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Friday, September 4, 2015

Northern Idaho Wildfire Update September 4, 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/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/USFSIPNF
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
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. Stage II Fire Restrictions are in effect within Grangeville & Coeur d’Alene Dispatch Restriction Areas.

WEATHER:
A low pressure system will bring cool conditions with a few showers or thunderstorms today. Probability of general rain will increase late tonight throughtomorrow. Daytime high temps will be 66-72 in valleys and 57-67 in mountains. Humidity will be 20-30 percent in the valley and 25-40 percent in the mountains. The 20-foot and transport winds will become northeast 3-7 mph in the afternoon. Lightning activity level (LAL) = 2
For the latest air quality rating: http://www.deq.idaho.gov

SUMMARY: Hwy 50 into Montana (Gold Pass) is open. Road 305 (Bear Paw Rd.) is open from Hwy. 57 to Road 318. All other forest 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 6,675, 55% 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: 58. Fire behavior is minimal, with some smoldering. Crews will continue mop-up and full suppression strategy, where feasible. A Stage I Alert has lifted. Fire information: 208-267-6773 

 Clark Fork Complex- total acreage 15,732 acres. 75% completed. Type 2 IMT (Hutton); 8/14 start. Located in N. Idaho and NW Montana. Fire personnel: 226. Complex includes the following fires with most recent acreage updates: Scotchman Peak (2,057 acres), Whitetail (1,870 acres), Sawtooth*(2,465 acres), Marten Creek (6 acres), Napolean(8,957 acres), and Government(399 acres). Fire activity remained light across the complex on Thursday. 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. *These fires are under Kootenai National Forest ownership. A Level 1 Evacuation Order is in effect for an area in Bonner County, Idaho. This area is bounded by the State Line on the east, River Road (south of the Clark Fork River) on the north, the main fork of Johnson Creek on the west and the Shoshone/Bonner County Line to the south. Fire information: 406-847-9974 or 406-827- 0731. clarkfork2015@gmail.com

 Avery Fire Complex - total acreage 5,089 acres, 6% 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: 369. 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 conain 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 24,372 acres, 12% containment. (Part of Kaniksu Complex which includes fires in Washington and Idaho ) Kaniksu Complex total acreage 26,249, 22% 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: 790. Baldy (515 acres, 100% containment), Onata (546 acres, 39% containment), Hall Mountain (39 acres), Grease Creek (609 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. A public meeting is scheduled Saturday September 5, at 7:30 p.m. at the Priest Lake Elementary School. Fire information: 907-750-1639 or 208-443-6835 or towerfireinfo@gmail.com

 Grizzly Complex: 18,648 acres, 8% completed. 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: 194. 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). Closures remain in effect. A Stage 1 evacuation notice continues to be in effect in Shoshone County ID for the Hope Valley Road residents near Trout Creek, MT. Fire information: 208-784-0219.

 Monument: 618 acres, 65% 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 to 65%. Closures remain in effect.

 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 is
September 4, 2015 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: 689 acres78% 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: 92. Fire received some rain making steep slopes more of a challenge for firefighters. Activity was minimal with creeping and smoldering. Fire information: 508-400-3891 lastinchfireinfo@gmail.com

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.

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 cbelow:
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.

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 closurePublic is prohibited to go into or be upon these areas, roads, and trails.
 Priest Lake Ranger District (RD) – The Tower fire closure area was amended 9/3 to open Road 305 (Bear Paw Rd.) from Hwy. 57 to Road 318. See website for detailed map. The closures on the Upper Priest Fire include: 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.

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 NameLocationCurrent Size (acres)Protection AgencyStatus
BirthdaySZ – St. Joe158IPNFStart 8/27; Snow Peak Complex
BreezySZ - St. Joe1,396IPNFStart 8/25: IMT 2 (Rosenthal) Avery Complex
Grassy MountainCZ – Coeur d’Alene River835IPNFStart 8/22: IMT2 (Fry) Grizzly Complex
White Rock CreekCZ – Coeur d’Alene River752IPNFStart 8/22: IMT2 (Fry) Grizzly Complex
Jack WaiteCZ – Coeur d’Alene River1IPNFStart 8/22: IMT2 (Fry) Grizzly Complex
Steep CreekCZ – Coeur d’Alene River295IPNFStart 8/22: IMT2 (Fry) Grizzly Complex
Stony CreekCZ – Coeur d’Alene River30.5IPNFStart 8/21: ICT5, 100% contained;
MonumentCZ – Coeur d’Alene618IPNFStart 8/21: Type 3 IC (Zuefelt); 70% contained
PrettySZ – St. Joe256IPNFStart 8/21: IMT 2 (Rosenthal); Avery Complex
Marten CreekCZ – Coeur d’Alene River5IPNFStart 8/19: IMT Type 2 (Hutton) Clark Fork Complex
Salt PorkSZ-St. Joe188IPNFStart 8/17: Snow Peak Complex
CraterSZ –St. Joe: BLM land593IPNFStart 8/15:Avery Complex
Lightning RidgeSZ – St. Joe25IPNFStart 8/14; Snow Peak Complex
Pole CreekSZ – St. Joe1IPNFStart 8/14: Snow Peak Complex
GameSZ – St. Joe10IPNFStart 8/14: Snow Peak Complex
Basin CreekSZ – St. Joe425IPNFStart 8/14: Snow Peak Complex
Upper PriestNZ – Priest Lake108IPNFStart 8/14: working on section above road
Whitetail PeakCZ – Coeur d’Alene River1,869IPNFStart 8/14: Type 2 (Hutton) 35% contained, Clark Fork Complex
Scotchman PeakNZ-Sandpoint2,056IPNFStart 8/13: Type 2 IMT (Hutton) Clark Fork Complex
South BobtailCZ – Coeur d’Alene River6,217IPNFStart 8/13: Grizzly Complex
ChicadeeSZ- St. Joe5,393IPNFStart 8/13: Snow Peak Complex
Caribou CreekSZ – St. Joe212.0IPNFStart 8/12: Snow Peak Complex
North GrizzlyCZ – Coeur d’Alene River3,675IPNFStart 8/12: Grizzly Complex
Lower FlatCZ – Coeur d’Alene River6,800IPNFStart 8/12: Grizzly Complex
Trail 55SZ - St. Joe15IPNFStart 8/12: Snow Peak Complex,
TowerColville NF24,372CNFStart 8/11: Kaniksu complex, 22% contained
Last InchNZ Idaho Panhandle689IPNFStart 8/21: IMT 2 (Schenk) 69% contained
Ruby PointSZ – St. Joe301IPNFStart 8/11: Snow Peak Complex
Marble CreekSZ - St. Joe3,070IPNFStart 8/11: IMT 2 (Rosenthal) Avery Complex
Murray PeakCZ – Coeur d’Alene River5IPNFStart 8/11: Grizzly Complex
Slaughter HouseSZ – State West St. Joe47IDLStart 8/10: contained, patrolled
Parker RidgeNZ – Bonners Ferry6,675IPNFStart 7/29: IMT3 (Weeks), 45% contained