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Saturday, August 29, 2015

Northern Idaho Wildfire Update August 29, 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
Northern Rockies Fire Information (Montana): (406)829-7316

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. There is a high potential for windblown trees. Firefighter and public safety remain the premier objective on every fire. A vigorous cold front moved through the region today bringing a sharp shift in winds and strong sustained winds and gusts into the afternoon hours. Winds will weaken but remain gusty on Sunday as a second front pushes through with an increased chance of precipitation region wide.  Sunday is expected to be mostly cloudy with numerous rain showers in the morning and rain showers in the afternoon. Temperatures 61-66, winds southwest 6 to 10 with gusts to around 25.
·        Stage II Fire Restrictions in effect within Grangeville & Coeur d’Alene Dispatch Restriction Areas*
·       Fire Weather Watch for most of the northern Idaho Panhandle.-
·       For the latest air quality rating, see:  http://www.deq.idaho.gov/air-quality/monitoring/daily-reports-and-forecasts.aspx

Incident Summary as of 4:00 pmAcross the Panhandle, fire managers focused yesterday and early morning hours today to re-enforce holding lines before the weather front moved in then took measures to make sure that crews and equipment were not in front of the fires when the winds hit.  Tonight, fire managers will assess fire locations and adjusttomorrow’s strategy accordingly, the weather forecast after Saturday is highly favorable for firefighting efforts with lower temperatures, higher humidity, and lower winds. The following is a 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. Crews continued working to mop up a “peat bog” area that has been persistently smoldering the last few days and made progress with line building and mopping up along the south flank of the fire near Parker Creek. The fire had been backing downslope and then making short uphill runs to the top of the ridge on the Long Canyon side of Parker Ridge. As of Saturday evening, all of the control lines appear to have held with some help from light precipitation. The Westside Road area continues under a Stage I Alert.   Forest closures remain in effect. Personnel: 82. Fire information contact :  208-267-6773   Email: parkerridgefireinfo@gmail.com

·       Clark Fork Complex:  total acres= 14,800, 35% 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.  A new emergency Forest closure order closed the 332 Road, the 1066 Road, and 10210 Road at the intersection with the 332 Road in addition to previous trail closures. A pre-evacuation notice continues for the Bull Lake area south of Troy, Montana. Whitetail Peak 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, cool and cloudy conditions with scattered rain showers kept the   fire quiet. Today, crews continued machine line and holding actions along the 332 Road to keep the Whitetail fire from spreading north and east across the Shoshone/Bonner County line. Crews also continued structure protection/assessments and holding actions along the Highway 56 corridor to minimize fire spread onto private lands.  Logging equipment moved cut logs down the road to the west to eliminate them as fuel. Crews continue to monitor Marten Creek (2, 033 acres) and Scotchman Peak (1,920 acres). Evacuation orders and emergency Forest closures continue for this area.  Fire personnel: 323. Fire information: 406-847-9974 or 406-827- 0738. clarkfork2015@gmail.com

·       Marble Creek Fire (to become part of the Avery Fire Complex along with the Breezy and Crater Fires): Marble =2,033 acres (Acreage to be determined for other 2 fires and included with Marble in tomorrows update), 10 % contained. 8/11 lightning start. Type 3 IMT (Mandel).  Located approximately 30 mi. east of St. Maries. The Marble Fire continued to burn yesterday within the perimeter but did not spread measurably. Crews continued work on control and containment in anticipation of today’s wind. Crews continued to focus on structure protection between Marble Creek and Avery as a precautionary measure. There was no significant growth reported after today’s winds. Residents and visitors are urged to use extreme caution when driving St. Joe River road due to increased fire traffic. Fire personnel: 154. The emergency Forest closure was expanded. See the closure section of this update for more information.

·       Tower Fire (Part of Kansu Complex includes areas in Washington and Idaho.  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:765 on complex. Tower Fire is18,478 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. Today’s winds caused the fire to become active, but smoke and dust obscured much of the eastern portion of the fire. Fire managers pulled many firefighters off the line as the storm passed over. They have now returned to the fire and will be back at work tomorrow. To be safe, fire personnel recommended some further evacuations. Bonner County and Pend Oreille County sheriffs’ departments raised the evacuation levels in two areas: Big Meadow/Squaw Valley area was raised to Evacuation Level 3 and  north Hwy 57 corridor, including the Nordman area, was raised to Evacuation Level 2. All other designated areas at Priest Lake and south along the east side of the fire remain in Level 1,
Emergency Forest closures remain in effect.. Fire Information is 907-750-1639. towerfireinfo@gmail.com Kaniksu . Community Meeting: Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015 7:30 pm at Priest River Elementary School.

·       Grizzly Complex: 15,703 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 (6,128 acres) encompassing Upper Stoney, Lower Stoney, North Suburban, South Suburban and East Suburban; North Grizzly Fire (3,140 acres) encompasses Grizzly Ridge; and South Bobtail (5,240 acres) encompasses Bobtail Fire. Grassy Mountain (705 acres)..  Four new fire starts resulted from a lightning storm on 8/21, including:  Jack Waite (1 acre), White Rock Creek (461 acres), and miscellaneous fires (29 acres). 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 12:01 SUNDAYAUGUST 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 Temporary Wildfire Emergency Forest 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. Today, crews continued to monitor Steep Creek (estimated 150-200 acres), and look for opportunities for some indirect fire line on the Monument Fire (estimated 250 acres), and continued work on fire lines on the Stoney Creek Fire ( 25-30 acres).
An emergency Forest Closure Order is currently in effect for the area.    

·       Snow Peak Complex: 270 acres as of last report (expect update in light of today’s wind event), 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. 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:  712 acres, 56% 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. Yesterday, crews  reinforced existing dozer line and dig handline where appropriate with a focus on re-enforcing fire line west of Woesner Ridge. Today, there was a small two-acres slop over the line which crews promptly controlled.     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.
·       Temporary Wildfire Emergency Forest 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 following emergency closures are in place. See the Idaho Panhandle Natonal Forest websie for the full text and map of each closure. THE PUBLIC IS PROHIBITED TO GO INTO OR BE UPON THESE AREAS, ROADS AND TRAILS:

§  Priest Lake Ranger District (RD) - Due to Upper Priest Fire: Road 1013 north of Lime Creek. Trail #308 and Trail #28. (Road Closure and Trail Closure)
Due to 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. Please see the following map for more detailed boundaries. A portion of the Newport Ranger District of the Colville National Forest is closed.  

§  Bonners Ferry RD - Due to Parker Ridge Fire:  Parker Creek Trail #14, Long Canyon Trail #16 and Parker Ridge Trail #221. Previously closed trails remain closed. They include Parker Ridge Trail #221 (Sections 7 and 8 of T64N, R1W and sections 12, 13, 14, 15, 2, and 27 of R2W) and the Fisher Peak Trail. Under this closure order, the public is prohibited to go into or be upon this trail.

§  Sandpoint and Coeur d’Alene River RD - Due to  Clark Fork Complex (Scotchman Peak and Whitetail Fires): The Scotchman Peak wildfire emergency closure has expanded significantly. Please see the Closure Order and Map on the Forest website for specific boundaries, roads and trails

§  Coeur d’Alene River RD –Due to the increasing number of wildfires in the area and concern for public safety, a temporary emergency wildfire closure has been issued for all public lands north of I-90, south of Forest Road 332, east of Highway 95 and west of the Idaho/Montana border. This emergency closure includes all National Forest System lands, Bureau of Land Management lands, and state endowment forest lands within the described boundaries. EFFECTIVE SUNDAY, 12:01 AM AUGUST 30.
Due to Solitare Fire: All lands, trails and forest roads within T52N - R1W sections 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10 and T53N - R1W sections 32, 33, 34. Forest Trails 1525 (Solitaire Creek 4WD) and 6728 (Sob Creek 4WD).
Due to Whitetail Fire: Forest Roads #430, #332, #332A, #203, #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 described in the closure order and map. (

§  St. Joe RD– Avery Complex (Crater, Marble Creek, and Chicadee Fires) and Snow Peak Complex
  • Due to Marble Creek Fire and Crater Fire: This closure area encompasess a large portion of the St. Joe Ranger District and nearby BLM and industrial timber lands. The closure area generally encompasses the areas surrounding Marble Creek, the Hobo Cedar Grove, Grandfather Mountain, Last Inch Camp, Crater Peak, Outlaw Point, Flemming Peak, and all lands in between. For specific closure areas please see the Closure Order and Map.
  • Due to 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.
  • Due to Breezy Chicadee  -This closure area ties together the Marble Creek and Snow Peak emergency wildfire closures areas. For specific closure boundaries, please see the Closure Order and Map on the website.

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
705.0
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
200.0
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
5,240.0
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
3,140.0
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
6,128.0
IPNF
Start 8/12 Grizzly Complex (Lower Flat)
Lightning Ridge
SZ – St. Joe
7.0
IPNF
Start 8/12: Snow Peak Complex  
Trail 55
SZ - St. Joe /state lands
0.3
IPNF
Start 8/12: Snow Peak Complex, scratch line in, low spread potential
Tower
Colville NF
18,478.0
CNF
Start 8/11: Fire is in Washington5% contained
Last Inch
NZ Idaho Panhandle
712.0
IPNF
...