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Monday, August 24, 2015

Northern Idaho Wildfire Update - August 23, 2015

Contact:  Interagency Fire Information Line (208) 765-7383
National fire information website:  www.inciweb.nwcg.gov                      
Closure details: www.fs.usda.gov/idfs
Restriction information:  http://idahofireinfo.blogspot.com/  or http://firerestrictions.us/  

Fire Danger Rating:  EXTREME National Wildfire Preparedness is at the Highest Level (PL 5) Fires will start easily, spread rapidly, quickly increase in intensity and can be very difficult to control.  Stage II Fire Restrictions in effect within Grangeville & Coeur d’Alene Dispatch Restriction Areas*

Weather:  Red Flag Warning in effect from noon to 9pm PDT Monday for the Cascades, Okanogan Highlands and northeast Washington. A ridge of high pressure will build over the Inland Northwest today with a dry westerly flow aloft. The heat will return with temperatures in the upper 80s to mid-90s. Minimum humidity will be at 13-18 percent with the 24 hour trend being 6 percent drier. Vegetation/fuels remain extremely dry. Initially, surface winds will remain light and easterly but, by afternoon, surface winds will veer to the south. Expect valley and lower slope and upslope/upvalley winds at 2 to 5 mph. Ridges and upper slopes winds will be variable at 2 to 5 mph. Relative humidity will be slow to recover overnight. These conditions will likely contribute to increased fire activity.
·       Fire Weather Watch in effect Monday through Monday evening for most of the northern Idaho Panhandle. Westerly winds will increase. These conditions may persist into Tuesday.
·       Air Quality Alert in effect. Elevated concentrations of smoke from area fires are expected to persist. Air quality in many areas may deteriorate from unhealthy to hazardous levels.

Incident Summary: Listing of active fires (table attached).  There were nine new fire starts yesterday. For additional information, updates and maps visit:  www.inciweb.nwcg.gov

·       Parker Ridge Fire 6,197 acres, 27% containment.  Type 3 Incident Management Team (IMT) (Weeks) 7/29 lightning start. NW of Bonners Ferry. Acreage increased Saturday due to the fire backing and creeping on the northwest side.  Today, fire crews will continue to build line, mop up and provide structure protection in the Smith Creek area. Felling operations will continue along the Westside Road. Aircraft will be in the air performing reconnaissance and retardant drops as conditions allow. Closures remain in effect. Personnel: 75. For additional information contact : 208-267-6773Email: parkerridgefireinfo@gmail.com

·       Clark Fork Complex: 12,009 acres Scotchman Peak, Whitetail, Marten Fires (east of Lake Pend Oreille in the Idaho Panhandle National Forest) plus six fires in the Kootenai NF in Montana. Zero % containment. Type 2 IMT (Hutton). Smokejumpers came in to assist on several locations across the complex on Saturday. Closures are in effect, but no structures are immediately threatened and there are no evacuation orders in effect related to this fire on the Idaho side. Personnel: 180 Information:406-847-9974 or 406-827-0738.
§  Scotchman Peak Fire: 2,616 acres. Started 8/13, four miles NE of Clark Fork, N of Hwy 200. On Saturday, crews continued strengthening line along the roads on the south side of the fire.  Today, they will focus on completing their contingency line.
§  Whitetail Fire: 1035 acres Started 8/14 located south of Hwy 200 and nine miles S of Clark Fork, Eight miles SW of Heron, Montana. Yesterday, firefighters worked along the north side to strengthen the containment line. Today they will focus on continuing to extend the ilne around the northeast corner to keep the fire out of the Dr Ck drainage.
§  Marten Fire: 15 acres Started 8/19 to the west of the Whitetail Fire. Today helicopters will be working to support the smokejumpers that arrived yesterday. 

·       Marble Creek Fire 1437 acres, zero % contained. 8/11 lightning start. Type 3 IMT (Mandel)  Yesterday the fire had a moderate increase in size. Today, fire behavior is expected to continue to be moderate with some potential to spread to the north and northeast. The focus will be on providing structure protection. Closures are in effect.

·       Tower Fire (Kaniksu Complex includes areas in Washington and Idaho total 11,159 acres, 5% containment across complex. Includes Baldy, Greece Creek, Onata Creek and Tower) Tower Fire is 10,238 acres and is all in Washington, The fire started in Colville NF and is visible from Priest Lake. Area Command is in place for fires in the Colville National Forest (NF).  Colville NF is managing the fire with guidance from Idaho Panhandle NF fire management. Yesterday, the fire spread creeping slowly downslope and torched  trees in unburned pockets inside the fire. 300 military personnel joined the incident yesterday to assist residents with ‘FireWise’ work around their homes. Closures and evacuations are in effect.  Fire Information is 907-750-1639towerfireinfo@gmail.com

·       Grizzly Complex: 6,865 acres, zero % containment across complex, Type 2 IMT (Fry) Started Aug 10 with 16 lightning-caused fires. Several fires have burned together over the past two days and are being tracked as follows: Lower Flat Fire (2,664 acres) encompasses Upper Stoney, Lower Stoney, North Suburban, South Suburban and East Suburban; North Grizzly Fire (1822 acres) encompasses Grizzly Ridge; and South Bobtail 2357) encompasses Bobtail Fire; The Downey Fire remains separate and contained at 9 acres. Yesterday, fire crews improved fire line in the West Fork of Eagle Creek to protect homes and aircraft flew reconnaissance over four new fire starts that resulted from the lightning storm 8/21, including:  Jack Waite (1 acre), White Rock Ck (.2 ac) , Grassy Mtn 20 ac) and East Fork (20 acres).Today, the priority is initial attach on the new fires and continued protection of homes in the West Fork of Eagle Creek and of the Settlers Cedar Grove. Gusty southwest winds and warmer temperatures are expected today that could lead to additional northward movement. Public meeting planned for Monday, August 24 6:30 at the Prichard-Murray Fire Department.

·       Snow Peak Complex: 270 acres, 0% containment. ICT3 (Juvan), include the following fires: Pretty, Ruby Point, Basin Creek, Trail 55, Caribou, Lightning Ridge, Chicadee, Game, Pole Creek, My Ruby, and Salt Pork. Pretty Fire was active yesterday. Due to terrain, limited resources and no immediate threats to life and structures, the Snow Peak Complex does not have firefighters on the ground. Firefighter resources are focused on higher priority fires where lives, structures and valuable resources are threatened. Snow Peak, Granite Peak, Ruby Point,and Yankee Peak areas were closed Saturday.

·       Not Creative Fire 150 acres, 100% contained, 8/13 start, Type II IMT remains in place while management of the fire transitions bck to the local Ranger District.  Locations: ID, four miles north of Rose Lake on the south side of I-90. Fire Information Facebook: Shoshone County Fire Prevention Coop  http://tinyurl.com/ppx3uhd.    

·       Big Lost Fire 1280 acres, 79 % containment IMT 3 (Svancara).  8/13 lightning start.  E of Potlatch near Hwy 6, ten miles south of Emida, 3 miles N/NE of Harvard, Latah County. Personnel on fire: 143.  Yesterday firefighters successfully built containment line around all but 20% of the perimeter. Closures remain in effect.

Additional Information:
·       Residents in most counties throughout north Idaho can receive evacuation notices by text message by registering with a service called “Nixle.” To register, text your ZIP CODE to 888777 for mobile alerts. This is a free citizen voice and text alert notification service.
·       Closures: For details: Idaho Panhandle National Forest’s (IPNF) web: www.fs.usda.gov/IPNF.
*Definitions: Level 1 Alert (Get Ready) Residents should be ready, made aware of the increased risk and are asked to monitor emergency services. Residents should prepare and if needed, take early precautionary movement to relocate, especially those with special needs, pets, livestock or those needing transportation assistance.
Level 2 Voluntary Evacuation (Get Set) Residents should be prepared to leave at a moment’s notice. Residents should monitor emergency services. A significant danger exists. It is suggested that you voluntarily relocate to a shelter or with family/friends. Be ready to evacuate immediately, especially those with special needs, pets, livestock or those needing transportation assistance.

The public is prohibited to go into or be upon these areas, roads and trails.
§  Priest Lake RD - Tower Fire and Upper Priest Fire: Road 1013 (Upper Priest), Road 310 (Gleason Mtn), Road 333 (Goose Cr & Blonc Cr); Closed at State line, Road 659 (Squaw Valley), Road 305 (Kings Road) Road 1142 (Butch Creek Rd)
§  Tower Fire Evacuation Notice was implemented August 19, Pend Oreille County Sheriff Department Bear Paw vicinity: Level 1* (Get Ready)
§  Tower Fire : An area closure has been established for the area contained within the following boundaries: north of Bear Paw Road and Forest Road 305, west of HWY 57, south of Dickensheet and Forest Road 310, and east of the Idaho Panhandle NF/Colville NF boundary between Hungry Mountain and the junction of Forest Roads 305 and 306.
§  Bonner County Sheriff Department Big Meadow and vicinity: Level 2* (Get Set) Residents should be prepared to leave at a moment’s notice.
§  August 20, Bonner County  issued an Evacuation Level 1* for: Highway 57 Corridor North (of Dickensheet Rd) Highway 57 Corridor South (of Dickensheet Rd) Note: This Level 1 notice is being issued because fire fighters are concerned about the fact that Hwy 57 is the ONLY logical escape route south from the Priest Lake Community. It is NOT because of imminent fire danger to the area.
§  A portion of the Newport Ranger District of the Colville National Forest is closed. 

§  Bonners Ferry Ranger District (RD), IPNF due to Parker Ridge Fire: Parker Creek Trail #14, Long Canyon Trail #16 and Parker Ridge Trail #221 and the Fisher Peak Trail. The Pacific Trail has been closed east and west of the fire.

§  Sandpoint and Coeur d’Alene River RDs, IPNF - Clark Fork Complex (Scotchman Peak and Whitetail Fires): Trails in the Scotchman Peak area. Portions of T56N-R3E and T57N-R3E: Scotchman Peak Trail #65, Goat Mountain #135, Regal #556, Morris #132, East Fork System #1184, 563, 1030, or 212. And in the Whitetail area: Forest Roads #430, #332, #332A, #203 (Dry Creek), #203A, #203B, #203E, and #1533; Forest Trails #20 (Coeur d'Alene River NRT), 52 (Alden Creek), #448 (Deer Creek), #77, #122.  There are also large area closures generally from Buckskin Saddle southeast to Bluff Creek, and Delyle Ridge south to Cathedral Peak.   

§  Coeur d’Alene River RD - Bennett Peak Fire: Little Guard Rd #602 and Shoshone Ridge #81. Grizzly Mountain Fire: Forest Roads # 260, #959, #993, #994, #1568 and Forest. Trails #807 (Indian Creek) and 807A (Indian Creek). Solitare Creek Fire: T52N, R1W, S.3,4,5,8,9,10 and T53N, R1W S. 32,33,34. Trails 1525 Solitare Creek 4WD and Sob Creek 4WD

§  Coeur d’Alene District, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) - Crater Fire: Crater Lake and Widow Mountain Areas, BLM lands in T43N, R4 E.

§  St. Joe RD– Crater Fire - Areas in T42N- R4E, T43N-R4E, T43N-R3E, T44N–R3E. Marble Creek Fire Closure Area  Jct of 396 (Boulder Creek) Rd and 321 (Marble Creek) Rd, then SE on 396 Rd to its jct with 396A Rd, then S on 396A Rd to end point, the boundary follows S to jct of 216 (Homestead) Rd and 1936 (Daveggio Creek) Rd, then on 216 (Homestead) Rd to its intersection with 321 (Marble Creek) Road, then N on 321(Marble Creek Road) to its jct with 396 (Boulder Creek) Road, the point of beginning.

§  St. Joe RD-Snow Peak Complex: This closure area encompasses a large portion of the St. Joe Ranger District bordering the Nez Perce Clearwater NF. The closure includes the Snow Peak area, Granite Peak area, Ruby Point area and the Yankee Peak area. Please see map for specific closure boundaries.

STAGE II Fire Restrictions:  The following acts are prohibited until further notice:
1.      Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, or stove fire.
2.      Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a designated smoking site or while stopped in an area at least 3 feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.
3.      Operating motorized vehicles off designated roads and trails in accordance with existing travel management plans for non-commercial purposes including ATVs, UTVs, and pickups. 
4.      The following acts are prohibited from 1:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.  A patrol is required for one hour following cessation of all work as described in a, b, and c below: 
a.      Operating a chainsaw or other equipment powered by an internal combustion engine for felling, bucking, skidding, processing, road building, woodcutting or any other off-road activity during industrial operations.
b.      Blasting, welding, or other activities that generate flame or flammable material.
c.      Using an explosive 

*Private landowners within city boundaries should consult their local Fire Department for current restrictions in their community.


Incident Name
Location
Current Size
Protection Agency
Status
East Fork
CZ – Coeur d’Alene River
20 acres
IPNF
Start 8/22: IMT2 (Fry) Grizzly Complex
Grassy Mountain
CZ – Coeur d’Alene River
20 acres
IPNF
Start 8/22: IMT2 (Fry) Grizzly Complex
Fan Creek
NZ – Bonners Ferry
0.1 acre
IPNF
Start 8/22:
Deception
CZ – Coeur d’Alene River
1 acre
IPNF
Start 8/22: (McClilntick)
Picnic
CZ – Coeur d’Alene River
0.1 acre
IPNF
Start 8/22: (Moore)
White Rock Creek
CZ – Coeur d’Alene River
2 acres
IPNF
Start 8/22: IMT2 (Fry) Grizzly Complex
Jack Waite
CZ – Coeur d’Alene River
1 acre
IPNF
Start 8/22: IMT2 (Fry) Grizzly Complex
Steep Creek
CZ – Coeur d’Alene River
0.1 acre
IPNF
Start 8/22:
Aimes
CZ – Coeur d’Alene River
1 acre
IPNF
Start 8/22: (Davis)
Stony Creek
CZ – Coeur d’Alene River
0.5
IPNF
Start 8/21:
Shirttail
CZ – State - Cataldo
0.1
IDL
Start 8/21: ICT 5
Skitwish Peak
CZ-Coeur d’Alene River
0.25
IPNF
Start 8/21:ICT 5 (Johnson) burning old snag, heavy ground fuel
Monument
CZ – Coeur d’Alene
20
IPNF
Start 8/21: (Feltman) Radio repeater site potentially threatened
Pretty
SZ – St. Joe
~100 acres
IPNF
Start 8/21: (Juvan) difficult access  Snow Peak Complex (270 acres)
Marten Creek
CZ – Coeur d’Alene River
15 acres
IPNF
Start 8/19: IMT Type 2 (Hutton) Clark Fork Complex, west of Whitetail Fire
Salt Pork
SZ-St. Joe
0.1 acre
IPNF
Start 8/17: Snow Peak Complex (270 acres)
My Ruby
SZ-St. Joe
0.5 acre
IPNF
Start 8/17: Snow Peak Complex (270 acres)
Crater
SZ –St. Joe: BLM land
320 acres
IPNF
Start 8/15:
Pole Creek
SZ – St. Joe
0.1 acre
IPNF
Start 8/14: Snow Peak Complex (270 acres)
Game
SZ – St. Joe
2 acres
IPNF
Start 8/14: Snow Peak Complex(270 acres)
Basin Creek
SZ – St. Joe
36 acres
IPNF
Start 8/14: Snow Peak Complex(270 acres)
Solitaire Creek
CZ- Coeur d’Alene River
30 acre
IPNF
Start 8/14:blocked trail 1525, IC Type 4 (Feltmann) area closure, fire is lined, edges secure, 8/19 burned out green finger 
Upper Priest
NZ – Priest Lake
70 acres
IPNF
Start 8/14: area closures, monitored (S. Clemenson)8/19active after several calm days


Whitetail Peak
CZ – Coeur d’Alene River
1035 acres
IPNF
Start 8/14: Clark Fork Complex IMT Type 2 (Hutton) trail closures at Jordan Camp.
Scotchman Peak
NZ-Sandpoint
2,616 acres
IPNF
Start 8/13: Clark Fork Complex closure of trail systems Type 2 IMT (Hutton)
Not Creative

CZ-State-Cataldo
150 acres

Start 8/13: Type 2 IMT 100% containment, transitioning to district
Benewah Creek

SZ-State-West St. Joe
34 acre
IDL
Start 8/13:ICT 4, (Schiermeister) contained, patrol status
Big Lost

SZ-State-Ponderosa
1280 acres
IDL
Start 8/13: Type 3 IMT (Svancara) in place
South Bobtail
CZ – Coeur d’Alene River
2,357 acres
IPNF
Start 8/13:  Type 3 IMT (Day) and Bobtail Fire; Grizzly Complex (6,865)
Chicadee

SZ- St. Joe
1.5 acres
IPNF
Start 8/13: Snow Peak Complex (270   acres)
East Suburban
CZ – Coeur d’Alene River
2,664 acres (Lower Flat)
IPNF
Start 8/13: Lower Flat Fire, Grizzly Complex (6,865)
Bennett Peak
CZ – Coeur d’Alene River
3 acres
IPNF
Start 8/12: contained, monitor
Caribou Creek
SZ – St. Joe
270 acres (Snow Peak)
IPNF
Start 8/12:  Snow Peak Complex (270 acres)
North Grizzly
CZ – Coeur d’Alene River
1822 acres (Grizzly Ridge)
IPNF
Start 8/12: Grizzly Ridge, part of  Grizzly Complex (6,865)
Downey
CZ – Coeur d’Alene River
9 acres
IPNF
Start 8/12: Downey contained; part of   Grizzly Complex (6865)
Lower Flat
CZ – Coeur d’Alene River
2,664 acres (Lower Flat)

Start 8/12 Grizzly Complex (6865 acres)
Lightning Ridge
SZ – St. Joe
7 acres
IPNF
Start 8/12: Snow Peak Complex            
Trail 55
SZ - St. Joe /state lands
0.3 acre
IPNF
Start 8/12: Snow Peak Complex, scratch line in, low spread potential
Tower
Colville NF
NZ Idaho Panhandle
8,685  acres
CNF
Start 8/11: Fire is in Washington
Ruby Point
SZ – St. Joe
78 acres
IPNF
Start 8/11: Snow Peak Complex
North Suburban
CZ – Coeur d’Alene River
2,664 acres (Lower Flat)
IPNF
Start 8/11: part of Lower Flat, Grizzly Complex (6,865)
South Suburban
CZ – Coeur d’Alene River
2,664 acres (Lower Flat)
IPNF
Start 8/11 part of Lower Flat, Grizzly Complex (6,865)
Upper Stoney
CZ – Coeur d’Alene River
2,664 (Lower Flat)
IPNF
Start 8/11 part of Lower Flat, Grizzly Complex (6,865)
Lower Stoney
CZ – Coeur d’Alene River
2,664 (Lower Flat)
IPNF
Start 8/11: part of Lower Flat, Part of Grizzly Complex (6,865)
Falls Ridge
SZ–State–West St. Joe
0.9 acre
IPNF
Start 8/11:contained, patrol status
Marble Creek
 SZ - St. Joe
1,437 acres
IPNF
Start 8/11: IC Type 3 ( Mandel)  zero% contained  anchor established
Pond Peak
CZ – Coeur d’Alene River
1 acre
IPNF
Start 8/11: contained
Murray Peak
CZ – Coeur d’Alene River
5 acres
IPNF
Start 8/11: contained, continue mop-up 8/19 some heat bottom and left flank
Slaughter House
SZ – State –
West St. Joe
47 acres
IDL
Start 8/10: contained, patrolled
3 Sisters
NZ-Pend Oreille
228 acres
IDL
Start 8/4: contained
Parker Ridge
NZ – Bonners Ferry
6,197 acres
IPNF
Start 7/29: IMT3(Weeks) structure protection, closures in effect
Hobo
SZ- St. Joe
45 acres
IPNF
Start 7/23: contained/ monitored
Elevator
SZ-St. Joe
25 acres
IPNF
Start 7/22; contained/ monitored
Cape Horn
NZ-Pend Oreille
1,326 acres
IDL
Start 7/5: contained /mop-up, patrol cause under investigation