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Saturday, August 15, 2015




August 15, 2015

EVENING 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

Crone Fire: 
·         A ¼ acre fire is out.

256 Fire:
·         A three (3) acre fire staffed with a squad of five firefighters

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.  The fire is burning east of Panther Creek, near Arnett Creek. 
Bobcat Fire: 
·         The fire is estimated at 30 acres, is burning in grass and fire, and is located north of Napoleon Gulch, west of the Salmon River, approximately 15 miles north of Salmon.  The fire is visible from Highway 93.  Fire managers ask the public to be mindful of traffic congestion along Highway 93.  Fire managers urge the public to continue traveling past the fire area and not stopping along the roadway.  Local fire officials are developing a plan to manage this fire as a large incident.  Limited fire resources will continue to challenge any fire suppression efforts. 

Alpine Fire: 
·         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 monitoring status.  The fire is located in the Bighorn Crags and is ten 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.

The weather is forecasted to be windy and dry.  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.  

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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