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Friday, July 22, 2016

Cedar Fire in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness Sees Growth

Kamiah, Idaho (July 22, 2016) – The Cedar fire, located 2 miles northwest of Elk Summit and 11 miles south of the Powell Ranger Station in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests, has grown to 186 acres per an overnight Infra-Red detection flight. 

The lighting caused fire was detected on July 17, 2016, and initially saw little growth due to recent wetting rains.  As temperatures have returned to normal, fire activity increased and the fire grew as it progressed upslope and flanked up drainage.  The fire is burning in mature Spruce and Sup-alpine fir in the Cedar Creek drainage, Lodgepole Pine stands are on the ridge tops, and Cedar in wet areas.  Single and group tree torching has been visible with short uphill crown runs.  Continued growth due to steep slopes in the Cedar Creek drainage is expected.  As the fire reaches the ridge top east of its current location, fire behavior and growth is expected to reduce and slow.  Additionally, numerous natural barriers and past fire events lie east of the Cedar fire.

A 20% chance of thunderstorms are predicted for today and then a warming and drying trend will return to the area.  Smoke is visible from the Elk Summit road, the Powell Ranger Station and in the Bitterroot Valley.  Smoke will continue to be seen intermittently as weather systems pass through and changes in temperature occur.

Due to its relative remote location and its close proximity to previous year’s fires, long-term management of the fire is planned.  The fire will continue to be closely monitored by ground and aerial resources to protect identified values at risk in accordance with resource management objectives in the Forest Plan.  Potential values at risk include the Elk Summit Guard Station, Kooskooskia trailhead, Graves Peak Lookout, Hoodoo Creek bridge and Bridge Creek bridge.  

Information will be posted at the Lolo Pass Visitor Center, Elk Summit, Kooskooskia trailhead, the junction of the Forest Service road 358 and Forest Service road 360 and on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests website.

Know before you go.  Visitors planning recreation activities in the area are encouraged to contact the Lochsa/Powell Ranger District at (208) 942-3113, to get the most up to date fire information.