Social Media Picasa Youtube

Friday, September 11, 2015

Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests afternoon update for September 11th

Kamiah, Idaho – As fire activity has moderated, Forest officials continue to modify fire-related closures that limit access to some of the Forests’ vast backcountry.

On Thursday Forest Supervisor Cheryl Probert lifted an area closure that closed a wide swath of land both north and south of the Selway River Corridor, but left the main access road, Selway Road 223, and adjoining trail system closed.

“We understand people are anxious to get back into the Selway Zone for the beginning of hunting season September 15,” she stated. “Our goal is to provide as much access as is safely possible by that time. She said that the Selway River Road remains close due to fire-related hazards that persist. Culverts damaged by the fires’ intensities are being replaced. Firefighters are patrolling the road, with crews clearing rocks, downed trees, and woody debris that continue to roll onto the route.

Additionally, fire activity could pick up over the weekend when potentially record-setting temperatures are predicted for the valleys. “We’ll take a very hard look at the need for closures when the weather moderates,” she added. Two additional closures were lifted today, one north of the Lochsa River and another north of the Salmon River. An area closure north of Highway 12 from the Forest boundary east to Wilderness Gateway Campground has been rescinded and replaced with a series of road and trail closures in the vicinity of the Motorway Complex of fires.

The change restores access to such popular areas as the Lewis and Clark Grove, Musselshell Meadows and much of the Eldorado, Sherman and Fish Creek drainages. Roads that remain closed continue to be used by firefighting vehicles and heavy equipment engaged in the active suppression of multiple wildfires that burn within the area. The remaining closures are necessary for public safety
while firefighting traffic and heavy equipment continue their use of the road system.

Additionally, crews continue to repair roads, rehabilitate firelines and clear roads of rocks, trees and other debris. Finally an area closure north of the Salmon River from the Forest boundary near Island Bar east to French Creek has been refined to allow access to an area south of Slate Point Lookout and west of Florence. Visitors can now travel the Grangeville-Salmon Road 221 to its junction with Road 643.

Since the closure and restriction situation is dynamic, individuals planning to visit the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests are encouraged to contact any of the Forests’ offices or visit the Forests online at www.fs.usda.gov/nezperceclearwater and click the “fire information” tab for the latest fire information and a current map of closures.