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Saturday, August 29, 2015

August 29 Nez Perce-Clearwater Morning Fire Update

Kamiah, Idaho, August 29, 2015 – A red flag warning has been issued for Saturday, August 29, until 7:00 p.m., meaning Saturday could be a critical fire weather day.

The National Weather Service issues red flag warnings to alert land management agencies about the possible onset of critical weather and fuel moisture conditions that could lead to rapid or dramatic increases in wildfire activity.

Saturday’s forecast calls for gusty winds, 25-35 mph with higher gusts in the afternoon, and low humidities. 

Pubic and firefighter safety is the Forests’ number one priority, and Forest officials continue to encourage Forest visitors to:  1) seek out the latest fire and closure information; 2) drive defensively with the understanding there is limited visibility and heavy fire traffic on many Forest roads; and 3) be aware of their situation as it relates to fire.  Forest officials are asking prospective visitors to avoid areas with active fire if it is at all possible.    

The following is a summary of the major complexes and fires burning across the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests which are not assigned to incident management teams.  With limited intelligence from on-the-ground and aerial observations, and infrared detection flights, acreages are approximate.

South Zone (Salmon River and Red River Ranger Districts)
Name:  Red River Complex        
Location:  South of Elk City, Idaho
Started:  August 17, 2015                         Cause:  Lightning
Total Acreage:  13,950 acres                    Containment:  0% Contained
Fires originally within Red River Complex:  6 fires

Active fires within the complex:  Slaughter 100 acres, Lone Park and Crown (combined) 8440 acres, Rattlesnake 1500 acres, Noble Fire 555 acres, Little Green Fire 1200 acres.
Major Events:  All six fires burned actively with rapid growth when the inversion lifted Friday.  Level 3 evacuation notices were issued for Mallard Creek and Cook Ranches yesterday afternoon.  Level 2 evacuation notices were issued for the Red River area and Elk City.  Firefighting resources focus their efforts on structure protection.

Note:  A spot fire was ignited north of the Salmon River ahead of the advancing Tepee Springs late Thursday.  Firefighters were able to contain that small fire which was near Gasper Creek.



Central Zone (Lochsa-Powell and Moose Creek Ranger Districts)
Name:  Lochsa South Complex  
Location:  South of Lochsa River from Warm Springs Creek to the Selway River
Started:  August 15, 2015                         Cause:  Lightning
Total Acreage:  5535 acres                       Containment:  0% Contained
Fires originally within Lochsa South Complex:  12
Active Fires within the Complex:  Sponge Fire 3000 acres, Grit Fire 400 acres, Lone Knob Fire 400 acres, Fire Creek 400 acres, Air Strip Fire 980 acres.
Major Events:  Structure protection continues for Wilderness Gateway Campground and outfitter area, the Fish Lake airstrip and cabin, and Gold Meadows and Horsecamp Cabins. 

Name:  Wilderness Complex      
Location:  Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness (much of the Moose Creek Ranger District)
Started:  August 4, 2015                           Cause:  Lightning
Total Acreage:  14,900 acres                   
Fires originally within the Wilderness Complex:  8
Active Fires within the Complex:  Roll Creek 7800 acres, Rock Point 250 acres, Meeker 2400 acres, Baily 1500 acres, Army Mule Fire 2100 acres, Wahoo 650 acres, Wahoo Fire 650 acres.
Major Events:  Point protection continues for Wilderness cabins, pack bridges and lookouts.

Name:  Boulder Fire                                 Location:  5 miles west of Lolo Pass
Started:  August 14, 2015                         Cause:  Lightning
Total Acreage:  5200 acres                       Containment:  0% contained
Major Events:  The Fire is now being managed by the Northern Rockies Incident Management Team, and will be included in their updates and dropped from Forest updates.

North Zone (Palouse and North Fork Ranger Districts)
Name:  Larkin Complex                           Location:  Roughly 30 airline miles NE of Pierce
Started:  August 17, 2015                         Cause:  Lightning
Total Acreage:  4990 acres                       Containment:  0% Contained
Fires originally within the Complex (including Wolf Pack Fires):  14
Active Fires within the Complex:  Snow Creek Fire 2300 acres, Wolf Pack Fire 980 acres, and Heather Fire 1370 acres, Minnesaka 225, and Roaring 100.
Major Events: Complex has been assigned to a local incident management team.    

Name:  Scurvy Mountain            Fire                  Location: 28 miles ENE of Pierce, Idaho
Started:  August 21, 2015                         Cause:  Lightning
Total Acreage:  390 acres                         Containment:  0% contained
Major Events:  This fire has been assigned to a local incident management team.

Many Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest roads and trails have been closed due to fire activity.  These closures and fire information is posted at:  http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/nezperceclearwater/homeClick on the “Fire Information” icon at the top of the page.