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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Northern Idaho Wildfire Update - September 2, 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:  VERY HIGH* 
Wildfire Preparedness will drop to PL 4 today - fires will start easily from most causes, spread rapidly and have a quick increase in intensity, right after ignition.  Small fires can quickly become large fires and exhibit extreme fire intensity, such as long-distance spotting and fire whirls.  These fires can be difficult to control and will often become much larger and longer-lasting fires.

WEATHER: 
Cold front will pass through the region this morning, but any meaningful precipitation will be limited.  Rain chances are expected to gradually decrease from west to east over the weekend.  Today will be mostly cloudy with patchy smoke through the day.  High temps 65-70 in valleys and 55-65 in mountains.  20-foot and transport winds southwest 7-12 mph in the morning, increasing to 18-22 mph in the afternoon.  Lightning activity level (LAL) = 2

Stage II Fire Restrictions in effect within Grangeville & Coeur d’Alene Dispatch Restriction Areas*
Summary: Crews continue to work diligently with containment efforts.  Significant percentage increase on Clark Fork Complex to 55%. Current closures will remain in place through the upcoming holiday weekend due to concerns with firefighter and public safety.  The following is a listing of larger active fires on the Idaho Panhandle National Forests: 
  • Parker Ridge Fire- total acreage 6,559, 45% containment. Type 3 IMT (Weeks); 7/29 lightning start.  Location is approximately 20 miles NW of Bonners Ferry and 7 miles SW of Porthill, ID.  Fire personnel: 84.  Some precipitation in the area, but minimal.  Crews will continue mop-up and full suppression strategy, where feasible.   A Stage I Alert has lifted.  Fire information:  208-267-6773  Email: parkerridgefireinfo@gmail.com

  • Clark Fork Complex- total acreage 15,730 acres, 55% containment.  Type 2 IMT (Hutton); 8/14 start.   Located in N. Idaho and NW Montana. Fire personnel: 283.  Complex includes the following fires with most recent acreage updates:  Scotchman Peak (2,056 acres), Whitetail (1,869 acres), Sawtooth* (2,445 acres), Marten Creek (5 acres), Napolean* (8,956 acres), and Government* (399 acres).  None of the fires on the complex have progressed toward the Ross Creek Cedar Grove. An emergency Forest closure remains in effect for the area around the Scotchman Peak Fire. There has been a large amount of recreation traffic below the fire front and the public is urged to stay out of this area.  Upcoming public meeting tonight, 9/2/15 at 6:30 p.m. at the Clark Fork High School.  *these fires are under Kootenai National Forest ownership.  Fire information: 406-847-9974 or 406-827- 0731. clarkfork2015@gmail.com   

  • Avery Fire Complex - total acreage 5,315 acres, 3% containment.  Type 2 IMT (Rosenthal) is in place; 8/11 lightning starts, located in the southeastern portion of the St. Joe Ranger District, approx. 7 miles SW of Avery, ID.  Fire personnel:  286.  Complex now includes 4 fires:  Pretty (256 acres), Marble Creek (3,070 acres), Crater (593 acres), and Breezy (1,396 acres).  Areas along the fire perimeter and interior that contain heat continue to burn actively.  Crews made good progress on east flank of Breezy Fire, and will continue burn-out operations on Marble Creek.  Pretty and Crater fires remain unstaffed.  Road and area closures remain in effect.  Fire information: 208-262-3910.
  • Tower Fire – total acreage 26,227, 22% containment.  Alaska IMT (Kurth); 8/11 lightning start, located 17 mi. north of Newport, WA and 6 mi. west of Priest Lake, ID.   Fire personnel:  803.  (Part of Kaniksu Complex which includes fires in Washington and Idaho:  Baldy (515 acres, 100% containment), Onata (546 acres, 39% containment), Hall Mountain (39 acres), Grease Creek (614 acres), Slate Creek (1 acre), and South Fork Slate Creek Trail (167 acres). The Colville NF is managing the fire with guidance from Idaho Panhandle NF fire management.  Though fire activity has decreased, fire and smoke will still be visible.  Closures remain in effect.   Fire information:  907-750-1639 or 208-443-6835 or  towerfireinfo@gmail.com

  • Grizzly Complex: 18,603 acres, 1% containment.  Type 2 IMT (Fry); 8/10 lightning starts (16 fires); located between Enaville and Murray Idaho, in the North Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River drainage near Grizzly Peak.  Fire personnel:  190.  All of the initial fire starts have since been contained or grown together; complex now consists of 3 larger fires and 3 medium fires: Lower Flat Fire (6,800 acres), South Bobtail (6,217 acres), North Grizzly (3,675 acres), Grassy Mountain (835 acres), White Rock Creek (752 acres), Steep Creek (295 acres), and other small fires combined (29 acres). 
    A Stage 1 evacuation notice continues to be in effect in Shoshone County ID for the Hope Valley Road residents near Trout Creek, MT. Public Meeting Thursday, 9/3/15 at 6:30 p.m. in the Prichard Murray Fire Hall.  Fire information: 208-784-0219.

  • Monument:  618 acres, 10% containment.  Local Type 3 IC; 8/21 lightning start; located on Monument Peak 15 miles North of Rose Lake on the Coeur d’Alene River RD.  Crews were able to make great progress, increasing containment from 5% to 70%.  . 

  • Snow Peak Complex*: Total acreage for complex: 6,552 acres, 0% containment. Local Type 3 IC (Juvan). The Snow Peak Complex is comprised of 11 separate fires within the southeastern portion of the St. Joe Ranger District including the Snow Peak Wildlife Management Area, upper portion of the Mallard Larkins Pioneer Area, and the Ruby Point to Yankee Peak area south of the St. Joe River. (Ruby Point, Basin Creek, Trail 55, Caribou, Lightning Ridge, Chicadee, Game, Pole Creek, and My Ruby fires.)  A major portion of this complex consists of the Chicadee Fire (5,393 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. The Snow Peak Complex area is currently closed to all public access. Due to limited staffing and resources on this fire, acreage and containment updates will only be reported weekly (Thursdays). 

  • Last Inch:  737 acres69% containment.  Type 2 IMT (Schenk); 8/21 lightning start; located 12 miles east of Clarkia in Glover Creek/ Woesner Ridge and into west Floodwater Creek drainage. Fire personnel:  96.  Fire activity was minimal with creeping and smoldering.  Fire information:  508-400-3891 lastinchfireinfo@gmail.com
  • Lone Mountain Fire: 135 acres, ignited by downed power line 8/29. Located approximately 15 miles north of Coeur d’ Alene.  Contained.  No update from yesterday.   
Evacuation 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.
Definitions: Level 1 Alert (Get Ready) Residents should be ready, aware of increased risk and 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. Monitor emergency services, a significant danger exists. It is suggested you voluntarily relocate to a shelter or with family/friends. 

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  
TEMPORARY WILDFIRE EMERGENCY CLOSURES ON IDAHO PANHANDLE NF

Emergency closures are in effect due to fire activity. See the Idaho Panhandle National Forest website for the full text and map of each closure Public is prohibited to go into or be upon these areas, roads, and trails. 
  • Priest Lake Ranger District (RD) - The Tower closure was expanded 8/31/15.  See website for detailed map.  Due to Upper Priest Fire:  Road 1013 north of Lime Creek. Trail #308 and Trail #28.

  • 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.

  • Sandpoint RD - Due to Clark Fork Complex (Scotchman Peak and Whitetail Fires): The Scotchman Peak and Clark Fork Closures.   

  • Coeur d’Alene River RD – Due to Grizzly Complex:  The Coeur d’Alene River Ranger District Fire Closure encompasses the majority of the district land, south of Bunco Road (FS 332) and north of I-90. 
  • St. Joe RD– Due to Avery and Snow Peak Complexes:  The Marble Creek, Breezy-Chicadee, and Snow Peak Closures combine to encompass a large portion of the St. Joe Ranger District and nearby BLM and industrial timber lands.  Closure impacts areas south of Highway 50 and the St. Joe River, east of Marble Creek Road and west of Forest Road 218 (Red Ives Rd.) Highway 50 and the St. Joe River Road and campgrounds along the river remain open. Highway 50 into Montana over Gold Pass beyond the Forest Road 218 junction is closed.  Generally, all lands south of the St. Joe River and east of Marble Creek remain closed. 
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

SUMMARY TABLE: ACTIVE WILDFIRES IN NORTHERN IDAHO – SEPTEMBER 2, 2015
Incident Name
Location
Current Size (acres)
Protection Agency
Status
Birthday
SZ – St. Joe
158
IPNF
Start 8/27; Snow Peak Complex
Breezy
 SZ - St. Joe
1,396
IPNF
Start 8/25: IMT 2 (Rosenthal) Avery Complex
Grassy Mountain
CZ – Coeur d’Alene River
835
IPNF
Start 8/22: IMT2 (Fry) Grizzly Complex
White Rock Creek
CZ – Coeur d’Alene River
752
IPNF
Start 8/22: IMT2 (Fry) Grizzly Complex
Jack Waite
CZ – Coeur d’Alene River
1
IPNF
Start 8/22: IMT2 (Fry) Grizzly Complex
Steep Creek
CZ – Coeur d’Alene River
295
IPNF
Start 8/22: IMT2 (Fry) Grizzly Complex
Stony Creek
CZ – Coeur d’Alene River
30.5
IPNF
Start 8/21: ICT5, 100% contained;
Monument
CZ – Coeur d’Alene
618
IPNF
Start 8/21: Type 3 IC (Zuefelt); 70% contained
Pretty
SZ – St. Joe
256
IPNF
Start 8/21: IMT 2 (Rosenthal); Avery Complex
Marten Creek
CZ – Coeur d’Alene River
5
IPNF
Start 8/19: IMT Type 2 (Hutton) Clark Fork Complex
Salt Pork
SZ-St. Joe
188
IPNF
Start 8/17: Snow Peak Complex
Crater
SZ –St. Joe: BLM land
593
IPNF
Start 8/15:Avery Complex
Lightning Ridge
SZ – St. Joe
25
IPNF
Start 8/14; Snow Peak Complex
Pole Creek
SZ – St. Joe
0.1
IPNF
Start 8/14: Snow Peak Complex
Game
SZ – St. Joe
35
IPNF
Start 8/14: Snow Peak Complex
Basin Creek
SZ – St. Joe
425
IPNF
Start 8/14: Snow Peak Complex
Upper Priest
NZ – Priest Lake
108
IPNF
Start 8/14: working on section above road
Whitetail Peak
CZ – Coeur d’Alene River
1,869
...