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Friday, August 28, 2015

Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests afternoon update

Kamiah, Idaho, August 28, 2015 – Winds fanned numerous fires burning across the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests today, resulting in significant acreage increases and prompting two new area closures.  Saturday is predicted to be a critical fire weather day, so individuals choosing to visit the Forests are encouraged 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 Forest roads; and 3) be aware of their situation as it relates to fire.  Forest officials are asking visitors to avoid areas with active fire if it is at all possible.    

An area south of Grangeville has been closed due to the advancing Tepee Springs Fire.  Its southern border is the Salmon River from the Forest boundary east to French Creek.  It extends north for approximately ten miles.  The southern segment of the Grangeville-Salmon River Road 221 is closed.

Fires within the Red River Complex were very active today with the Lone Park and Crown Fires merging.  That activity prompted Forest officials to close an area from Red River south to the Salmon River.  In general terms the closure extends from Forest Road 1190 and Little Mallard Meadows east to the border of the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness boundary.  Trail 501 is closed.  Road 1190 is closed.  Magruder Road 468 is closed from Red River to Poet Creek.

Mallard Creek Ranch and Cook Ranch were placed under a level 3 evacuation order this afternoon.

The Red River area, from the Red River Hot Springs at the end of Road 234 to its junction with Red River Road 222 and everything along Road 222 north to Gold Point, was placed under a level 2 evacuation notice this afternoon.  Road 222 is open for travel to Dixie at this time.

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.  Acreages are approximate, and information about today’s fire spread will be better reflected in tomorrow morning’s report.

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:  11,800 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:  Noble Fire made a run toward Mallard Creek Ranch.  A fuel break has been started to keep the Noble Fire east of Road 1190 and south of Road 9950.  The Lone Park and Crown Fires merged and moved north over Boston Mountain.  Structure protection is ongoing at Cook Ranch, Mallard Creek Ranch, Green Mountain Lookout and Bargamin Creek Bridge.

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:  Air Strip Fire was active.  There are structure protection plans for the Fish Lake Cabin.

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:  4800 acres                       Containment:  0% contained
Major Events:  Fire moved north and east, and has not crossed the Montana border.  An area west of Lolo Pass in the vicinity of Granite Pass is closed.

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: Three new fires have been detected:  Platinum (4 acres) to be managed as part of the Larkin Complex; Pot Lake (2 acres) being suppressed; and Breakfast Fire (80 acres) being managed by the Idaho Panhandle National Forests. 

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:  Fire continues its spread toward Scurvy Mountain Lookout.

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.

For general fire information regarding fires the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests that are not being managed by an incident management team, call 208-451-4956.  The email contact is nezperce.clearwaterfireinformation@gmail.com.

Several incident management team transitions are occurring over the next few days.
 
The Northern Rockies Type I incident Management Team is managing the southern fires of the Motorway Complex including Woodrat, Big Hill, Four Bit, Slide and Jay Point near Powell.  For fire information call 208-926-4170 (Jay Point) and 208-507-2643 (all other fires).  The email is motorwaycomplex@gmail.com.

The Southern Area Type I Incident Management Blue Team is managing the Clearwater Complex and northern Motorway Complex fires including Musselshell, Lawyer 2, Lolo, Carrot Ridge, Lost Hat, 535, Hemlock Ridge, Musselshell Creek, Yoosa, Hemlock, Footrot, Snowy Summit, Pete Forks, Savage Ridge, Green, Municipal, Fisher and Old Greer Fires.  For information call 208-476-5110 and 406-309-0371.  The email is municipalfire.blueteam@gmail.com.

The Southern Area’s Type I Red Team is managing the Selway Complex Fires near Elk City including the Wash and Baldy Fires.  The fire information number is 877-367-2325.  The email address is selwaycomplex2015@gmail.com.

Fire information can also be obtained at www.facebook,com/centralidahofires and www.inciweb.org.