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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Nez Perce-Clearwater NFs Fire Update - August 23, 2016

Kamiah, Idaho (August 23, 2016) – The arrival of a cold front Sunday afternoon and into Monday  increased fire activity on recent fires that are being managed for resource benefits in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests.

During active burn periods, smoke is visible in many locations.  Fire managers are working with air quality specialists to monitor smoke and potential impacts to communities.  Smoke will continue to be seen intermittently as fire activity increases, weather systems pass through, and changes in temperature occur.

Current fire status of fires that are being managed for resource benefits greater than 5 acres:

Lochsa/Powell Ranger District –

Cedar – July 17, 2016, lightning-caused fire, burning in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness is 3,631 acres.  Fire activity, which had been minimal, increased with wind experienced yesterday.  Growth was most notable on the northern and southern most portions of the perimeter.  The activity in the northern end is most active at the 2007 Bridge Creek fire.  Increased fire activity has been noticeable in exposed Lodgepole Pine stands.

The fire is close to the intersection of FS road 358 and 360.  FS road 358 remains closed for public health and safety due to wildfire.  Other closures include  Forest Service trail #30 (in its entirety), trail #45 (from the trailhead at the junction of road #358 to the junction of trail #30) and Forest Service trail #6, Cedar Ridge.

Fire and closure information will be posted on InciWeb at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4874/, the Lolo Pass Visitor Center, Savage Pass, Elk Summit, the junction of the Forest Service road 358 and Forest Service road 360 and on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests website. For more information, please call (208) 942-3113. 

Lookout Creek – The fire was reported on August 12, and is located 5.5 miles southwest of Cayuse landing strip.  The fire is located in steep rocky terrain, estimated to be 25 acres, and is burning in Douglas-fir, grass and sedge with low brush.  Fire activity is minimal.  The fire is somewhat sheltered by ridge lines and bordered by a drainage to the south with a high moisture content.

Moose Creek Ranger District –

Moose fire – The August 15, Lightning-caused fire is located 13 miles northeast of the Moose Creek Ranger Station and 8 air miles west of the Idaho-Montana border.  The initial passage of Sunday’s cold-front dramatically increased fire activity as the fire saw growth in all directions through Monday evening.  The fire is approximately 4,128 acres, located in a remote area with no threats to life or property, and no potential values at risk are identified.

Old burns and rocky patches are to the east and fire activity is expected to diminish as the fire reaches those areas.  The fire will continue to be managed for resource objectives and monitored daily.

Elk Ridge fire – The Elk Ridge fire is approximately 551 acres and is located 15 miles east of the Moose Creek Ranger Station.  The fire is burning in Timber (Grass and Understory) with minimal fire activity.  The fire is remote with no threats to life or property and no potential values at risk are identified.

The fire will continue to be managed for resource objectives and monitored daily.

For more information on the Moose and Elk Ridge fires or other general fire information on the Moose Creek Ranger District, please call (208) 926-4258.

North Fork Ranger District –

Goat fire – The Goat fire is lightning-caused and is approximately 20 acres.  It is located 32 miles north of Pierce.  The fire is remote, burning in high elevation timber below Isabella Point.

Bedrock fire – The Bedrock fire is burning 6 air miles southeast of the Cayuse Airstrip near Hanson Meadows in the Kelly Creek drainage.  The lightning-caused fire is burning in timber and brush and is estimated to be 25 acres.

The Goat and Bedrock fires are not threatening life or property.

For more information on the Goat and Bedrock fires or other general fire information on the North Fork Ranger District, please call (208) 476-4541.

The current Fire Danger level across the forest 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.

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