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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Nez Perce-Clearwater NFs News Release - Nez Perce-Clearwater Forest Wildfire Update - August 18, 2015

Kamiah, Idaho (August 18, 2015) – There are currently 74 uncontained wildfires that have burned a total of 67,979 acres on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests.  Forest Service fire managers have been focusing their efforts assisting Idaho Department of Lands on fires that pose the most risk to life, property and structures. 

There are many unstaffed fires on the forest, as crews are stretched thin.   Additional resources continue to be ordered as needed and will arrive when they are available.
Following is a summary of the fires on the Nez Perce-Clearwater Forests:
Red River Ranger District:   1 new fire reported.  Three fires are out.  The Type 3 incident management organization working on the Deadwood Fire, reports it as 75% contained.  There has been no significant fire activity and it remains at approximately 120 acres. 
The Baldy Fire north of Pilot Knob Lookout will remain under the management of the District.   The Deer and Pilot Fires in the same vicinity will also be staffed. 
The Crown Fire in the Frank Church Wilderness burned actively Monday and is estimated at 200 acres.  The Rattlesnake Fire near Crofoot Ranch, also in the wilderness, is also burning actively and backing toward the Salmon River.  
Lochsa Ranger District:  No new fires.  Fire staff reported 45 active fires, 2 contained fires, and 3 controlled fires.  Seven fires are out.   There is an area closure and trail closure in effect on the Lochsa District.
Salmon River Ranger District:  No new fires.  East Silver Fire is out.
North Fork Ranger District:  No new fires.  Four fires are out.
Moose Creek Ranger District:  2 fires are out.  The district has multiple fires still burning in the front country, five of those are staffed.
The highest priority fire is the Slide fire, 3 miles east of the CCC campground and associated homes.  A burnout operation is planned for later this week and supplies, equipment and personnel are enroute. Coolwater Lookout is wrapped for structure protection.
The Wash fire is south of the river in heavily timbered, very steep terrain. Control efforts will consist of constructing feller buncher line on the ridge top.
Wilderness Fires include Meeker, Bailey, Army Mule Barren 1 and 2, Ditch, Ditched, Goat, Rock Pt., Wahoo, Patrol Point, Martin Creek, Pinchot, Sand Creek, Roll Creek, and Gedney are largely unstaffed.  Meeker and Bailey are over 1000 acres, Army Mule is around 3500 acres. The Ditch fires are impacting Selway Lodge. The Selway Lodge has structure protection equipment in place. Shissler Lookout has been wrapped.

Powell Ranger District: 
Date Started:  Army Mule 08/04/15 Jay Point 8/17/15, Lochsa South Complex 08/14/15 
Sizes: Army Mule 2200 acres; Jay Point 11 acres; and  Lochsa South Complex consists of 11 fires,   4 are currently active with largest, Grit at 500 acers, Lone Knob was very active yesterday at 140 acres.
Total Personnel:  20
Cause:  Lightning                                                                              
Resources:  2- 10 person I.A. modes

Army Mule is located approximately 9 miles Northwest of Elk Summit.  Jay Point is on the west side of the lookout, 2 miles west of Powel located on the. The Lochsa South Complex is 11 fires located within the Selway Bitterroot Wilderness, boarding the south side of the Lochsa River.

Decreased winds, average seasonal temperatures but continued low humidity with combined extreme indices kept fire activity moderate in all fire areas.   A reconnaissance of Army Mule and Lochsa South complex showed increased behavior on Lone Knob near Wilderness Gateway Campground.  A new start was discovered below Jay Point Lookout; this fire has moderate growth potential and can be seen from Highway 12.

A Type 3 incident commander has been ordered for Jay Point fire.  Reader boards will also be set along highway 12 to provide visitor information. Due to increased fire behavior on the Lone Knob fire within the Lochsa South Complex a closure order will go into effect at midnighttonight for Wilderness Gateway Campground,  trail 2210 (Rock Creek), trail 222 (Greenside Butte), trail 220 (Lochsa Peak), Trail 211 (Boulder Creek) , and trail 198 (Lone Knob).  Structure protection mitigation at Wilderness Gateway is on-going.

For more information on the Powell Ranger District fires, please contact Molly Puchlerz at (208) 942-0303.

Forest news releases related to wildfires and other incidents are posted at the http://www.fs.usda.gov/news/nezperceclearwater/news-events.
Information for the Clearwater Complex (Lawyer 2, Lolo 2, Carrot Ridge, Fisher and Syringa fires) and many other fires is available at: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov.
With hunting season around the corner and increased recreation through Labor Day weekend it is important to: Know before you go.  Always check with your local Ranger Station prior to your trip to get the most up to date information on current fire activity, closures, fire danger, and fire restrictions for the area. Contact information for local Ranger Districts is available at http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/nezperceclearwater/about-forest/offices.
Currently, all federal lands and all private and state forest and rangelands within the Lochsa-Powell, Moose Creek, North Fork and Red River Ranger Districts, and most of the Salmon River District are under Stage I Fire Restrictions.  Stage II Fire Restrictions remain in effect for western portions of the Salmon River district, the Palouse Ranger District and the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area in Idaho.  A full description of fire restrictions can be found at the Idaho Fire Information Blogspot website located at: http://idahofireinfo.blogspot.com/

Owners of Unmanned Aircraft Systems, or drones, are reminded that drones are not permitted to fly in areas with Temporary Flight Restrictions in place, including around wildfires. The Federal Aviation Administration lists current restrictions at:  http://tfr.faa.gov/tfr2/list.html.