Copper King Fire Costs Pass $5.1 Million, Now 18 Percent Contained
Firefighting efforts on the Copper King Fire near Thompson Falls have cost $5 million so far, but according to Fire Information Officer Mark Vosburgh the intensity of the situation is winding down and a new Type Three management team will take command Saturday morning.
“Containment is listed at 18 percent, our fire acreage is 1,465 acres and we are actually in the process now of starting to reduce the number of folks out on the fire lines,” Vosburgh said. “I think we peaked out last week somewhere in the 500s and as of today we’re at 345 personnel on the fire.”
The containment levels on Copper King Fire are low, because fire line in some cases had to be carved out nearly 3 miles away from the blaze, due to difficult terrain.
“The fire is generally moving north and east, with a prevailing wind out of the west, so that direction that the fire would move is really in very steep, very rugged terrain without really any roads or access," Vosburgh said. "So that’s really what’s driving the tactics ... there’s no way to get in to where that fire is burning.”
Acre per acre, the 5. 1 million dollar cost of fighting Copper King is high. For comparison, the Roaring Lion Fire, which began on the same day has costs nearing 8 million dollars, but it is more than five times the size of Copper King.