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Friday, August 28, 2015

Northern Idaho Wildfire Update August 28, 2015

Contact:  Interagency Fire Information Line (208) 765-7383
National fire information website:  www.inciweb.nwcg.gov                      
Closure details: www.fs.usda.gov/ipnf
Restriction information:  http://idahofireinfo.blogspot.com/  or http://firerestrictions.us/  
Hunting and fishing information: (208)334-2592 https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/content/fire

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. Fire managers across the region are preparing for challenges that strong winds will bring over the next few days and urge everyone to observe fire restrictions.
• Stage II Fire Restrictions in effect within Grangeville & Coeur d’Alene Dispatch Restriction Areas*
·        Red flag warning in effect from 11:00 am Saturday to 8 pm Saturday.
·        High wind watch in effect Saturday morning through Saturday evening.
Fires across north Idaho have the potential to burn actively today. Max temperatures continue to decrease with temperatures today 77-86 in the valleys, and 68-75 in the mountains. Humidity levels continue to increase as well at 18-28 percent. Transport winds will begin out of the southeast at 3-7 mph, becoming southwest by the afternoon. Valley and upslope winds steady at 2-5 mph becoming southwest at 4-8 mph in the afternoon. Ridges/upper slope winds are expected to be south at 5-7 mph. Haines index = 2. Tonight, expect cloudy conditions with areas of smoke, temperatures will be 53-62 in the valleys. Valley winds are expected to be southwest at 6-10 mph, becoming southeast overnight.  Higher level westerly transport winds at 8-12 mph.  A very potent cold front will push into the area early Saturday morning bringing with it a sharp shift in winds.  This front will produce sustained southwest winds at 28-32 mph, gusting at 45 mph.  Slight chance of rain/rain showers throughout the morning and afternoon. A cooler and unsettled weather pattern will remain over the region until early next week.
·       Fire Weather Watch in effect today for most of the northern Idaho Panhandle.
·       Air quality in most areas will range from moderate to unhealthy. http://www.deq.idaho.gov/air-quality/monitoring/daily-reports-and-forecasts.aspx

Incident Summary: Listing of active fires (table attached).  For additional information and maps visit:  www.inciweb.nwcg.gov

·       Parker Ridge Fire 6,252 acres, 27% containment. Type 3 Incident Management Team (IMT Weeks) 7/29 lightning start. Location is approximately 20 miles NW of Bonners Ferry and 7 miles SW of Porthill, ID. The fire grew by approximately 30 acres over the last two days. This is due to the fire backing downslope and then making short uphill runs to the top of the ridge on the Long Canyon side of Parker Ridge. The containment percentage remains the same but crews are making good progress building fire line along the north and northeast flanks of the fire near Long Canyon Ridge. They have also been making progress with line building and mopping up along the south flank of the fire near Parker Creek. The peat bog in a drainage ditch near the Westside road continues to smolder, but heavy equipment and fire engines have been working daily to put it out Crews will continue to build fire line and put out hot spots near Long Canyon Ridge and Parker Creek. Engines will be patrolling for hot spots and assisting at the hot spot in the drainage ditch. Air and ground resources will continue to scout the area and felling operations will continue to remove hazard trees. The Westside Road area continues under a Stage I Alert.  Closures remain in effect. Personnel: 82. Fire information contact :  208-267-6773   Email: parkerridgefireinfo@gmail.com

·       Clark Fork Complex:  total acres= 14, 800.acres35% containment. Type 2 IMT (Hutton). Complex of fires located in northern Idaho near Clark Fork includes Scotchman Peak, Whitetail, Marten Fires east of Lake Pend Oreille plus six fires in the Kootenai NF in Montana. Yesterday, most fires had limited expansion in acreage and the total for the complex grew by approximately 1,000 acres. Forest closures remain in effect. On Friday morning a pre-evacuation notice was issued for the Bull Lake area south of Troy, Montana.  Fire personnel: 343. Fire information: 406-847-9974 or 406-827- 0738.   clarkfork2015@gmail.com 
Whitetail Fire: 1,734 acres, 0% containment Started 8/14 located south of Hwy 200 and 9 miles south of Clark Fork, eight miles SW of Heron, Montana (part of Clark Fork Complex).  Yesterday, the fire moved slowly to the east into the Blacktail Creek drainage. The Hot-shot crews, working with engines and tree dropping equipment, extended the line along the 332 Road into southwest portion of Section 17. They also built hand-line down the western side while a skidder removed logs along the contingency line below the Scotchman Peak fire. Infra-red photography located a spot fire to the east of the Whitetail Fire across the South Fork of Ross Creek. Crews continued to assess structures and firefighting opportunities northeast of the fire front.  Stage I evacuation preparation notice continues in effect for the area south of the Clark Fork River between the state line and Johnson Creek on the Idaho side.  Scotchman Peak Fire: 1,920 acres (updated with more accurate mapping). Started 8/13, 4 mi NE of Clark Fork, N of Hwy 200. The fire is now in patrol status following successful completion of the control line around the fire.  Marten Fire: 5 acres Started 8/19 to the west of the Whitetail Fire. Crews will monitor the fire to ensure that current containment actions are holding.

·       Marble Creek Fire: 2,033, 10 % contained. 8/11 lightning start. Type 3 IMT (Mandel).  Located approximately 30 mi. east of St. Maries. Marble Creek Fire increased by nearly 100 acres yesterday. The fire will likely continue to spread today, with occasional spotting and torching, mainly toward the south and east. No homes or businesses are threatened at this time and no evacuations are in place. Fire crews will continue to work on containment and control lines using available resources and to scout locations where spread can best be minimized.  Fire personnel: 130.  Closures remain in effect. Community Meeting Friday, August 28, 2015 at 6:00 pm Benewah County Fairgrounds Walker Building. On August xx a new fire started approximately 12 miles north of Marble Fire, near Elsie Lake Campground. Fire crews successfully contained the fire at 4.5 acres.

·       Tower Fire (Part of Kansu Complex includes areas in Washington and Idaho.  Complex= 17,510 acres. Includes Baldy, Grease Creek, Onata Creek and Tower) ICT (Kurth)Area Command is in place for fires in the Colville NF. Colville NF is managing the fire with guidance from Idaho Panhandle NF fire management. Fire personnel:755 on complex.Tower Fire is 14,671 acres on the Idaho Panhandle NF and is all within Washington state. 10% containment.  The fire started on the Colville NF and is visible from Priest Lake.  Yesterday, firefighters and their military counterparts spent the day strengthening the dozer line from Brown’s Lake south. North of there, from the west end of Brown’s Lake up the 100 Road, military performed mop-up work, while a hot shot crews did some burn outs to strengthen the fire line along the Cee Cee Ah Creek Road. On the northeast end of the fire, crews strengthened lines, including along the Squaw Valley Road and burned out pockets of green fuels to widen the fire break. Line preparation continued out along the contingency line east of the main fire. Southeast of South Baldy, crews and equipment strengthened line and burned out green pockets of unburned trees to remove fuels ahead of the fire. Closures and evacuations remain in effect.  Fire Information is 907-750-1639. towerfireinfo@gmail.com Kaniksu . Community Meetings: Friday, Aug. 28, 2015-7:30 pm at Camas Center Gym and Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015 7:30 pm at Priest River Elementary School.

·       Grizzly Complex: 15,090 acres, zero % containment across complex, Type 2 IMT (Fry) Started Aug 10 with 16 lightning-caused fires. Located between Enaville and Murray Idaho; north of I-90; north and east of the North Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River drainage. Fire personnel: 161. Several fires have burned together and are being tracked as Lower Flat Fire (5,992 acres) encompassing Upper Stoney, Lower Stoney, North Suburban, South Suburban and East Suburban; North Grizzly Fire (3,076 acres) encompasses Grizzly Ridge; and South Bobtail (4,860 acres) encompasses Bobtail Fire. Grassy Mountain (692 acres).  Four new fire starts resulted from a lightning storm on 8/21, including:  Jack Waite (1 acre), White Rock Creek (444 acres), and miscellaneous fires (26 acres). Yesterday, crews used dozers and burn-out operations to protect the Ferguson Ranch grounds and structures from the advancing Lower Flat Fire. Structure protection is the primary effort along with protecting the Settlers Grove of Ancient Cedars, but fire officials have not been able to access the trees in recent days due to dangerous conditions along the roadway. About a mile south of the Ancient Grove, the White Rock fire advanced along the ridge to the northwest of Little Baldy peak.  On the Montana side, a public meeting is scheduled for tonight (August 28th, 2015) at 6:00 pm (Mountain Time) in at the Trout Creek School Gym in Trout Creek, to discuss the Bobtail Fire, which is now advancing northwest into Montana in the high country above the headwaters of Trout Creek. Shonner County has issued a Level I pre-evacuation notice  for an area along the Shoshone/Bonner County line, north Forest Road 9 and west of the Idaho-Montana border. EFFECTIVE 12:01SUNDAYAUGUST 30, A NEW FOREST CLOSURE GOES INTO EFFECT FOR THE NORTHERN PORTION OF THE COUER D”ALENE RIVER RANGER DISTRICT. 
Details are listed in the closure section of this update.

Coeur d’Alene River Ranger District Fires The Ranger District is managing a collection of fires, including:  Monument Fire located southeast of Monument Mountain, Steep Creek Fire located between Bumblebee Peak and Cougar Peak; and Stoney Creek Fire located northeast of Fourth of July Summit.  The Monument, Steep Creek, and Stoney Creek Fires started on August 21, 2015.  The local Ranger District is managing the fires. The Monument Fire is approximately 250 acres.  The Stoney Creek Fire is 25 acres and crews  have been laying hose line on the fire. The Steep Creek Fire is approximately 250 acres. A Forest Closure Order is currently in effect for the area.                                                         

·       Snow Peak Complex: 270 acres, 0% contained. ICT3 (Juvan), includes the following fires: Pretty, Ruby Point, Basin Creek, Trail 55, Caribou, Lightning Ridge, Chicadee, Game, Pole Creek, My Ruby, and Salt Pork. Pretty Fire has been holding at approximately 170 acres. 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.

·       Last Inch:  697 acres, 45% contained.  8/21 lightning.   IMT Type 2 (Shenk) Located 12 miles east of Clarkia. There was a moderate increase in fire behavior over the past few days with torching and creeping up against control lines on Northeast side of fire. Today, crews will reinforce existing dozer line and dig handline where appropriate with a focus on re-enforcing fire line west of Woesner Ridge. Fire personnel: 115   Phone: 508-400-3891 lastinchfireinfo@gmail.com


·       Not Creative Fire 150 acres, 100% contained, 8/13 lightning, Type IV IMT on the local Ranger District is managing the fire which is on patrol status.  Location: ID, four miles north of Rose Lake on the south side of I-90.

·       Big Lost Fire 940 acres, 100 % containment,  8/13 lightning start. Located east of Potlatch near Hwy 6, ten miles south of Emida; 3 miles N/NE of Harvard, Latah County.  The Ponderosa District of the Idaho Department of Lands is managing and patrolling the fire.

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.

TEMPORARY WILFIRE EMERGENCY CLOSURES ON IDAHO PANHANDLE NF
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 Mountain), 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 also are 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 Fire Complex: 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.
BEGINNING SUNDAY12:01 AM AUGUST 30-
All National Forest System lands, trails and roads with in the Coeur d 'Alene River Ranger District north of Interstate 90. Excepting and excluding:
·       English Point, Moki ns Bay Campground and Forest Service Road # 332 (Bunco Road) from T. 53 N ., R 2 W., section 28 to its junction  with Forest Service Road # 278.
·       all non-National Forest lands and roads (i.e. private lands, county roads and other non-National Forest lands and roads).
Being on the following Forest Roads (36 CFR 261.54(e)): All Forest Service roads within the closure area are closed with the exception of  Forest Service Road # 332 (Bunco Road) from T. 53 N., R 2 W., section 28 to i ts junction  with Forest Service Road # 278.
·       Forest Service Road # 1066 is closed by this order from its junction with Forest Service Road # 332 at Johnson Saddle north to its junction with Forest Service Road # 278 on the Sandpoint Ranger District.
Being on Forest Trails (36 CFR 261.SS(a)):  All Forest Service trails within the closure area are closed.
Being in developed recreation sites (36 CFR 261.58(b)): All Forest Service recreation sites in the closure area are closed with the exception of English Point and Mokins Bay Campground.

§  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 junction with 396A Rd, then south  on 396A Rd to end point, the boundary follows S to junction 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 junction 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. IPNF: Idaho Panhandle National Forests
§  IPNF NZ: Idaho Panhandle National Forests North Zone (U.S. Forest Service) IPNF CZ: Idaho Panhandle National Forests Central Zone (U.S. Forest Service)
§  IPNF SZ: Idaho Panhandle National Forests South Zone (U.S. Forest Service) IDL: Idaho Department of Lands (State)
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.

For information regarding fire activity and closures on the Kootenai National Forest in Montana, please see the Forest website: www.fs.usda.gov/kootenai

ACRONYMS:

§  IPNF: Idaho Panhandle National Forests
§  IPNF NZ: Idaho Panhandle National Forests North Zone (U.S. Forest Service) IPNF CZ: Idaho Panhandle National Forests Central Zone (U.S. Forest Service)
§  IPNF SZ: Idaho Panhandle National Forests South Zone (U.S. Forest Service) IDL: Idaho Department of Lands (State)
§  ICT: Incident Command Type
§  IMT: Incident Management Team
§  NF: National Forest


SUMMARY TABLE: ACTIVE WILDFIRES IN NORTHERN IDAHO - AUGUST 28, 2015
Incident Name
Location
Current Size
Protection Agency
Status
Breezy
 SZ - St. Joe
91.0
IPNF
Start 8/25: on BLM land within Marble closure
East Fork
CZ – Coeur d’Alene River
20.0
IPNF
Start 8/22: IMT2 (Fry) Grizzly Complex
Grassy Mountain
CZ – Coeur d’Alene River
692.0
IPNF
Start 8/22: IMT2 (Fry) Grizzly Complex
Fan Creek
NZ – Bonners Ferry
0.1
IPNF
Start 8/22:
Deception
CZ – Coeur d’Alene River
1.0
IPNF
Start 8/22: (McClilntick) Contained 8/23
Picnic
CZ – Coeur d’Alene River
0.3
IPNF
Start 8/22: (Moore) Contained 8/23
White Rock Creek
CZ – Coeur d’Alene River
2.0
IPNF
Start 8/22: IMT2 (Fry) Grizzly Complex
Jack Waite
CZ – Coeur d’Alene River
1.0
IPNF
Start 8/22: IMT2 (Fry) Grizzly Complex
Steep Creek
CZ – Coeur d’Alene River
250.0
IPNF
Start 8/22:
Aimes
CZ – Coeur d’Alene River
1.0
IPNF
Start 8/22: (Davis)
Stony Creek
CZ – Coeur d’Alene River
25.5
IPNF
Start 8/21:
Shirttail
CZ – State - Cataldo
0.1
IDL
Start 8/21: ICT 5
Skitwish Peak
CZ-Coeur d’Alene River
0.3
IPNF
Start 8/21:ICT 5 (Johnson) burning old snag, heavy ground fuel controlled 8/23
Monument
CZ – Coeur d’Alene
250.0
IPNF
Start 8/21: (Feltman) Radio repeater site potentially threatened
Pretty
SZ – St. Joe
169.0
IPNF
Start 8/21: (Juvan) difficult access  Snow Peak Complex
Marten Creek
CZ – Coeur d’Alene River
5.0
IPNF
Start 8/19: IMT Type 2 (Hutton) Clark Fork Complex, west of Whitetail Fire
Salt Pork
SZ-St. Joe
0.1
IPNF
Start 8/17: Snow Peak Complex
My Ruby
SZ-St. Joe
0.5
IPNF
Start 8/17: Snow Peak Complex
Crater
SZ –St. Joe: BLM land
320.0
IPNF
Start 8/15:
Pole Creek
SZ – St. Joe
0.1
IPNF
Start 8/14: Snow Peak Complex
Game
SZ – St. Joe
2.0
IPNF
Start 8/14: Snow Peak Complex
Basin Creek
SZ – St. Joe
36.0
IPNF
Start 8/14: Snow Peak Complex
Solitaire Creek
CZ- Coeur d’Alene River
30.0
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
70.0
IPNF
Start 8/14: area closures, monitored (S. Clemenson)8/19active after several calm days
Whitetail Peak
CZ – Coeur d’Alene River
1734.0
IPNF
Start 8/14: Clark Fork Complex IMT Type 2 (Hutton) trail closures at Jordan Camp.
Scotchman Peak
NZ-Sandpoint
1920.0
IPNF
Start 8/13: Clark Fork Complex closure of trail systems Type 2 IMT (Hutton)
Not Creative
CZ-State-Cataldo
150.0
IPNF
Start 8/13: 100% containment, Type 4 ICT on Ranger District
Benewah Creek
SZ-State-West St. Joe
34.0
IDL
Start 8/13:ICT 4, (Schiermeister) contained, patrol status
Big Lost
SZ-State-Ponderosa
940.0
IDL
Start 8/13: 100% contained. Type 4 IMT on Ranger District
South Bobtail
CZ – Coeur d’Alene River
4,860.0
IPNF
Start 8/13:  Type 3 IMT (Day) and Bobtail Fire; Grizzly Complex
Chicadee
SZ- St. Joe
1.5
IPNF
Start 8/13: Snow Peak Complex
East Suburban
CZ – Coeur d’Alene River
IPNF
Start 8/13: Lower Flat Fire, Grizzly Complex
Bennett Peak
CZ – Coeur d’Alene River
3.0
IPNF
Start 8/12: contained, monitor
Caribou Creek
SZ – St. Joe
270.0
IPNF
Start 8/12:  Snow Peak Complex
North Grizzly
CZ – Coeur d’Alene River
3,076.0
IPNF
Start 8/12: Grizzly Ridge, part of  Grizzly Complex
Downey
CZ – Coeur d’Alene River
9.0
IPNF
Start 8/12: Downey contained; part of Grizzly Complex
Lower Flat
CZ – Coeur d’Alene River
5,992.0
IPNF
Start 8/12 Grizzly Complex (Lower Flat)
Lightning Ridge
SZ – St. Joe
7.0
...