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Friday, September 11, 2015

Northern Idaho Wildfire Update September 11, 2015

FIRE DANGER: HIGH
Wildfires are likely. Fires in heavy, continuous fuel such as mature grassland, weed fields, and forest litter, will be difficult to control under windy conditions. Control through direct attack may be difficult but possible and mop-up will be required. Outdoor burning should be restricted to early morning and late evening hours. Much of the burned area will have hazards long after the fire is out. Please stay alert to changing conditions including flooding and mud slides, burned trees falling over unexpectedly and falling debris blocking roadways.

WEATHER:
Warmer than average temperatures will persist through the weekend. Today and Saturday’s afternoon temperatures will range from the mid 80s to low 90s. The warm, dry, and moderately unstable conditions may increase fire activity. Sunday is expected to be breezy ahead of a strong cold front which will bring wind, cooler temperatures, and a chance of showers for Monday and Tuesday. A system may bring widespread wetting rains for Wednesday. For the latest air quality rating: http://www.deq.idaho.gov

FIRE RESTRICTIONS
Due to widespread rainfall throughout many parts of northern and central Idaho, most land management agencies in Northern Idaho have lifted Fire Restrictions.

CLOSURES:
Federal land managers, in conjunction with the State of Idaho, modified temporary emergency wildfire closures in order to significantly reduce the size of the closure areas effective yesterday. Cooler temperatures and recent precipitation have tempered fire activity across the forest and have allowed fire managers to reduce the size of many closure areas. Some of the most significant emergency closure area reductions are for the Coeur d’Alene River and St. Joe Ranger Districts.

For information on the modified closure areas, including maps and closure orders, please visit the Idaho Panhandle National Forests homepage located at:www.fs.usda.gov/IPNF  

FIRE INFORMATION:
  • Clark Fork Complex: total acreage in Idaho is 3,921 acres. 83% completed. ICT4. 8/14 start. Located in N. Idaho and NW Montana. Fire personnel: 164. Clark Fork Complex in Idaho includes the following fires with most recent acreage updates: Scotchman Peak (2,057 acres), Whitetail (1,859 acres), Marten Creek (5 acres), Fire activity remained light. Rehabilitation work is being performed where appropriate. The Clark Fork Complex Fire area has a reduced fire closure area in place. Please check  www.fs.usda.gov/IPNF  for maps of the closure area in Idaho.  Fire information:  208-765-7383.

  • Avery Fire Complex: total acreage 4,673 acres, 46% 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. Complex now includes four fires: Pretty (273 acres), Marble Creek (2,805 acres), Crater (399 acres), and Breezy (1,196 acres). Fire personnel: 446. There is smoldering, creeping and single tree torching fire behavior. Crews and equipment are continuing to establish indirect and direct fire line as long as it is safe to do so. Crews will mop up along fire lines where possible. Pretty fire was staffed with 30 personnel on Thursday. The Avery Complex area has a reduced fire closure area in place. Please check  www.fs.usda.gov/IPNF  for maps of the closure area. Fire information: 877-632-6017 (satellite phone – please speak slowly!). averycomplex2015@gmail.com
  • Tower Fire: 24,252 acres, 59% containment. (Part of Kaniksu Complex which includes fires in Washington and Idaho ) Kaniksu Complex total acreage 26,148, 70% completed. Alaska IMT (Kurth); 8/11 lightning start, located 17 mi. north of Newport, WA and 6 mi. west of Priest Lake, ID. Fire personnel: 685. Baldy (515 acres, 100% containment), Onata (546 acres, 100% containment), Hall Mountain (39 acres), Grease Creek (628 acres, 19% containment), 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. Much of the work Thursday on the Kaniksu Complex was ensuring control lines were reinforced by mopping up and patrolling along with conducting suppression repair. The crews are identifying and addressing hot spots located by patrols and infrared technologies. Hotshot crews are working in the areas of the fires with rugged and treacherous terrain. The Kaniksu Complex area has a reduced fire closure area in place in Idaho. Please check  www.fs.usda.gov/IPNF  for maps of the closure area in Idaho. Please check with local Colville National Forest ranger districts for closure and restriction information regarding fires in this complex which are in Washington or the Colville National Forest website.http://www.fs.usda.gov/colville Fire information:  907-750-1639 or 208-443-6835 or towerfireinfo@gmail.com
  • Grizzly Complex: 18,648 acres, 14% completed. Type 3 IMT (Day) 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: 94. 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 (6,764 acres), South Bobtail (6,262 acres), North Grizzly (3,709 acres), Grassy Mountain (835 acres), White Rock Creek (752 acres), Steep Creek (295 acres), and other small fires combined (31 acres). Fire activity is minimal; crews are felling hazard trees and performing fire suppression rehabilitation where it is safe to do so. The Grizzly Complex area has a reduced fire closure area in place. Please check  www.fs.usda.gov/IPNF  for maps of the closure area. Fire information:  208-765-7383.
  • Snow Peak Complex: Total acreage for complex: 6,750 acres, 0% completed. 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 has a reduced fire closure area in place. Please check www.fs.usda.gov/IPNF  for maps of the closure area. 
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