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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Nez Perce-Clearwater NFs Fire Update - Warmer Temps and Wind Increase Fire Activity on the Cedar Fire

Kamiah, Idaho (August 2, 2016) - The Cedar fire, burning in Cedar Creek drainage in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, grew to 1,371 acres over the weekend due to warmer temperatures and increased winds.  The July 17, lightning caused fire, is under the management of the Powell Ranger Station and is located 2 miles northwest of Elk Summit and 11 miles south of the Powell Ranger Station.

Increased fire activity pushed the fire to the west side of the Cedar Creek drainage and made uphill runs in an old fire burn and in small pockets of timber.  The fire also grew to the north within the drainage.  Fire progression to the east is minimal due to natural barriers and past fire events. The fire is burning in mature Spruce and Sub-alpine fir in the Cedar Creek drainage, Lodgepole Pine stands on the ridge tops, and Cedar in wet areas.

The fire is currently not threatening life or property.  Long term management of the fire is planned to meet resource objectives and maintain the natural occurrence of fire in wilderness.  The fire will continue to be closely monitored by ground and aerial resources to protect potential values at risk which include the Elk Summit Guard Station, Kooskooskia trailhead, Graves Peak Lookout, Hoodoo Creek bridge and Bridge Creek bridge.

Forest Service trail #6, Cedar Ridge, remains closed for public health and safety due to wildfire.

During active burn periods, smoke is visible from the Elk Summit road, the Powell Ranger Station and in the Bitterroot Valley.  Fire managers are working with air quality specialists to monitor smoke and potential impacts to communities.

The current Fire Danger level in the Powell area is Extreme.  There are no fire restrictions at this time, but recreationists are reminded to use caution with any outdoor activity that may cause a spark.  Never leave campfires unattended.  Pour water and add dirt to your campfire until your campfire is cold.  Remember:  If it's too hot to touch, it's too hot to leave.

Fire and closure information will be posted on InciWeb at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4874/, 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.

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.