The incident commander for the Rim Fire has pushed the estimated full-containment date back to Oct. 1.
The original containment date of today had to be pushed back largely because of weather, according to Gary Wuchner, lead spokesman for the South Central Sierra Interagency Incident Management Team, which resumed control of the firefight Wednesday.
The National Weather Service has issued a “Red Flag Warning” for this weekend, predicting winds and low humidity in the fire area, Wuchner said, adding there also is some active fire in an uncontained area at the fire’s northeast side. The uncontained portion of the fire is in remote wilderness between Cherry Lake and Hetch Hetchy Reservoir with sparse vegetation and lots of granite.
The fire this morning remained at 256,895 acres and 84 percent containment.
As to why a containment line hasn’t been made, Wuchner said fire authorities early on made the call that “we’re gonna put this fire out, but we don’t want anybody hurt.” He said the area in question has extremely difficult terrain and the fire teams can’t use bulldozers or other heavy equipment.
So far, the number of injuries has been low — 10, with no deaths — when compared with averages, he said. The smaller 1987 Complex Fire had more than 100 reported injuries and a death.
“And we don’t want to tear up the wilderness,” Wuchner said, adding that the stronger crews attack it, the longer and more expensive forest recovery will be.
It is not unusual to change estimated containment dates, he said, noting that the Sept. 20 date was set weeks ago.