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Sunday, August 16, 2015

SALMON-CHALLIS NATIONAL FOREST NEWS FIRE NEWS RELEASES

August 16, 2015

FIRE UPDATE
Salmon, Idaho:  Smoke is filtering into the city of Salmon and surrounding valleys.  Smoke in the valley will continue to be an issue as there are many fires in the Region that have recently started due to lightning.

In order to help put the local fire situation into perspective, nationally, we are at a Planning Level 5, which means there are many fires regionally and nationally which are competing for available fire resources.  This has and will continue to challenge the Forest in obtaining resources for our local fires.

Several fires started over the last few days. Many fires were staffed and successfully contained within the last 24 hours.  Fire activity will also continue and increase with predicted weather and winds.

Fire Summary:

NORTH FORK RANGER DISTRICT

Harbor Fire:  Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness
·         A three (3) acre fire adjacent to Harbor Lake which will be permitted to play, as nearly as possible, its natural ecological role within the wilderness

Beartrap Fire: 
·         A ½ acre fire which is currently staffed with one Type 6 engine and a squad of five (5) firefighters.  The fire is burning in the vicinity of Lick Creek. 

256 Fire:
·         A three (3) acre fire is out. 

Elkhorn Fire: Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness
·           The Elkhorn Fire, fire is estimated to be 50 acres with 90% containment.  The fire is located west of Clear Creek and north of Elkhorn Creek, approximately 3.5 miles from the wilderness boundary.  The fire is burning in grass, brush, and timber with dead and down tree components.  Although lightning caused fires should be permitted to play, as nearly as possible, their natural ecological role within the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, fire managers decided to suppress this fire due to its proximity to the non-wilderness boundary and considering values at risk within the Panther Creek drainage. Resources currently staffing the fire are 57 firefighters, and a helicopter.  The helicopters are supporting firefighters with bucket drops.  The helicopters may be observed dipping out of the main stem of the Salmon River. 

SALMON-COBALT RANGER DISTRICT

Arnett Fire: 
·         A 1/10 acre fire burning in timber which is currently staffed with two rappellers is controlled.  The fire is burning east of Panther Creek, near Arnett Creek. 

Alpine Fire:  Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness
·         A 1/10 of an acre fire on the north side of Wilson Creek drainage in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness.  Currently, there is no smoke showing on this fire, but fire managers will continue to monitor the fire for future fire activity.  The fire is at 8,500 feet elevation and will be permitted to play, as nearly as possible, its natural ecological role within the wilderness. 


Roaring Fire:  Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness
·         Fire was detected on August 5th and is in monitor status.  The fire is located in the Bighorn Crags and is 14 acres in size burning in timber.  This fire is lightning caused, and will continue to be permitted to play, as nearly as possible, its natural ecological role with the wilderness.

As we move forward with strategically trying to staff and address our fires, the upmost priority for us is to ensure firefighter and public safety.  This is a difficult task with limited resources, yet we will balance to the extent possible without compromise to safety.  Area residents may see fire equipment moving through the area.  Not all of the resources are committed to fires on the Salmon-Challis National Forest but are moving through the area coming from or going to other fires.  

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. 

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August 16, 2015

BOBCAT FIRE UPDATE
Salmon, Idaho: The fire is estimated at 82 acres, burning in grass and light to heavy timber. The probable cause is lightning. It is located in the vicinity of Napoleon Gulch west of the Salmon River, approximately 15 miles north of Salmon Idaho.

The fire is visible from Highway 93 just south of North Fork Idaho. Fire managers are urging the public to use caution when traveling in this area due to traffic congestion and are urging the public to continue traveling past the fire and not stopping along the roadway. There may also be fire support vehicles in the area that will need efficient and safe access along Highway 93.

Fire managers are developing suppression strategies for this high priority fire emphasizing public and firefighter safety, property protection, livestock, and resource protection. The forest has received some resources and plan to use fire crews as well as helicopter bucket drops to suppress the fire. Nationally we are still at the highest fire planning level which means there are limited fire resources available.

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August 16, 2015

MIDDLE FORK COMPLEX UPDATE
Salmon, Idaho:  Fire summary for the Middle Fork Complex.  The Middle Fork Complex is comprised of the Waterfall and Stoddard fires. 

Date of Detection:          Waterfall: August 11, 2015
Stoddard: August 12, 2015

Cause: Lightning

Size:      Waterfall: 3,221 acres
Stoddard: 840 acres
Total:  4,061 acres
The change in acreage is due to more accurate mapping. 

Location:             Frank Church – River of No Return Wilderness; North Fork Ranger District, about 40 air miles west of Salmon, ID. 
Waterfall: East of the Middle Fork Salmon River; North of Waterfall Creek
Stoddard: West of the Middle Fork Salmon River; North of Cradle Creek

Fuels:    Waterfall: open timber and grass
                Stoddard: open timber and grass

Managing Agency: U.S. Forest Service, Salmon-Challis National Forest

A Type 3 incident management team (IMT) led by Mike Smith has been assigned to this complex.  Both fires are burning in steep, rocky, inaccessible terrain.  These fires will be permitted to play, as nearly as possible, their natural ecological roles with the wilderness.  Today, members of a Wildland Fire Module began patrolling the river corridor on foot and by boat.  This afternoon, an additional Wildland Fire Module arrived in Salmon.  This module will provide additional support for the Middle Fork Complex and will be assisting with patrols along the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. 

Providing for firefighter and public safety is an objective of the Middle Fork Complex Fire Managers.  

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, fire danger, and fire restrictions for the area.  Further information on the Middle Fork Complex can be found at:  http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4485/. 

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