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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests morning update

Kamiah, Idaho, September 2, 2015

Firefighters are making progress in their battles against the numerous existing area fires due to cooler temperatures and more moderate fire behavior. 

Moderating weather and burning conditions have prompted forest managers to begin modifying the forest wide area closure.  By late afternoon, changes will be made that will enable public access into areas where there is a low risk of rapid fire spread.

The following is a summary of the major complexes and fires burning across the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests which are not assigned to incident management teams. 

South Zone (Salmon River and Red River Ranger Districts)
The Slaughter Fire, burning west of Concord in the Gospel-Hump Wilderness, is estimated to be 100-150 acres.  Firefighters are in the corridor assessing structure protection needs.  The 2007 Rattlesnake Fire scar is positioned between the fire and most structures and should slow the fire’s spread.

The 1500-acre Rattlesnake Fire in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness continues to show minimal activity, “creeping” up and down the Salmon River and toward the Sheep Hill Lookout to the north.  Firefighters continue to monitor the fire from the Salmon River and provide structure protection between Whitewater Ranch and Allison Ranch.

Most fires burning in the South Zone including the Baldy, Wash, Crown, Lone Park, Noble, and Little Green Fires, are being managed by a Southern Area National Incident Management Team.  Information about the Selway Complex and large fires in the Elk City and Red River vicinities is posted on www.inciweb.org.  Information can also be obtained by calling 877-367-9503 or sending an email to selwaycomplex@gmail.com.

The Tepee Springs Fire crossed the Salmon River Saturday and has spread across an estimated 15,000 acres of land managed by the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests.  Updates regarding this fire are posted on www.inciweb.org.  Information can be obtained by calling 877-683-5560 or sending an email to payettefireinformation@gmail.com.

Central Zone (Lochsa-Powell and Moose Creek Ranger Districts)
Name:  Lochsa South Complex  
Location:  South of Lochsa River from Warm Springs Creek to the Selway River
Started:  August 15, 2015                        Cause:  Lightning
Total Acreage:  5935 acres                      Containment:  0% Contained
Fires Originally within Lochsa South Complex:  12
Active Fires within the Complex:  Sponge Fire 3000 acres, Grit Fire 400 acres, Lone Knob Fire 400 acres, Fire Creek 400 acres, Airstrip Fire 980 acres.
Major Events:  Fires received an average of 0.4 which has moderated fire behavior.  Structure protection continues for Wilderness Gateway Campground and outfitter area. 

Name:  Wilderness Complex      
Location:  Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness (much of the Moose Creek Ranger District)
Started:  August 4, 2015                          Cause:  Lightning
Total Acreage:  19,295 acres                  
Fires Originally within the Wilderness Complex:  8
Active Fires within the Complex:  Roll Creek 7800 acres, Rock Point 250 acres, Meeker 2400 acres, Baily 1525 acres, Army Mule Fire 5400 acres, Barren 1205 acres, Wahoo 650 acres.
Major Events:  These fires are burning within the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness and are being monitored as they play their natural role in shaping the Wilderness landscape.  Actions are being taken to protect infrastructure within the Wilderness (pack bridges, lookouts and cabins).  Smokejumpers completed burnout operations around the East Moose Pack Bridge.  Materials have been secured to wrap the Meadow Creek Cabin.

North Zone (Palouse and North Fork Ranger Districts)
Name:  Larkin Complex                           Location:  Roughly 30 airline miles NE of Pierce
Started:  August 17, 2015                        Cause:  Lightning
Total Acreage:  7330 acres                      Containment:  0% Contained
Fires Originally within the Complex (including Wolf Pack Fires):  14

Active Fires within the Complex:  Snow Creek Fire 3270 acres, Wolf Pack Fire 1370 acres, and Heather Fire 2085 acres, Minnesaka 450, and Roaring 100.
Major Events:  Fire managers were able to fly over fires yesterday for more accurate mapping and revised acreage figures.  Minimal fire activity was reported.

NameScurvy Mountain            Fire                  Location: 28 miles ENE of Pierce, Idaho
Started:  August 21, 2015                        Cause:  Lightning
Total Acreage:  520 acres                                    Containment:  0% contained
Major Events:  Fire managers were able to fly over fires yesterday for more accurate mapping and revised acreage figures.  Minimal fire activity was reported.  The Scurvy Lookout has been wrapped.



Nez Perce-Clearwater closure and fire information is posted at:  http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/nezperceclearwater/home.  Click on the “Fire Information” icon at the top of the page.