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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Northern Idaho Wildfire Update September 7, 2015



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. 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.
Stage II Fire Restrictions are in effect within Grangeville & Coeur d’Alene Dispatch Restriction Areas.

WEATHER:
Cool and showery weather is expected today. Most of these showers will be focused over the Northeast Washington mountains into the Idaho Panhandle. A slight chance of thunderstorms is forecasted toward the eastern mountains. Look for a drying and warming trend from midweek into next weekend. For the latest air quality rating: http://www.deq.idaho.gov

SUMMARY: Cooler temperatures and precipitation will offer some reprieve for firefighting efforts today. However, due to the extremely dry conditions of the landscape and spotty rain events, Forest closures remain in effect. Fire managers continue to actively monitor and evaluate the current and predicted conditions.

  • 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 seven miles SW of Porthill, ID. Fire personnel: 62. Fire behavior is minimal, with some smoldering. Crews will continue mop-up and full suppression strategy, where feasible. Rehabilitation work on fire lines is nearing completion. Fire information:  208-267-5561  Email: parkerridgefireinfo@gmail.com

  • Clark Fork Complex- total acreage 15,744 acres. 75% contained. Type 2 IMT (Hutton); 8/14 start. Located in N. Idaho and NW Montana. Fire personnel: 164. 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; plan is to preliminary rehabilitation work where appropriate. A community meeting is scheduled for Monday, September 7, at Camp Elohim, 12395 Bull River Road (Highway 56). Fire information: 406-847-9974 or clarkfork2015@gmail.com   

  • Avery Fire Complex– total acreage 5,102 acres, 26% 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: 455. Complex now includes four fires: Pretty (256 acres), Marble Creek (2,919 acres), Crater (593 acres), and Breezy (1,408 acres). Crews are making good progress on construction of fire lines. Pretty and Crater fires remain unstaffed. Road and area closures remain in effect. Fire information: 877-632-6017 (satellite phone – please speak slowly!).

  • Tower Fire 24,296 acres, 35% containment. (Part of Kaniksu Complex which includes fires in Washington and Idaho ) Kaniksu Complex total acreage 26,175, 40% 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: 773. Baldy (515 acres, 100% containment), Onata (546 acres, 100% containment), Hall Mountain (39 acres), Grease Creek (611 acres, 13% 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.  Crews are beginning work on rehabilitation of fire lines. 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: 146. 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. 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: Smelterville Ranger District: 208-783-2154.

  • Monument: 618 acres, 75% 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. Minimal fire behavior with smoldering. Road, area and trail closures in effect. This will be the last update for the Monument fire unless significant activity occurs. Fire personnel will continue to monitor the fire.

  • 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 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 acres, 85% 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: 57. Fire activity minimal, crews are working full speed today. 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.

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 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 Please see 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. 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
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.

SUMMARY TABLE: ACTIVE WILDFIRES IN NORTHERN IDAHO – SEPTEMBER 5, 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
1,408
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
1
IPNF
Start 8/14: Snow Peak Complex
Game
SZ – St. Joe
10
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
IPNF
Start 8/14: Type 2 (Hutton)  35% contained, Clark Fork Complex
Scotchman Peak
NZ-Sandpoint
2,056
IPNF
Start 8/13: Type 2 IMT (Hutton) Clark Fork Complex
South Bobtail
CZ – Coeur d’Alene River
6,217
IPNF
...

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