable Injuries/Illness: 18
Reportable Vehicle Accidents: 2
Hours worked / injury: 11,005
Aviation hours flown: 1102
Aircraft Incidents (Safecoms): 3 (Maintenance); 0 (aerial)
SAFENETs: There was one SAFENET filed during the incident.
Comp/Claims: 33 medical incidents reported, refer to the Comp/Claims section for
details regarding injuries and claims.




                                                14
Medical Statistics
As of August 23, 2006, at 0900 hours, there were approximately 360 visits to the Medical
Unit. The most common ailments include: colds/coughs; body aches; blisters; joint pain;
eye irritations; knee injuries; and a wide variety of skin conditions.

The records of visits to the EMTs located at remote spike camps are not included in the
above statistics, however the ailments treated are very similar to those listed above.

B.     Safety Management Approach

ICS 215a: Broyles‟s IMT utilizes the ICS 215a (Incident Safety Analysis) form during
the development of strategy for the following operational period on the fireline and
Incident Command Post (ICP). Upon completion of the ICS 215 by Operations, the team
Safety Officers work closely with the Operations and Logistics sections to complete the
ICS 215a to ensure appropriate mitigations are in place for identified hazards and risks
during the next operational period.

Safety Team: Incident Safety Management was led by the IMT Safety Officer Steve
Dondero, SOF1, with assistance from team members Tony Beitia, SOF2, and Rod Bloms,
SOF1(T). Additional fireline safety support was provided by 3 SOF2 (T)‟s. The Task
Book for SOF1(t) Rod Bloms was completed. The three SOF2 trainees were able to
complete numerous tasks in their Position Task Books (PTB), although none was signed
off during the incident.

Significant Events:
On August 8, 2006, Dr. Radnovich medical director for Nampa ID Fire EMS and Board
Certified in Family Medicine along with Jennifer Arsenault R.N., came to the Potato Fire
Camp and examined five crews for a rare strain of Staph infection (MRSA). One person
was being treated as a precautionary measure and all crew members were medically
cleared to go back to work as they posed no medical threat to other crewmembers or
other incident personnel at the time of examination. See documentation file for
additional safety action plan measures.

 A “Safety Stand-Down” for one hour was requested by Regional Forester Jack Troyer to
focus on all aspects of safety relating to the wildland fire environment, and all support
functions. The IMT conducted the Stand-Down at the Yankee Fork Work Center on
August 19th, 2006 for all IMT, camp crews, and other support personnel assigned to the
incident.

A total of 97 participants attended the Stand-Down. Discussion topics were provided by
the group in a brainstorming session, and documented on a flow chart for further
discussion. Topics included:




                                           15
        Fatigue, mitigation strategies, and work/rest guidelines
        Defensive Driving, wildlife, rocks, and pedestrians on roads in the fire area
        Dehydration
        Parking, backing and use of seatbelts
        Personal Hygiene
        Proper lifting techniques
        Use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) correctly
        Hazard Trees and steep terrain
        Human Respect, stress management

Other Stand-Downs occurred the same day at the Potato Helibase, the heavy helibase at
Challis, and at spike camps on the fireline. Aviation and operations themes were the
emphasis items at the two above mentioned locations.

An alert pertaining to West Nile Virus in Custer County was issued by the Idaho Fish and
Game. An advisory handout by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) was placed in the
Incident Action Plan (IAP) on August 19th to advise Potato Fire personnel of it presence
in Custer County.

Another Safety measure conducted by the team involved the facilitation of Defensive
Driving by one of the Safety Officers for all personnel assigned to the Potato Fire. A
total of 15 participants took advantage of the class. The training met requirements for
Casual hires in support for all hazard incidents, as outlined in the Interagency Standards
for Fire and Fire Aviation Operations (Red Book), and also assisted Agency employees in
meeting currency requirement for Defensive Driving as mandated by their respective
units. Topics covered included: Driving in the Urban Interface, mountain roads, and
environmental conditions relating to weather, terrain, and road conditions. Other subjects
discussed were the use of cell phone, and radios, backing, parking, fatigue, and driver
duty day limitations.

All documents relating the Significant Events can be found in the Documentation
package for this fire.


C.       Hazards, Risks, and Mitigation Strategies

Hazard/Risk Analysis: Major hazards, and risks to be mitigated on the incident
included driving and traffic on Highway 75, steep terrain/rolling material, hazard trees
(green and dead trees weakened by the fire), and structure protection in the wildland
urban interface. Other hazards included: extensive use of aircraft to support fireline
operations, and personal hygiene for all assigned to the incident.

Commendations: The Medical Unit is to be commended for implementing
precautionary measures and treatment taken in further assessment of five crews for a rare
strain of Staph infection (MRSA).


                                              16
D.       Documentation

Refer to the Potato Incident Documentation Package for additional Safety Action Plan
Measures that were implemented during the incident.

        ICP Safety Plan
        Protocol for Diamond D Landowners and Guests Traveling within the Area
         Closures for Trail, Potato and Boundary Fires
        Safety Stand Down
        Defensive Driving Course
        MRSA: CDC Staph Fact Sheet
        West Nile Virus CDC Fact Sheet
        Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever: Prevention and Control CDC Fact Sheet
        Personal Hygiene
        SAFENET


Liaison

The Broyles Type 1 National Incident Management Team manages a wide variety of
incidents and adds Command and General staff positions according to the needs of the
particular incident. The IC recognized early on that the Potato incident would require a
LOFR due to the complex nature of the fire, and the fact that the team had been
previously assigned to the area in September 2005 on the Valley Road Fire near Stanley.
At the time of the assignment to the Potato Fire the LOFR position was filled by Guy
Pence. Bill Paxton was slotted into the position on August 13 due to Pence having to
return to his home station on the Boise NF.
 The Potato Fire was located just west of Clayton, Idaho on the Salmon-Challis NF. The
wildland fire was a threat to the historic towns of Bonanza and Custer, as well as several
other historical structures, homes, mines, and power transmission lines.
More Type 1 teams are filling the LOFR position due to the complex nature of today‟s
incidents. During the time frame of the Potato Fire incident the LOFR made and
maintained a variety of contacts between the Team and cooperating agencies, partners,
and other entities involved with the fire. In addition, the LOFR helped establish contacts
between the Team and the host agency (Salmon-Challis NF) and Custer County
government.
Comments to the LOFR and fire information, from a variety of agencies and Non-
Governmental Organizations, are that the Team created good relations with all those
involved and that county government and the general public was kept informed regarding
the incident. Filling the LOFR position on this assignment was essential given the
complexity of the external contacts with agencies and groups involved in managing the
incident.



                                            17
Human Resource
Broyles Type 1 Incident Management Team carries an HRSP position as part of the
command and general staff. Human Resource staff assigned to Broyles Team during the
Potato Fire were Paul Bryant, HRSP, and Karen Hartman, HRSP(T). The HRSP staff was
assigned to the incident from August 7, 2006 thru August 23, 2006. A diverse workforce
of approximately 850 people was assigned to the fire at the height of activity. Many of
the crews spent the majority of their assignment at various spike camps.

This was a very complex incident for Human Resource issues. Issues ranged from the
emergency isolation of five crews to address a potentially dangerous staph infection to
coordinating a CISM and the Team‟s response to a firefighter fatality on an adjacent
Forest.

IAPs included: Rights and Responsibilities, Mutual Respect, Managing Stress, Avoiding
Horseplay, Appropriate Behavior, Alcohol-Drug Free Incidents, Sexual Harassment, and
various reminders to watch what we say, how we say it, and to stay away from gossip.
Some messages were targeted to meet the needs of the camp and crew members to
support issues and concerns. Other messages were reminders of the Team expectations
for behavior.

There were no formal contacts reported of Title VI or Title VII issues of harassment,
discrimination or inappropriate behavior during this time frame. There were sixteen
substantial contacts involving issues ranging from a medical emergency, hours of duty
and pay, performance, emergency demobs, lack of mutual respect, and a CISM to address
the effects of a fire fatality on another incident. All other contacts were either questions
or concerns and were responded to and dealt with in a very timely, professional manner
by both Overhead team and staff. All contacts were closed and resolved with no further
action for the host or home units.




                                            18
Operations and Planning
August 5, 2006
Members of the operations and planning sections intended to arrive at the incident by
1400 in order to interface with members of the Blue Mountain Incident Management
Team to develop situational awareness prior the agency briefing scheduled for 1800 at
the old Challis Supervisors Office. Since the tactical and logistical use of incident
helicopters was stressed to the limit during this particular afternoon the operations section
chiefs were not able to see the fire from the air. The briefing was relatively short, but a
lot of written briefing materials were provided. The detailed transition plan produced by
the Blue Mountain Incident Management Team was especially valuable. The initial
impression was that the Blue Mountain IMT was struggling with the challenges of
logistically supporting remote spike operations with limited helicopter capability brought
about by intense competition for limited resources with other fire incidents throughout
the nation. With a national planning level 5, no incident was getting everything they
needed in the timeframe it was required.
 Key Decisions & Actions:
      Recognizing the limitations of a sparsely staffed planning section and the
         unreliability of copy machines located at the incident base at the Yankee Fork
         Work Center, an order was placed for a clerical support service unit.
      Considered the need to set up a portable retardant base to increase the
         effectiveness of helicopter tactical support.


August 6, 2006
The planning and operations sections continued to transition with the Blue Mountain
IMT. The Blue Mountain Team conducted the planning meeting and published the
incident action plan for a small night shift focused on structure protection. The Great
Basin IMT took the lead for planning and producing the incident action plan for the
following day operational period. Since the space in the facilities was so limited, there
was literally no room for both teams to work concurrently. The transfer of data from one
team‟s computer system to the other team‟s computer system caused a serious down-time
during publication of the incident action plan and resulted in shifts exceeding sixteen
hours for several members of the planning section.
        Key Decisions & Actions:
      To maximize the capabilities of helicopter tactical support a portable retardant
         plant was ordered.
      A type 3 helicopter was borrowed from the Salmon-Challis to facilitate aerial
         reconnaissance by key members of the operations section.
      The operations section established two branches on the incident to facilitate
         operational planning and coordination.
      Worked with the resource advisor to identify the location for the portable
         retardant base.
      Worked with the communications unit to improve radio communications between
         the incident base and the fire line.



                                             19
        At the time of transition, the incident consisted of rotor wing aircraft identified
         below. The IMT ordered and secured two ATGS platforms staffed by IMT
         ATGS personnel. Additional radio frequencies (1 FM, 1 AM) were ordered and
         received, to accommodate the increase in radio traffic.
        Ordered and received Pecos Valley Portable retardant plant. Established at
         Bonanza.
                                                                                               .


 Size        Percent        Crews      Engines      WT         T1         T2          T3
           Containment                                       Copters    Copters     Copters
 5,089         25              24         14          0        3          3           2


August 7, 2006
The Great Basin Incident Management Team assumed command of the incident at 0600.
Most of the crews were in place and spiked at Hay Creek Spike, Basin Lake Spike, and
Drop Point 15 Spike. The weather forecast predicted a more windy and unstable
condition than during the previous several days. An intense thunderstorm passed over the
incident base shortly after noon, but dropped little or no precipitation on the fire itself.
Lightning from this storm started two new fires within the TFR where the team had initial
attack responsibility.

An event related to an issue of three individuals suspected of having staph infections
from three different crews affected operations. The individuals had visited the doctor on
August 6 and were told to remain in camp while cultures were analyzed to validate the
initial diagnosis. The intent was to separate these individuals while awaiting the results
of the medical tests. One of the individuals did not follow the instructions and went to
the line with his crew. When the results came back from the lab, it was determined that
this individual had an advanced stage of this highly contagious infection. Operations had
to pull the three crews in question back from their assignments to begin a process of
disinfecting the crew members and their gear.

Operations planned to establish an additional spike camp at Jerry Creek for
approximately 150 people to reduce the daily travel time by approximately two hours and
also limit exposure to the hazards of traveling highway 75 twice daily. The operations
section also explored the feasibility of a more direct attack on the north and south sides of
the fire since burnout operations within the existing fuel types produce profligate spotting
while still leaving islands of unburned trees within the perimeter that often become
problems later. Type one crews were a critical resource need to accomplish either the
direct or indirect options.




                                               20
A long-term fire projection team, including John Szymoniak developed a map projecting
fire growth based on climatology data for the Period of July 30 through August 6 prior to
the assignment of the Great Basin Incident Management Team. The team retrieved the
data of this map to determine whether it would be useful for making tactical and strategic
decisions. By the time the planning section obtained this information the projections
were outdated. However, the projections did confirm that the fire would tend to spread
toward the northeast over time.
     Key Decisions & Actions:
      Ordered two additional type 1 crews
      Followed up on the order for the clerical support unit and, with the help of the
         IBA, got the order filled.
      Took initial attack action on two new lightning fires within the TFR.
      Continued action to install the portable retardant base near the northeast end of
         the fire..
      Pulled three crews from their line assignments for epidemiology reasons.
      Structure protection remained in place.
      Established and implemented Helibase crash/rescue plan and received
        a HEB2 for the Challis helibase.
     Installed Portable retardant base at Bonanza.



 Size       Percent        Crews      Engines      WT        T1         T2          T3
          Containment                                      Copters    Copters     Copters
 5,233        25             23          14         0        3          2           2


August 8, 2006
One of the new initial attack fires, the Zane Fire, had remained active throughout the
night and the ICT5 requested retardant support at 0730. A decision had been made to
wait until 0900 to place the helicopters on duty because pilot duty hour limitations were
becoming a serious issue. Since the fire was reported as five acres with torching and
“long-range” spotting a crew from division C was sent overland to assist with this fire
and helicopter retardant operations began as soon as possible. Later in the afternoon the
Zane fire was reported as “fifty acres, across the drainage and running north.

By mid morning a type 3 helicopter and a type 2 helicopter were again down with
mechanical problems.

The planning section coordinated plans to accomplish morning operational period
briefings at the Dredge Tailing Spike, radio briefings to Hay Creek Spike, Basin Lake
Spike, Charlie Spike, DP-15 Spike, the Zane Fire, and a potential briefing at ICP (in the
event the five Alaska crews became available for assignment.




                                              21
The weather became clear, hot and dry in advance of another approaching front. Winds
became increasingly gusty. By 1430 Division C reported that the fire had crossed
Deadwood Creek in the vicinity of the twin ponds. Both Division S and Division C
disengaged operations at this time to evaluate the situation. The fire made a major crown
run toward the north with long range spotting, crossing the West Fork of the Yankee Fork
about 3.5 miles west of Bonanza. The trigger point for evacuations and firing operations
was reached and appropriate actions were implemented at about 1845. The day
operational period ran late conducting a burnout along the Division S constructed fuel
break and providing structure protection. The burnout operation continued until midnight
and secured almost two miles of perimeter.

John Szymoniak made another projection for large fire growth through August 13th. This
projection showed a high likelihood of continued fire movement toward the east, well
beyond the Bonanza area that included the structures and historic sites to be protected.
This information was useful for making tactical and strategic decisions in the context that
the fire was in the process of making a significant run across Deadwood creek and
threatening the West Fork of Yankee Fork. The fire had exceeded the selected WFSA
boundary to the north. It was evident, with the limited number of crews and aviation
assets to support them, operations only had the capability to deal with one front. The
main thrust planned for the following day was to hold the south and east sides of the fire
and protect structures. Suppression action to keep the fire from moving north was
obviously not feasible during the existing weather patterns. .

    Key Decisions & Actions:
     Pulled the Twin Peaks crew from their Division C assignment to assist with the
       Zane Fire, which had a potential to compromise the Division C perimeter if the
       initial attack failed.
     Established and mapped the briefing area for the resources at the Dredge Tailing
       Spike.
     Ordered additional engines to replace engines that had to demobilize from the
       Structure Group.
     IMET advised the line that the RH was much lower than forecasted.
     Disengaged the resources on two divisions well prior to the major fire run to the
       north.
     Implemented the evacuation and structural protection plan when the fire
       advanced to pre-arranged trigger points.
     Decided to focus the major emphasis for the following day‟s operations on
       containing the south and east sides of the fire and protecting structures.
     Kept many of the day operational period resources on late to secure Division S
       and protect structures.
     Planned to send an additional crew to the Zane Fire the following day.
     Changed the incident objectives to reflect the fact that the northern progression of
       the fire exceeded the WFSA alternative. The new objective was: Keep the fire
       west of the Yankee Fork/Jordan Creek Road.
     Amended TFR in accommodate increase in fire size (6/5692).
     ASAT team reviewed aviation operations for the incident.


                                            22
 Size       Percent         Crews     Engines      WT         T1         T2          T3
          Containment                                       Copters    Copters     Copters
 7,500        15              23         11          0        3          2           2


August 9, 2006
For the second night in a row there was no IR data (the first night there was a problem
with the IR system and the second night a fire in one of the aircraft engines forces the
pilot to abort the mission). Without the IR data decision making and operational period
briefings were based upon sketchy information. Branch I flew an aerial recon to the Zane
fire with a GPS unit and also gathered mapping data for the north side of the fire.

Planning Section Chief Steve Raddatz and Operations Section Chiefs Kole Berriochoa
and Dan Buckley worked with District Ranger Carol Benkosky to revise the WFSA
during the afternoon.

In Branch II Division S continued to burnout toward the west along the West Fork of the
Yankee Fork while Division C constructed line from the vicinity of Charlie Spike toward
the north. The Zane Fire was mapped at 212 acres and clearly needed more resources. A
good team discussion during the planning meeting helped focus the attention on the Zane
Fire as a priority for additional crews because it was positioned to compromise division C
during the next forecasted frontal wind.

The fire remained active within Lightning Creek and produced a good column of smoke
west of the Hecla Mine.

    Key Decisions & Actions:
    Continued to secure the perimeter in the West Fork of Yankee Fork with a
      burnout operation to help protect the features in the Bonanza area.
    Decision discussed to move crews from Division C to the Zane Fire on August 10
      to increase the likelihood of keeping the Zane Fire from burning into the Potato
      Fire at Division C. The final decision was to divert a crew planned for Division
      A/B to the Zane Fire.

 Size       Percent         Crews     Engines      WT         T1         T2          T3
          Containment                                       Copters    Copters     Copters
 9,017        25              22         12          0        3          2           2


August 10, 2006
For the third consecutive night the request for an IR flight failed to produce any products.

A strong inversion grounded helicopter operations through the morning. Crews
scheduled to fly into priority areas (Zane Fire and Division B) were not moved as
planned. Because the incident had only one standard category type 2 helicopter to


                                              23
support and move personnel to or from four remote spike locations there was little
flexibility to move resources around quickly and it was exceedingly difficult to maintain
an acceptable level of logistical support.

There were still two orders for type 2 helicopters pending that were identified daily as
critical resource needs on the ICS-209. To compound the problem, the Salmon-Challis
NF took a helicopter that was intended to fill one of these orders and moved it to ABC
Miscellaneous, then resubmitted the Potato Fire order, without conferring with the
Incident Management Team. Although it is understandable that local units need
resources to respond to initial attack, the competition for resources at the National level
severely limits the options for incident management teams to accomplish their delegated
objectives. As of this date, some of the crews had remained in spike locations for 6-8
days, partly due to the fact that there was not adequate helicopter capability to retrieve
them.

During the afternoon the fire became active on the north end in Lightning Creek and
made another tremendous run toward the north and east. Divisions R and S resources
were withdrawn back toward Bonanza. The Forest approved the use of a dozer to
construct a one-blade wide line to tie off some old roads through a sagebrush opening
above the old cemetery to protect the interface from fire advancing from the north. The
IR flight revealed that the fire burned about 3,300 acres on this date and essentially held
at the ridge top between Lightning Creek and Jordan Creek. An older foot bridge on the
trail system was burned.

Doug Muir, planning section chief for Brunner‟s type 2 IMT assigned to the Boundary
Fire, asked for the planning section of Broyles‟ IMT to support their fire with GIS
mapping for incident action plans and training specialist support.

    Key Decisions & Actions:
    Withdrew Division R and S resources when fire behavior compromised their
      positions.
    Moved the Branch Breaks to split the fire east and west. This arrangement
      provided a better command and control structure for the Zane Fire.
    Decided to move the entire Division R into staging for the August 11 incident
      action plan to allow Branch Director Dan Dallas to assign them as needed after
      evaluating the situation.
    Air Operations Branch Director was advised that the pending order for two type 2
      helicopters would be filled on August 11.
    John Szymoniak helped the Forest develop a new WFSA.
    Secured permission from the Hecla mine to use their pond for bucket operations.
      The mine established buoys‟ to identify dipping area.


  Size      Percent         Crews     Engines       WT        T1          T2         T3
          Containment                                       Copters     Copters    Copters
10,292        25              22          12         3         3           2          2


                                               24
August 11, 2006
Operations developed a plan to protect Bonanza and Custer State Historic Town site by
preparing for a burnout operation if the fire should advance from the north. One scenario
included burning south down Jordan Creek Road from the Hecla Mine. The key was to
hold the fire at the corner at the confluence of Jordan Creek and the Yankee Fork. Fire
already at the top of Red Rock Creek was a factor in whether a burnout would be needed.
However, because the slopes of Jordan Creek were very steep and rocky, it was thought
the fire might hang up and slowly roll down the slope without developing a large column.

The Missoula Fire lab made another seven-day projection based on the most recent fire
perimeter shape file. It showed an eighty percent probability the fire would spread
several miles east of Jordan Creek within a week and also continue advancing to the
north.

The new WFSA increased the strategic boundary to include the Custer Motorway/
Eightmile Road on the east and the FCRONR Wilderness boundary to the north.

The forecasted frontal winds shut down helicopter operations during the afternoon.

The expected type 2 helicopter was diverted to new fires in the Boise area.

A passing front produced gusty winds throughout much of the day. The Zane fire
continued to be active within the perimeter. Since the high winds shut down helicopter
operations for a while during the afternoon, some crews on the Zane Fire pulled back to
safer work areas during the wind event. On the east side of the fire, some movement
down Red Rock Creek was observed. Division Q did preparation work along Jordan
Creek Road and initiated some firing operations in the vicinity of Hecla Mine. The fire
had no major growth on this day other than some movement toward the north in
Lightning Creek and some backing toward the east into Jordan Creek.

The Trail Creek Fire west of Loon Creek Guard escaped extended attack efforts and grew
from thirteen acres to at least 1500 acres. People from Loon Creek and the Diamond D
Ranch were evacuated through the Potato Fire road closures. The Salmon-Challis
National Forest requested assistance for structure protection from the incident
management team. Division supervisor Tony Demasters, Task Force Leader Vic Morfin,
Task Force Leader Mike Miller, and SCF Regular crewmember Justus Whitworth
responded to Loon Creek Guard Station on a temporary assignment to supervise structure
protection operations.

    Key Decisions & Actions:
    A revised WFSA was approved for the Custer Motorway/Eightmile alternative.
    Initiated limited firing operations in the vicinity of Hecla Mine.
    Began surveying crews, overhead and engines to determine whether they would
      be willing to extend beyond fourteen day assignments.


                                            25
  Size      Percent         Crews     Engines      WT        T1          T2           T3
          Containment                                      Copters     Copters      Copters
13,712        30              21         12         3         3           2            2


August 12, 2006
One additional crew was assigned to the Zane Fire, for a total of five during the
operational period.

Division R initially started constructing direct line from DP-20 toward the north and Red
Rock Creek. The fire edge became spotty and the terrain impeded completion of this
line. The burnout operation continued slowly south on the west side of Jordan Creek
from the vicinity of Hecla Mine.

The weather in the afternoon became drier and windier than the forecast predicted. At
about 1625 the Zane Fire reported that the crews were not keeping up with the fire,
despite the efforts of two type 1 helicopters. The crews pulled back and conducted a
head count.

Operations ordered replacement crews for August 14 in the morning. During the late
afternoon, planning was advised that NICC had scheduled the NIFC jet to take the Alaska
crews home on August 14. According to the resource information the team had gathered,
the demobilization date for the Alaska crews should have been August 15. Since four of
the Alaska crews were spiked on the Zane Fire and the incident had only one standard
category type 2 helicopter, plans replied that the timeframe could not be met without an
additional type 2 helicopter.

    Key Decisions & Actions:
    Ordered replacement crews because half the crews would reach the fourteen day
      limit during the next three days.
    Initiated limited firing operations in the vicinity of Hecla Mine.
    Began surveying crews, overhead and engines to determine whether they would
      be willing to extend beyond fourteen day assignments
    Crews disengaged from the Zane Fire because of fire behavior.
    After negotiations with Salmon-Challis National Forest representative Carol
      Benkosky, a decision was made to wrap structures at the Estes Mine because of
      their historic significance, even though they are on patented property.

  Size      Percent         Crews     Engines      WT        T1          T2           T3
          Containment                                      Copters     Copters      Copters
15,798        30              21         15         3         3           2            2




                                              26
August 13, 2006
The weather forecast was for a more stable day with a Haines index of 3 and less wind
than the previous days, although the relative humidity would be in the mid teens.
Operations planned to continue the firing operations south down Jordan Creek from the
vicinity of Hecla Mine. A total of five crews were committed to the Zane Fire and they
were strongly encouraged to use helicopter delivered retardant as soon as visibility
conditions permitted.

The firing progressed south throughout the afternoon and was halted late in the afternoon
when shading on the east facing slope caused the wind to shift and the column collapsed
and smoke crossed the road. Crews gridded the area, but found no spot fires. On the
north end of division Q the fire started to outflank the north end of Hecla mine and was
stopped by two IHC crews with support of type 1 helicopters, SEATs and a heavy
airtanker.

Randy Anderson, Snake River IHC Superintendent, assumed control of the Zane Fire ay
1800. Pumps and hoselays were installed in the drainages on the north end of the Zane
Fire. Type 1 helicopters delivered retardant on the Zane Fire to support crews who had
been forces to retreat due to fire behavior for several consecutive days.

    Key Decisions & Actions:
    Ordered replacement crews because half the crews would reach the fourteen day
      limit during the next three days.
    Initiated limited firing operations in the vicinity of Hecla Mine.
    The IC approved a plan to split the Snake River IHC so one squad could finish
      line construction in Division D from H-9 north to a rocky barrier prior to joining
      the remainder of the crew on the Zane Fire.
    Used retardant to support crews on the Zane Fire and to keep the Potato Fire from
      outflanking the Hecla Mine.
    Established a road barricade to manage fire traffic on the Jordan Creek Road
      while firing operations were in progress.

  Size      Percent        Crews     Engines      WT        T1         T2          T3
          Containment                                     Copters    Copters     Copters
15,798        35             20         12         3         3          2           2


August 14, 2006
In planning, for the fourth time in five days the expected IR flight information was not
forthcoming. Apparently the scanner had problems. Updated mapping was done from
information gleaned from radio traffic and reports from the branch directors. During the
evening, a message came through Central Idaho Dispatch that the IR flight scheduled to
provide perimeter information for August 15th was cancelled.




                                             27
Two engines and a crew worked to secure the line behind the Hecla Mine. Firing
operations began again in Jordan Creek at 1230 after the smoke inversion lifted. The
weather soon became adverse and exceeded the expectations of the weather forecasts in
terms of relative humidity and wind. Firing operations ceased at 1410 and Branch II
reported numerous spot fire across Jordan Creek Road and the smoke column laying in
the Yankee Fork drainage across Custer State Historic Town Site. At 1515 the Bonanza
RAWS had a temperature of 82, a relative humidity of 9 and a westerly wind of 7 with
gusts of 22 miles per hour.

At 1415 operations ordered six tactical water tenders, 10 engines, and four task force
leaders for immediate need.

At 1500 Central Idaho Dispatch called planning and indicated that the Trail Creek Fire
was making a run and the Middle Fork IC was implementing an evacuation of 30
escorted guests from the Diamond D Ranch. Since the only egress for the evacuees was
down the Jordan Creek Road they needed assurance that the fire had not closed road
access. Branch II stated that the road was passable the division tactical frequency was
passed through CIDC to the Middle Fork IC.

At 1600 Branch II reported the fire was running down Red Rock Creek with the wind and
the fire was blowing out in lightning creek. The crew working at the north end of Hecla
Mine was forced to retreat.

Throughout the afternoon the resources on Division Q were busy suppressing spot fires
on the east slope of Jordan Creek. Branch II quit counting spot fires after fifty. One
crew, Scammon Bay, refused to continue gridding on the slope. The other crews,
however, continued aggressive suppression action.

During the late afternoon the winds abated. Branch II resumed the firing operation south
from the mouth of Red Rock Creek. Conditions were good for burning, so the night shift
engines along with three crews (Sawtooth IHC, Bonneville IHC and Teton #2) continued
firing through the night and completed burning out Division Q and Division R by 0430.

    Key Decisions & Actions:
    Based upon the IMET weather forecast operations initiated a slow firing operation
      to continue securing the Jordan Creek Road south toward Bonanza.
    Once adverse winds hit the firing was suspended and crews attacked numerous
      spot fires.
    Ordered additional engines, water tenders and overhead for immediate need.
      Confirmation was received on the engine request within five hours.
    The IMET worked on figuring out why the weather was varying from the forecast
      to help operations make decisions for the remainder of the operational period.
    Worked with the Middle Fork IC through Central Idaho Dispatch to accommodate
      the evacuation of thirty guests from the Diamond D Ranch through the Jordan
      Creek fire activity.



                                            28
        Type 1 helicopter delivery of retardant and the installation of pumps and hose on
         the Zane Fire resulted in progress toward stopping the spread of the fire.
        Got information about R&R and extension of the Silver City IHC
        Branch II extended the shifts of three crews into the night and completed firing
         operations on Division Q and Division R.

  Size        Percent        Crews     Engines      WT        T1          T2        T3
            Containment                                     Copters     Copters   Copters
16,489          42             18         12         3         3           2         2


August 15, 2006
The plan was adjusted at the briefing to mitigate the long shift for the three crews that
continued firing operations during the night. The day plan was to continue containment
action on the Zane Fire, hold the line and search for spot fires in Divisions Q and R, and
place a high priority on finding a spot (likely a lightning fire) that the MODIS mapping
showed to be due east of Division Q, high on the slope. The previous evening Branch II
had a visual sighting of the spot and estimated the size at one acre.

Situation flew the north end of the fire and Jordan Creek with a Bullard IR during late
morning. They were unable to locate the “spot fire” but were able to direct crews into
two other spot fires east of Jordan Creek. One of these spots may have been the spot fire
in question. The GIS map was updated with the latest GPS track and resulted in an
updated perimeter and a size of 18,363 acres.

The Zane Fire reported a 2-5 acre spot fire on the slope to the east.

Power to the Hecla mine was energized at midnight August 14th because there was one
sediment pond without auxiliary power that was filling and threatening to spill into the
creek. During the following morning operations requested to have the lines de-energized
again because snags were falling across the power lines.

The weather remained cool and favorable. The Forest Fire Staff flew the fire to evaluate
options and agreed the best plan at this time is to secure the fire perimeter in place.
Operations formulated a plan that would achieve this objective in the shortest time span.
Establish helispots and spike camps in the West Fork of the Yankee Fork and Lightning
Creek on August 16th. During August 17th through August 20th spike six type 1 crews at
these locations and complete securing the remaining uncontrolled perimeter. The
problem: we do not have the required number of type 1 crews on hand during this period
and would have to get them assigned and in place for that projected four day period.

    Key Decisions & Actions:
    The Forest affirmed the strategy of containing the fire in place.
    Held the Division R and Q burnout through the burning period.
    Initiated suppression action west from the north end of the Hecla Mine.



                                               29
  Size      Percent        Crews      Engines      WT        T1         T2         T3
          Containment                                      Copters    Copters    Copters
18,363        60              13         21         3         3          2          2


August 16, 2006
Two crews (Sawtooth IHC and Salmon-Challis Reg.) continued line construction from
the north end of the Hecla Mine around the north end of the fire in what would become
Division P the next operational period. This operation was supported by SEATs as the
crews started downhill with good black safety zones. One dozer was released in the
morning and the remaining dozer began rehabilitation of the dozer lines constructed from
the West Fork trailhead to Bonanza.

Air operations established helispots in the bottom of the West Fork of the Yankee Fork
and Lightning Creek.

Aviation personnel and aircraft are becoming increasingly difficult to fill behind, with
many orders (i.e. HELM, HECM, Type II helicopter) ending up as unable to fill (UTF).

The Pleasant Valley IHC arrived on the incident shortly before noon and were briefed
and assigned to finishing the line in Division D from the West Fork of the Yankee Fork
south to the rocky barrier.

At noon Operations made a decision to release the portable retardant base.

    Key Decisions & Actions:
    Established helispot and spike locations to prepare for direct perimeter operations
      on the northwest side of the fire.
    Decision made to release the portable retardant base at the end of the operational
      period.
    Decision made to release six engines and both dozers.
    Received infrared imagery at 0235. Hotspot locations identified on infrared were
      all within established perimeter or are previously identified spot fires.
    Completed rehabilitation of the dozer line in Division R.
    Decision made to end staffing of night structure group operational periods as of
      2400.
    The IMET issued a red flag warning for wind and dry lightning from 1700-2100.

  Size      Percent        Crews      Engines      WT        T1         T2         T3
          Containment                                      Copters    Copters    Copters
18,363        65              12         22         3         3          2          2




                                              30
August 17, 2006
Five Alaska type 2 crews arrived at the incident during the night. They were briefed and
evaluated by Operations Section Chief (t) Rod Collins. A decision to assign two crews to
work out of West Fork Spike assigned to Division E.

    Key Decisions & Actions:
    Air Operations set a priority for helicopters and retardant to the area identified on
      the infrared flight in Division F. The strategy was to keep the fire in check with
      air attack until the proper type of crews became available to assign to that area.
    Developed a plan to close Silver Creek Spike Saturday (August 19) morning.
    Two crews continued work to secure the north end of the fire in Division P and
      made good progress.
    After evaluating the Alaska type 2 crews it was determined that two of them were
      capable of safely working the line in steep terrain out of West Fork Spike.
    The line within Division D was completed.
    Released Portable retardant plant.
    Replacement HEB1 (Dave Langley) arrived and assumed control of Potato
      helibase.

  Size      Percent         Crews     Engines      WT        T1          T2         T3
          Containment                                      Copters     Copters    Copters
18,416        70              14         16         3         3           2          2


August 18, 2006
Resources reached a minimal level as crews timed out and went home. Replacement
crews, especially the type of crews needed to do the job, were not available in the system.
Some progress was made in division E, but the Pleasant Valley IHC timed out and had to
demob, leaving two type 2 crews. The outstanding orders for six type 1 or 2 IA crews
was reduced to three since none appeared to be available.

In Division P, two type 2 crews worked to strengthen the line that had already been
worked above the basin west of Hecla Mine. A Wisconsin type 2 IA walked from the
Hecla Mine to Lightning Spike (this area was identified to require 3-4 type 1 or type 2 IA
crews).

Established a Rehab Group to work with the resource advisor to identify work and ensure
that crews were deployed to complete the required work. Three type 2 crews began
doing line rehab work. This was an opportunity to evaluate their skills and fitness to help
make a decision whether to insert them into one of the remote spike camps to work
hotline between the West Fork of the Yankee Fork and Lightning Creek.
     Key Decisions & Actions:
     Cancelled pending orders for three T1 or T2 IA crews.
     Operations worked on a projected glide path.
     Started looking at type 3 transition organization contingent on achieving the
        containment objectives.


                                              31
        Worked Division F and E with type 1 helicopters to hold the fire within a
         tactically suitable location until crews can work into that area.

  Size        Percent        Crews     Engines      WT        T1         T2            T3
            Containment                                     Copters    Copters       Copters
18,416          75             12         11         2         3          2             2


August 19, 2006
The Rehab Branch made good progress after being inserted into Hay Creek Spike by
helicopter. Rehab was completed from Hay Creek Spike to the Division Y/W break.
Another crew finished rehab within Divisions R and S.

Division E flew two crews from H-42 to H-43 and the crews worked south to secure the
perimeter from the ridge between Lightning Creek and the West Fork of the Yankee
Fork. The top basin was completed.

In Division P one crew ran a hoselay to mop-up the lower end of the division. A hoselay
was also established to the base of the large spot fire on the slope in Division F that
burned very aggressively during the afternoon despite constant action by three type 1
helicopters. The spot increased by an estimated 40 acres. Relative Humidity had dropped
to 8% by mid-afternoon.

Operations and the Deputy Incident Commander flew a helicopter recon of the fire in the
vicinity of Divisions E/F/P to evaluate whether the perceived risk of continued direct
action was worth sustaining. Divisions E and P looked nearly secure. Division F, which
was not staffed, appeared to be safe ground to engage the fire while it was still in a
tactically advantageous place. A contingency plan of holding the main ridge upstream to
a rock faced mountain and then hold the fire at the bottom of the slope to the west side of
Lightning Creek.

Two additional Type 1 crews from Canada were confirmed to arrive at the incident on
August 20th, but the Silver City IHC, returning from R&R were reassigned.

    Key Decisions & Actions:
    Affirmed the tactical actions for Division F and identified trigger points for
      changing strategy.
    Began work on forming a type 3 incident organization for transfer of command
      scheduled for August 23.
    Completed rehab of lines on the southwest corner of the fire.
    Implemented 1 hour Safety Stand down throughout the aviation branch.


  Size        Percent        Crews     Engines      WT        T1         T2            T3
            Containment                                     Copters    Copters       Copters
18,454          75             8          4          1         3          2             2


                                               32
August 20 2006
One crew was deployed to Division D to secure hot spots that were identified by the
Bullard IR flight of August 18th. Two crews continued suppression rehab and worked to
Basin Lake Spike.

Operations and the Incident Commander flew helicopter recon over Divisions E and P/F
to discuss tactics with the division supervisors. The decision was to work from the
bottom and secure the heel of the spot after using the helicopter IR unit to identify and
mark spot fires below that location so they could be secured.

Division E reported that the Mat-Su crew had developed sore feet after three shifts on the
steep terrain and would have to be flown from H-42 the following day for rehab since
they could not continue for another operational period.

Two crews from Saskatchewan arrived at the incident at about 1600. The Forest
indicated they could provide the Silver City IHC by 1600 on Monday.

    Key Decisions & Actions:
    Affirmed the tactical actions for Division F and identified trigger points for
      changing strategy.
    Began work on forming a type 3 incident organization for transfer of command
      scheduled for August 23.
    Helibase personnel shortages continue to impact helibase operations. However,
      no compromise in safety was experienced.
    Established aviation resources to be transitioned to incoming team.


August 21, 2006
The Rehab Branch completed suppression rehab from Basin Lake Spike to the Division
T/S break.

The weather forecast predicted high temperatures and single digit RH with a Haines
Index of 6. Fortunately, a cloud cover developed and held fire activity in check.

As crews arrived at the incident or became available from other divisions, they were
inserted to Lightning Spike for a maximum effort on the one remaining uncontained
division, Division F. Crews going to Division F had to hike from DP-20 up the West
Fork and Lightning Creek Trails, a distance of approximately eight miles, because there
were no suitable locations to construct a helispot for type 2 helicopters within Lightning
Creek. The Ft. Yukon crew walked from West Fork Spike to Lightning Spike to assist
with a partial day of work before returning to ICP for rehab. Division E was abandoned
for a higher priority division and final mop-up should be evaluated with an IR flight or
the assignment of a crew for one more day. Pioneer Peak IHC and Silver City IHC,
along with the two Saskatchewan crews also were deployed to Division F. Forty


                                            33
handtools were ordered by the division supervisor to be slung to H-66 for the Canadian
crews.

The medical unit reported that about fifty percent of the members of the Alaska crews
were being treated for foot blisters ranging from moderate to serious.

    Key Decisions & Actions:
    A decision was made to order a type 2 IMT to assume command of the Potato
      Fire and the Boundary Fire.
    All pending resource orders for crews and operations overhead were cancelled.
    Decided to release one type 3 helicopter at the end of the operational period.
    Made a maximum deployment of crews to attempt to secure Division F before the
      forecasted red flag weather predicted for August 22nd.
    The operations section chiefs from the incoming type 2 incident management
      team arrived at about 1800 and began transitioning with the Great Basin IMT.


August 22, 2006
Firefighter safety was stressed at the morning briefing and the crews were told not push
personnel to the point that foot problems would be worsened.

DIVS Mike Smith was inserted into Division F/P to begin to transition with the IMT
DIVS with the intent of transferring control of that division during the afternoon of
August 23. Transitioning continued with the operations section from the Eastern Arizona
IMT. OPBD Jeff Prevey, who would remain after transition, worked closely with the
incoming operations section chief to ensure retention and continuity of the situational
knowledge of the fire. The planning meeting for the August 23rd was moved to 1530
instead of 1900 to accommodate a team schedule that included participation in a large fire
cost review team at 1300 and the agency administrator briefing at Stanley at 1800 for the
incoming Eastern Arizona IMT.

Division D had one crew assigned to complete securing hotspots and finish suppression
rehab. Five crews were assigned to work on containment of Division F. One crew was
inserted by helicopter to the Zane Fire to work an interior smoke that was reported by air
attack and doused with bucket drops the previous day. Three Alaska crews were
assigned to work on line rehab within Division T. Rehab of all handline within Division
T was not completed because the team recognized that some of the ground was too steep
to work with the crews available to do the work.

    Key Decisions & Actions:
    Directed the rehab branch to evaluate the condition of the Alaska crews and stand
      down any crewmembers with raw feet.
    Ensured that a branch director with local knowledge of the fire remained after
      transfer of command.
    Ensured that a positive transition of DIVS was in place for the active Division F.



                                            34
August 23, 2006
Staffing on the fire was limited to Division F and the engine patrol along Jordan Creek.
The five Alaska crews were reassigned to the South Fork Complex on the Payette
National Forest. The location of base facilities was moved to the Boundary Fire ICP and
the helibase was established at Dry Creek. Transfer of command to the Eastern Arizona
IMT was planned for 1800.

    Key Decisions & Actions:
    The aviation branch transitioned with the replacement team Aviation branch
      Director. All resources remaining for the incident were identified and discussed
      (i.e. personnel, equipment, and aircraft).
    A final inspection of lands secured under land use agreements, for the helibase,
      was conducted
    Transfer of command was planned for 1800.




                                           35
Situation Unit

Staffing
The Situation Unit was staffed by a Situation Unit Leader (Tholen), two GIS Specialists
(Theall and Black), a Fire Behavior Analyst (Reid), an Incident Meteorologist (Walman,
who transitioned to Survick), and an Infrared Interpreter (Art Kreger, who transitioned to
Jacokes-Mancini). Four Field Observer‟s worked in the unit for various lengths of time
(Steve Alarid, Roger Hoverman, Chuck Sheafer, and Jerry Simons). The SITL demobed
on August 20 at 1700 hrs.

The unit also had 6 trainees including, a Situation Unit Leader trainee (Hinckley), a Fire
Behavior Analyst Trainee (Mohr), a GIS Specialist Trainee (Alford), a Field Observer
Trainee Shannon Atencio and two Incident Meteorologist Trainees (Morford transitioned
to Lavis) The FOBS were all part of the initial order and were demobed when their 14
day assignment ended. The SITL Trainee and the GIS Trainee were demobed on August
14th.

Three of the FOBS were assigned by the previous IMT to divisions that were spiking out,
so very little information was received from them until we reassigned them to divisions
that had road access. The FOBS were assigned to hand GPS the fire boundary and assist
Operations with line location and fuel mapping. FOBS Alarid injured his knee while
walking the fire perimeter. He was sent to the Medical Unit and was released to return to
work the following day. A CA-1 was completed and filed in Comp/Claims.

IRIN Mancini had a vehicle accident (collided with a deer on Hwy. 75 south of Stanley,
ID) in route to the incident on August 12, 2006. She was not injured in the accident,
however, the vehicle (a Hertz rental vehicle from Boise) was disabled. She managed to
get a ride to the Potato ICP that evening. The following day, Ground Support took her to
the disabled vehicle to retrieve her personal belongings and were able to take the vehicle
(Ground Support pried the bumper away from the tire) to Hertz in Hailey, Idaho, where a
new rental vehicle was obtained. An accident report was filed with Hertz and with the
Potato Fire Comp./Claims Unit.


Clerical Services
Printing, plotting and copying were in the incident management team‟s trailer and the
Lightning Ridge Clerical Services trailer. Lightning Ridge Clerical Services was used to
limit the amount of late night plotting and copying to accommodate the 2 to 1 work/rest
ratio within the Situation Unit.




                                            36
Maps
The active fire perimeters, completed fire line, and fire line needing rehab were mapped
using aerial GPS conducted by the Situation Unit Leader, GPS tracts provided by the
FOBS, and high altitude infrared imagery. IR imagery was ordered nightly through
August 17, at which time it was discontinued. However, the Situation Unit actually
received IR imagery only on August 6, 9, 11, 12, 15 and 17 (as well as on Aug. 3 & 4
under previous IMT). The IRIN assisted several other fires with mapping their IR
images, including the Boundary Fire, the Trail Creek Fire and the Woodtick Fire. She
was demobed on August 18, 2006.

The Situation Unit produced a variety of maps and other information useful to
tactical/logistical operations and the overall management of the incident. The following
products were produced:

       IAP Map
       Briefing Map with Infrared
       Pilot Map
       Fire Progression Map
       Camp Map
       Yankee Fork Sleeping Area Map
       Transportation Map
       Incident Information Map (reduced-sized Briefing Maps)
       TFR/Initial Attack Area Map
       Assorted maps in assistance to the Situation Unit for the Boundary Fire


Incident Status Summaries
Incident status summaries (ICS-209s) were completed by the SITL, reviewed and edited
by the Planning Section Chief, approved by the Incident Commander (when available)
and posted daily to the FAMWEB internet site. Data and map products were posted daily
to an FTP site: ftp://ftp.nifc.gov/Incident_Specific _Data\2006_Potato. On August 18,
when the FAMWEB website was down, it was faxed to the Salmon-Challis NF Expanded
Dispatch, Eastern Great Basin CC, and NICC.

The final size of the Potato Fire was 18,236 acres and Zane Fire was 218 acres. All of
the acreage burned was on land administered by the USDA, Forest Service, Salmon-
Challis National Forest.

Incident data and final map products reside on this FTP site and were copied to CDs for
inclusion into the final incident record.




                                           37
Weather
From a weather summary and log by IMET James Wallman and IMET trainee Dave
Morford:
August 6: Temperatures were again near 40 lower elevations to 50s upper elevations.
Continued good recovery in the valleys. Temperatures were near 85F low elevations to
75F ridges. Min humidity dropped to 12-18% during the afternoon. The atmosphere was
unstable but no showers developed near the fire. Winds were mostly upslope, but
southwest around 5 mph on the ridges.
August 7: Temperatures were cool again, but a thermal belt was observed with
temperatures near 40 valleys to the upper 50s ridges. Humidity recovery was 70-80%
valleys to near 40% ridges. Afternoon thunderstorms brought 1/3 to ½ inch of rain at the
ICP between 1230 and 1500 MDT. A trace of rain was reported on the fire with up to 30
mph wind gusts from 1200 through 1500. The thunderstorms remained to the northeast
the rest of the day. Winds remained light northeast in most places. The Bonanza RAWS
reached a high of 85 with the Potato RAWS reaching 80. Minimum RH reached 15% at
both elevations.
Weather summary from IMET Bob Survick and IMET trainee Mike Lavis:
August 8: A cold front crossed the fire today. Isolated dry thunderstorms were noted
mainly north of the fire. The Bonanza RAWS site reported a morning low temperature of
41F and an afternoon high of 85F. Relative humidity reached 81 percent Tuesday
morning and dipped to 7 percent in the afternoon. Afternoon canyon winds were
southerly at 6 to 10 mph with gusts to 24 mph. At ridge top the Potato fire RAWS
(FRWS-26, elevation 8800 feet) reported a morning low temperature of 57F and an
afternoon high of 75F. Relative humidity at ridge top was 38 percent in the morning and
near 12 percent in the afternoon.
August 9: Cooler temperatures resulted behind the Low pressure disturbance that crossed
the area on Tuesday. A moderately strong inversion developed under post frontal high
pressure early morning and continued until 1100 MDT. Smoke trapped in the inversion
delayed heating from the sun. Bonanza RAWS site reported an afternoon high of 76F.
The FRWS26 reported 73F. The minimum relative humidity at Bonanza and FRWS26
was 21 and 24 percent, respectively. Winds on the lower slopes and canyon were
generally northeast 2 to 4 mph until 1000 MDT then slope oriented with gusts to 15 mph
in the afternoon.
August 10: A Pacific trough of low pressure was moving slowly inland. Temperatures
warmed under southwest flow ahead of the trough. The Bonanza RAWS site at 6500 feet
reported an afternoon high of 82F and FRWS26 reached 75F. Minimum afternoon
humidity at Bonanza was 9 percent and FRWS26 just 12 percent. Valley winds were
southwest 4 to 9 mph gusting to 22 mph. Winds at ridge top were southwest 3 to 6 mph
gusting to 22 mph. In the early evening strong thunderstorms developed near Lewiston,
Idaho and thunderstorm outflow winds reached the Potato Fire by 2200 MDT. Light rain
shower were observed at the ICP. The Potato FRWS26 reported a peak gust of 33 mph at
2224 MDT. Winds at the ICP were estimated close to 40 mph.
August 11: A cold front crossed the Potato Fire around 0300 MDT. Ridge top winds
were northerly behind the front at 4 to 8 mph with gusts to 17 mph by sunrise, and varied
west to north with gusts to 30 mph through the day, based on the Potato Fire RAWS and
Helibase reports. Slope winds were light down canyon until 1100 MDT, then west-
southwest at 8 to 12 mph with gusts to 27 mph until 1900 MDT, based on Bonanza
RAWS and observations from the fire line. High temperatures were near 66F at ridge top
and 74F at 6500 feet. Minimum relative humidity varied from 22 percent at ridge top to
15 percent at 6500 feet. At 1459 MDT the National Weather Service Office in Pocatello


                                           38
issued a Red Flag Warning strong gusty winds and low relative humidity in Southeast
Idaho zone 406, valid until 2200 MDT.
August 12: A low pressure disturbance crossed central Idaho this morning. Scattered rain
showers and isolated thunderstorms developed between 0300 and 0800 MDT, then
showers became more isolated and ended by 1300 MDT. Both the Bonanza RAWS site
and the portable FRWS-26 reported .01 inch rain. A trace of rain occurred at the ICP.
Dry air and subsidence associated with the upper level jet nosed into the fire area early in
the afternoon and quickly lowered relative humidity to near 12 percent at Bonanza. Gusts
to 30 mph were observed in the Jordan Creek area. Winds early in the morning were
variable 1 to 4 mph and west-southwest 5 to 8 mph gusting at times to 23 mph in the
afternoon. Bonanza RAWS reported a morning low of 43F and an afternoon high of 72F.
FRWS-26 reported a morning low of 46F and an afternoon high of 63F.
August 13: Stable high pressure and mostly clear skies dominated the fire today. Winds
were slope driven at about 2-5 mph. Bonanza RAWS reported a morning low of 33F and
an afternoon high of 81F. FRWS-26 reported a low of 39F and an afternoon high of 73F.
Relative humidity at Bonanza varied from 10 to 80 percent. Relative humidity at FRWS-
26 varied from 13 to 59 percent.
August 14: Gusty west-southwest winds developed in the afternoon as high pressure
shifted east. Humidity dropped to below 12 percent for a period of 3 to 5 hours, and
Bonanza RAWS recorded 8 to 9 percent for 4 hours. Bonanza RAWS reported a
morning low of 36F and the high was 84F, with westerly gusts up to 26 mph in the
afternoon. FRWS-26 reported a morning low of 51F, a high of 76F, and afternoon gusts
to 23 mph. Relative humidity at Bonanza ranged from 8 to 73 percent. Relative humidity
at FRWS-26 varied from 10 to 35 percent.
August 15: An upper level disturbance brought some moisture and instability to the area.
Isolated thunderstorms developed near the fire between 0200 and 0400 MDT, followed
by partial clearing, then isolated thunderstorms occurred during the late morning and
afternoon with gusts to 43 mph. Prevailing winds were easterly 2-6 mph gusting 17 mph
in the afternoon. Bonanza RAWS reported a morning low of 44F and an afternoon high
of 76F. FRWS-26 reported a morning low of 55F and an afternoon high of 69F. Relative
humidity at Bonanza varied from 17 to 50 percent. Relative humidity at FRWS-26 varied
from 21 to 29 percent. Rainfall totaled 0.12” at Bonanza RAWS, and Division “R”
reported wetting rain near 1600 MDT.
August 16: A low pressure disturbance over Oregon and Washington moved eastward
pushing a cold front across the fire near 1700 to 2000 MDT. A strong upper level jet
(approx 85KTS), moved overhead with the jet core passing slightly to the east and south.
Isolated thunderstorms passed nearby from 0100 to 0200 MDT, followed by mostly clear
skies through the morning, and then isolated showers and thunderstorms re developed in
the afternoon. Winds were light east to southeast in the morning, then became gusty
from the southwest between 1500 and 2100 MDT. Ridge top winds showed peak gusts to
45 mph in the afternoon. FRWS-26 reported a peak gust to 35 mph near 1700 MDT.
Gusts at the ICP were estimated near 40-45 mph at 2030 MDT with blowing dust. A trace
of rain was reported today. Bonanza RAWS reported a morning low of 39F and an
afternoon high of 79F. FRWS-26 reported a morning low of 49F and an afternoon high of
71F. Relative humidity at Bonanza varied from 10 to 93 percent. Relative humidity at
FRWS-26 varied from 18 to 46 percent. A Red Flag Warning was in effect for the fire
area and a severe thunderstorm watch was issued for areas immediately north of the fire.
Thunderstorms were more numerous west and north of the area, and several severe
thunderstorm warnings were issued for strong winds and large hail near Lewiston and
Cascade. Outflow winds from storms to the west appeared to have channeled through the



                                            39
Salmon river drainage and caused the 2030 MDT ICP winds, but did not reach the
RAWS sites on the fire.
August 17: An upper level trough passed over the region today and lifted off to the
northeast by evening. A few showers developed near the fire between 1500 and 1900
MDT with isolated lightning strikes in the surrounding area. Bonanza RAWS reported a
morning low of 34F and an afternoon high of 69F. FRWS-26 reported a morning low of
40F and an afternoon high of 62F. Relative humidity at Bonanza varied from 21 to 92
percent. Relative humidity at FRWS-26 varied from 24 to 67 percent. Rainfall totaled
0.01” at Bonanza RAWS, with some reports of light rain from the fire area, and one
report of small hail around 1730 MDT.
August 18-21: High pressure building over the fire today brought a dry stable airmass.
Skies were clear in the morning, then scattered stratocumulus developed in the afternoon.
Winds were slope driven at about 2-5 mph; ridge winds were predominantly E to SE 2-6
mph gust 13 mph. Drier mid-level air mixed down and lowered the dew points into the
upper teens for 1-3 hours in the late afternoon. Bonanza RAWS reported a morning lows
in the lower 30s and an afternoon highs of 78-83F. FRWS-26 reported morning lows in
the upper 30s and an afternoon highs of 71-76F. Relative humidity at Bonanza varied
from 7 to 96 percent. Relative humidity at FRWS-26 varied from 7 to 75 percent. At
1453 MDT Sunday WFO Pocatello issued a Fire Weather Watch for gusty winds and low
humidity valid for Tuesday. The watch was up graded to a Red Flag Warning at 1451
MDT Monday.
August 22: A dry cold front crossed the fire near noon today. Winds on the lower slopes
were southwest at 7 to 9 mph gusting to 31 mph based on Bonanza RAWS site. FRWS26
reported southwest winds 9 to 14 mph gusting to 37 mph. Under mostly sunny skies,
Bonanza RAWS reported a morning low of 39F and an afternoon high of 85F. FRWS-26
reported a morning low of 56F and an afternoon high of 75F. Relative humidity at
Bonanza varied from 8 to 73 percent. Relative humidity at FRWS-26 varied from 9 to 30
percent. At 1507 MDT the National Weather Service in Pocatello issued a Fire Watch
for gusty winds and low relative humidity on Wednesday.


Fire Behavior

The fire was very active during the initial burning period, as it spread to the northeast
through a series of torching, short crown fire runs and short-moderate spotting. The fire
moved to approximately one mile northeast of Bonanza and the Yankee Fork drainage.
The fire was assisted by temperatures of 87 degrees, 9% relative humidity and WSW
winds of 5 – 12 mph with gusts to 27.

Weather remained clear, warm and dry the next few days as heat intensity of spot fires
increased and exhibited torching behavior among single trees, groups of trees and short
crown fire runs where the stand was more continuous and influenced by slope or wind.




                                            40
It was a very patchy burn, with slight perimeter increases each day as torching, short
crown runs and more scattered spots developed. Burning of unburned areas within the
fire perimeter
was common
every day.
Major perimeter
increases
occurred on
August 9th and
10th as frontal
passage winds
pushed the fire
edge north –
northwest down
Deadwood
Creek, across
West Fork
Yankee Fork
drainage into
Lightning Creek
and eventually
reach the ridgeline between Lightning and Jordan Creeks. Jordan Creek became the
critical portion of the perimeter.

A burn-out strategy was initiated late afternoon of August 11th near Hecla Mine, and
continued the next two days down Jordan Creek as conditions favored upslope winds
along this east facing slope. The burn-out operation was halted shortly after it began on
August 13th, as adverse wind conditions caused spot fires across Jordan Creek. Intensive
gridding and quick suppression actions contained the spots. Near evening, burn-out
operations commenced at a slow pace bringing the fire‟s edge to lower end of Red Rock
Creek. After further assessment, it was decided to initiate a night burn-out during very
clam night weather conditions. The objective was to establish a secure eastern –
southeastern perimeter around Rookie Point, through the south facing grass sagebrush
slope above the Bonanza town site, to the area in West Fork drainage where the fire
crossed on August 9th. This strategy was started around 10:00 p.m. by first burning out
heavier fuel concentrations on the north facing slope of Red Rock Creek. The burn out
operation was completed around 4:30 a.m., August 15th.

Overall strategy was to utilized available resources to secure the west, south, and eastern
perimeter, and the Zane Fire as first priority. As predicted the fire in Lightning Creek
slowly moved northward in draws and drainages being influenced by west and south
oriented aspect, slope steepness and up drainage winds. Actions to establish a perimeter
started around August 16th and continued in this rugged and inaccessible area for most of
the following week.




                                            41
Fuel Type and Conditions
Majority of the fire area is Sub alpine fir Fuel Type. Characteristic of this fuel type are
sub alpine fir trees with branches that form an excellent fuel ladder from ground surface
to tree top, allowing for quick vertical development of fire. North slopes are often multi-
storied stands and fairly continuous. The other slopes vary from continuous to more open
or patchy. Sub alpine fir may dominate in places but usually the stand is a mixture of
Sub alpine fir, Lodgepole pine, White bark pine and Douglas fir. Insects have caused
mortality with some Lodgepole and Sub alpine fir, adding a dead standing component to
this fuel type.

Beneath these tree canopies is a fuel bed of partially decomposed woody fuels, fine size
fuels or duff layer that is very receptive for these glowing embers until they build
sufficient heat intensity to ignite the tree crown. Field observations reveal very dry fuels,
with fuel moisture
for 1 Hr. fuels at 3 –
4%; 10 Hr. fuels at
5 – 6 %; 100 Hr.
fuels at 7 – 8%; and
9 – 12% for 1000
Hr. (Size of these
fuels are less than ¼
inch, ¼ to 1 inch, 1
to 3 inch, and 3
inches and larger
diameter,
respectively).
Canopy foliage is
near dormancy,
with a live fuel
moisture of 96 –
108%. Very little
pre-heating and pre-drying is necessary for these fuels to ignite and develop into a
torching fire and send out a shower glowing embers. The number of spot fires that result
or the spotting distance depends on the ignition component for the day and the wind
speed. The probability of ignition ranged from 60 – 90 %. Torching often involves more
than one tree, which significantly increases the glowing ember shower and possible spot




                                             42
fires.




Fire dynamics associated with the Sub alpine fir fuel type is displayed as a curve that
remains fairly inactive as warming and drying progress through the season. Then at some
point, the curve takes an abrupt change to the extreme with just a slight increment
increased of fuel drying or energy release component (ERC) increase. (In comparison,
fire behavior dynamics for most fuel types is a gradual increase as conditions become
warmer and drier.) The ERC Index with values in the 97 percentile throughout the life of
the fire, along with on-site measurements of dead and live fuel moistures, indicate this
fuel type is at the threshold for extreme fire behavior.


Logistics
Supply

The transition with the Blue team went very smoothly. The Supply Unit was set up and
running and they had ordered enough personnel to make Supply run efficiently.
Expanded wanted all local purchases input into ROSS (by Expanded personnel) to assign
S numbers to incident supply orders. This eventually caused a significant slow down and
bottleneck in passing on items to the Buying Team. The extra time it took to input items
into ROSS and then faxing the S numbers back to ICP along with the defaults that ROSS
sometimes does, was very frustrating when ordering multiple items. This also caused



                                           43
problems in Receiving and Distribution at ICP. Orders were, at times, received prior to
Ordering receiving the S numbers from dispatch and often caused confusion and delay in
the distribution of supplies. Orders were at times not passed on to the Buying Team until
they were entered into ROSS with a delay of as much as 4 hours. The Buying Team
reported not receiving the resource orders and general messages (because they were
receiving the ROSS orders) that were sent from Ordering that had key information or
explanations on them. We strongly recommend not using ROSS to assign S numbers as
it slows down the ordering process.

Several different attempts were made to find a solution to the S number issue. The Center
Manager was contacted to discuss how Supply could expedite the process. Paul Siever,
Center Manager, and his supervisory dispatcher discussed the problem and developed a
solution that was workable for camp ordering. On August 11th, Supply received a block
of numbers to use for assigning local supplies and these would not be entered into ROSS.
This resolved the issues mentioned above.

The local buying team was overwhelmed with the number of local items needing
purchased. After the Type 1 Buying Team arrived, orders were filled quickly and the
backlog of supply orders were filled in a timely manner. Paul Siever, Center Manager,
allowed the Supply Unit Leader to have Incident Management Team ROSS permission.
Having ROSS access helped Supply track orders and catch some duplicate orders.
Supply was able to see if individuals were statused in ROSS before sending in name
requests to Expanded. It also allowed Supply to print Resource Orders for Finance.
A big thanks goes to the Great Basin Cache for working closely with Supply and helping
us out with special needs.

With the multiple spike camps established on the incident, Supply worked closely with
Communications, Medical and Food to try and ensure orders were sent out to the spike
camps in a timely manner. The Sho-Ban and Caribou-Targhee camp crews working in
supply did an excellent job and both had a very good safety record.

Facilities

The ICP/Base Camp was located at the Yankee Fork Work Station. Eight spike camps
were established during the incident. Silver Spike, located along the Yankee Fork Road
was the largest and only camp accessible by driving. The other spike camps Charlie, Hay
Ck, East Basin, H-9, West Fork, Lightening and Zane were only accessible by air or by
foot and were maintained at a primitive level.

Three 5-person camp crews were assigned to the Facilities Unit. All crews were from the
Western Nevada Agency. They were outstanding crews.

The ICP at Yankee Fork Guard Station worked well. Additional office space was
supplemented by Yurts supplied by the Great Basin Cache.




                                           44
All equipment and supplies were transferred to Boundary ICP or demobed from the ICP
by 1800 on 8/23 except for the Yurt occupied by Communications. Al Finley, Salmon-
Challis National Forest employee has agreed to make arrangements to return the Yurt to
the Great Basin Cache.

An order was placed with the Challis phone company, through the Buying Team to meet
with Yankee Fork work station employees on 8/24 and restore original phone lines and
demob additional phone lines added during the incident.

S number 6384 was designated to pump the septic system on the Yankee Fork Work
Center because of the large impact to the system. The Yankee Fork Work Center will
need to contact a septic service company.


Ground Support

Ground support was very busy dealing with multiple rental cars, buses, shuttles, supply
deliveries to spike camps and inspections and repairs of vehicles.
When Broyle‟s team assumed control of the incident, over 30 rental vehicles has been
assigned to individuals with very little documentation as to who they were assigned to or
where they were located on the incident. Ground Support spent a great deal of time
locating rentals over the course of the incident. One of the rental vendors, Quality
Motors, had sold 2 of the vehicles which were in use on the incident. These two vehicles
had to be located, pulled into Ground Support to await drivers from Quality Motors to
send replacement vehicles. All rentals were used, some very used, with marginal tires
and high miles. One rental was rejected for a leaking radiator and one was rejected for a
leaking power steering pump.

Ground Support equipment was being inspected in Salmon prior to Broyle‟s Team
transition. The IBA and Logistics Section Chief agreed at the in-briefing that we would
perform the inspections at ICP for all vehicles. The pre-inspection paperwork for the
vehicles inspected in Salmon could not be located for many of the vehicles. Some
vehicles which had to be reinspected at ICP did not match inspections completed in
Salmon. This caused controversy between the owner of the equipment, Expanded
Dispatch and Ground Support. Recommendation – if Ground Support has the capability
to inspect vehicles, let Ground Support perform them.

Ground Support needs to be very specific when ordering a “Heavy Mechanic with fully
equipped service truck”. Our expectations of what a Heavy Mechanic is and what was
needed in the service truck was not documented in the order. As a result, the first
mechanic who reported to Ground Support did not meet our needs. The Fire Business
Management Handbook also does not distinguish the difference between a Heavy and
Light Mechanic and does not include what each should include in their service trucks.
The local drivers with vehicles hired for the incident were a great help to the efforts in
Ground Support.




                                            45
Security

The incident, with the assistance of the Custer County Sheriff‟s Office maintained 3
roadblocks located on Basin Creek Road, Sunbeam and Jordan Creek Road. Jordan
Creek and Sunbeam were staffed 24 hours a day. On August 11, the Sheriff‟s
Department no longer provided Deputies and Security began maintaining all the road
blocks. On August 11 the Jordan Creek roadblock was moved 20 miles East to Mill
Creek Summit on the Custer Motorway. On August 17, the Mill Creek roadblock was
moved to 8 Mile Creek along the Custer Motorway. All roadblocks were removed the
evening of August 22.

One of the major concerns with the Forest Closure and Road Closures were the number
of exceptions that were made to the closures. This was a security problem and safety
problem. Protocols were written but were not followed at times.
Camp security was provided 24 hours a day at ICP. Security helped with the possible
staph infection (MYRSA) involving 5 crews from Alaska. The Sheriff‟s Department
alerted us to a possible felon working on our incident. The Sheriff provided a photo and
the individual was located working for the Caterer. We contacted the Sheriff and the
individual was subsequently arrested while out of camp in Challis.
Security had a difficult time finding replacement personnel for individuals timing out.
Security was able to shift people around to meet the needs of the fire.


Communications

On 08/12/06 took over the Communications Unit at the Potato Fire, near Challis Idaho
from Matt Nilsen. The unit remained in the same operational mode being used. We
provided communications for all operational periods.. Two of the COMT‟S were used
for briefings at the spike camps and radio duties.
We were using a 3 Command repeater system on Basin Butte(L-3), Bonanza Peak (C-4),
McGowan Peak (C-3), and Potoman Peak (C-5 Victor link) until 08/18/06. We increased
it to a 4 repeater system to cover spike camps and operations on the west side of Potato
Fire and the Zane Fire located on the west side our main fire. This repeater was placed
on Red Mountain (C-32). We also have an aircraft link (Victor) on Potoman Peak. All
the command repeaters are linked together via UHF. Some parts of this system can be
removed, but not all until all firefighters are out of the canyons.
There are 28 phone lines and 5 fax lines. Lines consist of 13 lines provided by Lyman
satellite systems with a technician. This includes 2 timed crew phones, 15 hard lines
from the local phone system and 2 portable satellite phones.
Telephones were a challenge in the beginning. All systems were used including as many
hard lines possible from the local phone company. The fire team also used district
telephones on a digital trunking system and a Lyman Brother‟s satellite trailer. As more
hard lines became available, satellite lines were demobed to contain cost. As people were
demobed some these positions were not filled.




                                           46
Radio communications were covered 24 hours a day. Command traffic was heavy at
times with line orders and planning completed with the field personnel.
The system will be left in place fully operational for the Type II Team assuming control
of the incident. One RADO will stay, one RADO is on order and one Comm Teach is on
order.


Food

The Potato Fire kitchen was D. F. ZEE‟S FIREFIGHTING CATERING from
Springfield, Oregon. They are capable of serving 1750 meals per serving period. Their
contract number is AG024BC059109.

This kitchen did a good job and provided the firefighters with tasty food that met national
food contract specifications. There was a lot of food sent to spike camps in hot cans and
the kitchen was up to the task. The kitchen had difficulty with their supply source which
caused menu changes and other minor problems which were eventually resolved. At the
highest point in the incident about 700 people were served, half of which were hot cans.

The kitchen staff was accommodating and cordial.


Finance
The Finance section for Broyles IMT1, consisting of the personnel below, arrived on the
Potato Fire, August 5, 2006. Melissa Towers, FSC2 had been operating a Finance
Section from the beginning of the incident. They had a very good transition plan and we
were well briefed.

Upon arrival at the incident there was a group of local Buying Team supporting Lunde‟s
team. Mardi Gooby was the lead and the team did a good job of supporting our needs
until Maurica Owen‟s T1 Buying Team arrived to assume those duties. They were
located in Salmon, ID.

The Incident Business Advisor was Judy Carvello until Mac Simpson arrived to assume
those duties. Both IBAs were very supportive of our needs and vital to the smooth
operation of this incident.




                                            47
The final Finance package will be turned over to the Salmon/Challis National Forest
Supervisor‟s Office. We have been sending completed EERA and casual payment
packages into the forest as they are completed to facilitate timely payment.

Name                   Position                Work Phone             Cell Phone
Carol Bass             FSC                     775-289-1803           775-296-2397
Jo Lippire             PROC                    801-975-3444           801-633-6760
Christina Finley       TIME                    208-879-4119           208-589-9089
Margo Rogers           TIME (T)                801-625-5337           801-389-3774
Darla Smith            COMP                    None                   775-962-1655
Cindy Higbee           COST                    None                   775-962-1465


Time

When we transitioned with the Blue Mountain Team, there were 6 Type 1 Crews, 19
Type 2 Crews, 3 engines and 4 helicopters. We were tracking time for approximately
780 people at the peak of our assignment. As crews were timing out, new crews were
coming in. Custer County Sheriff‟s Office has an agreement with the Salmon-Challis
National Forest and we used their personnel for security and road blocks. Two (2)
Canadian crews arrived on the 19th and their time will be documented.

There was 1 qualified PTRC and 1 trainee that stayed during the transition. The trainee
was signed off before she left the incident. We did get 2 more qualified PTRC‟s during
the first week of our detail, 1 of which we kept and we tried to get a reassignment for the
other. Our Time Unit Leader Trainee, Margo Rogers, was signed off. She will remain
assigned to the Team until April 2007.

The Crew Administrative Representative (CAR) for the 5 Alaska Crew worked with us in
tracking time and commissary. When these 5 crews timed out, they were flown back to
Alaska and 5 more crews were brought down. We again worked close with the CAR,
who this time was Darlene Langill. She was interested in learning the I-Suite program
and we worked with her.

There were issues with the Sho-Ban camp crew in that the crew boss continually changed
times for some of the members on her crew and was not able to monitor their
activities/duties.

Agency provided commissary was used to meet the needs of 10 Alaska crews and
miscellaneous overhead.

We were not able to electronically fax timesheets to the home units due to a problem with
the new I-SUITE program and the instability of the satellite phone system. We manually
faxed timesheets to the home units with minimal problems.




                                            48
We had several personnel exceeding the 16 hour shifts due to burn outs, travel, and
setting up operations. Documentation was prepared and mitigation was carried out.


Procurement

The Equipment Time Section consisted on of one equipment time recorder; Brenda
Mikula , Michigan Dept. of Resources. The Potato incident had one engine with one
excess hour on 8/8. The necessary documentation was included in the equipment
envelope. Of the 156 contracted equipment items, most were for logistical support.
Technical support was provided with 4 dozers, 23 engines and 4 tactical water tenders
assigned.

There were four land use agreements, two for the helibases (City of Challis S-313,
Sharon Enderlin S-212), one for the Dredge Spike Camp (Simplot S-6162) and one for
the horse pasture (Patsy Kindt S-243). There were personal phones used and placed
under EERA‟s at Dredge Spike Camp (Travis Hardy S-6161 and Bill Reid, Dredge Assn
S-6435). Laundry service was also provided for the MRSA incident.

Rental Cars will be paid by commercial invoice. Forest should submit copy of EERA,
Resource Order and Vendor‟s commercial invoice signed and approved for payment by
finance official, to Ogden IPC. Shift tickets are not needed and were not prepared.

Commercial invoices for Mobile Retardant plant (Pecos Valley E-175) were approved for
payment by signature as were commercial invoices for Retardant (S-446) under national
BPA. These contracts are unclear as to the proper signatures that are required in order to
make payment. A signature of the Finance Section Chief, Procurement Unit Leader or
Time Unit leader is needed on the invoices to approve payment as well as field personnel
that receive the goods. The appropriate method for approving these invoices is not
specified in the EERA but was confirmed with Colleen Hightower, Contracting Officer at
NIFC. Both payment envelopes were transferred to IBA Mac Simpson for submittal to
ASC Incident Business Contracts.

Jon Cummings has an EERA for various vehicles including a Mini Bus. The contract is
correctly written but is being interpreted by various personnel that the driver should be
hired as a casual in addition to his rate of 1.50 per mile. Special attention should be paid
to this EERA to insure that he is no longer hired as a casual while his Mini Bus is under
hire.

Comp/Claims

On this incident we have had numerous illnesses and injuries. The most serious were the
3 confirmed cases of MRSA, 2 of which required a 5 day hospital stay. There were 4
serious knee injuries, 3 of which were recommended for surgery. There were 4 eye
injuries. There was also 1 confirmed case of West Nile Virus. The rest are miscellaneous
ailments all recorded on the M-log and unit logs.


                                             49
Trends that we saw toward the end of the incident were numerous blisters among the
Alaskan and Canadian crews. There were also a few cases that could have been altitude
sickness among those same crews.


Cost

Tony Johns, COST (Lunde‟s Team) and Cindy Higbee, COST (Broyles‟ Team)
transitioned on 08/06/06 to learn the details of what is happening with the Cost Unit.
Costs for the Potato Fire were collected and accrued using the new I-Suite system. A
graph showing total accrued Cost to Date is attached. Daily accruals were faxed to the
Albuquerque Forest Service office @ 866-816-9532. Three day projections were done
regularly. Cumulative costs were provided to the SITL for the 209 and cost reports were
also posted to the ftp.nifc.gov.

Air support costs were gathered daily. Infrared costs continue to be difficult to get. I left
several messages with NICC in Boise with no response. Infrared flew sporadically due to
mechanical difficulties.

COSTS were uncomplicated this fire. The Potato Fire is on 100% federal land and will
be the responsibility of the Forest Service. There is not a Cost Share Agreement. I
assigned division “ZA” to the Zane Fire for possible future reference. The WFSA
allowed for $ 15,900,000. A projection thru to 08/23/06 shows our total fire cost estimate
to be $14,906,595.

A Doctor Richard Radnovich and Nurse Jennifer Arsenault came to check for the MRSA
infection in the Alaskan Crews. Their charges were paid by check at the incident written
by Joe Lappire, Procurement Unit Leader.




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