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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests afternoon update

Kamiah, Idaho, September 2, 2015

A forest closure for the entire Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests except the Palouse Ranger District is being rescinded to allow public access to many popular areas in advance of the Labor Day holiday weekend.

Forest Supervisor Cheryl Probert said fire activity has moderated since a nearly forestwide closure was enacted Saturday.  On that day, high temperatures and strong winds created extreme fire behavior and caused many fires to spread rapidly creating concerns for public safety, prompting the County Sheriff to issue evacuation notices for Elk City, Newsome, Red River and other communities in that vicinity.

“With current and predicted weather conditions, shorter burning periods and more moderate fire behavior, we believe it is safe for the public to access many areas of the national forests,” she explained. “Our intent is to allow as much access as is safely possible.”

When maps are finalized and notices signed Thursday, September 3, the forestwide closure will be rescinded and a number of smaller, more focused closures implemented.  The changes allow Labor Day recreationists and hunters to access the majority of roads and trails in the popular North Fork and South Fork Clearwater River Corridors. 

Access to campgrounds and trails along the Salmon River, Selway and Lochsa Corridors will be limited.

Forest officials were not able to complete the necessary maps and orders by close of business September 2.  They are striving to post detailed information by mid-afternoon Thursday, September 3.

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.


Restrictions and closures are constantly changing.  Additional information and new restrictions will be posted at http://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/nezperceclearwater/alerts-notices.