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Friday, September 2, 2016

Nez Perce-Clearwater NFs Fire Update - September 2, 2016

Kamiah, Idaho (September 2, 2016) – A welcome cold front arrived early this morning with a little rain, cooler temperatures and much higher humidities.  Similar weather is forecast through the weekend, and then another cool, moist system should arrive early next week.

Fire behavior is expected to decrease with lower temperatures, higher relative humidities, and precipitation.  The decreased fire activity will also decrease smoke from wildfires in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness and its impacts to local communities.  Fire managers continue to work with air quality specialists to monitor smoke and potential impacts to communities. 

Air Quality across Idaho and Montana varies due to multiple fires burning in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.  To access information on air quality for Idaho please visit: http://www.deq.idaho.gov/air-quality/burning/current-wildfire-smoke-info/ and for Montana: http://svc.mt.gov/deq/todaysair/smokereport/mostRecentUpdate.aspx

Current status of fires that are being managed for resource benefits greater than 5 acres:
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 fire is approximately 8,460 acres with limited growth to the east due to old burns and rocky patches.  Active burning and growth has been observed to the north, south, and west.  The fire is established to the west in the east fork of Moose Creek.  There is active burning in the vicinity of Gateway Peak, on the north and northwest facing slopes and the fire is backing downslope toward Moose Creek.  During active burning periods smoke from the fire can be seen from many locations.

The following trail closures are in place for public health and safety due to wildfire: East Moose Trail 421 - from the junction of Double Creek Ridge Trail 442 upriver to the junction of Little Dead Elk Pass #2 Trail 5.
Cedar-Moose Creek Trail 486 - from the junction of East Moose Trail 421 to the junction of Maple Lake Lookout Trail 939.

Elk Ridge fire – The Elk Ridge fire is approximately 1,171 acres and is located 15 miles east of the Moose Creek Ranger Station.  The fire is backing down the north face of Elk Ridge and backing down the southeastern edge of the ridge towards the Paradise drainage.  The fire is burning in Timber (Grass and Understory) with minimal fire activity. 
  
Freeman – The August 10, lightning caused fire is 148 acres and is located 9 miles east of Moose Creek Ranger Station.  Smoldering to the north, west, and southwest edges of the fire has been observed, but overall fire activity is minimal.

Sixtytwo fire – The Sixtytwo fire was detected on August 14, and is a lightning-caused fire.  The fire is 33 acres, is located 6.5 miles northwest of Moose Creek Ranger Station with multiple old burns in the near vicinity.  Fire behavior is minimal with creeping and smoldering and is burning on the south aspect between Sixtytwo Creek and Log Creek drainages.

Fires on the Moose Creek Ranger District are remote with no threats to life or property and no potential values at risk are identified.  Fires will continue to be managed for resource benefits and monitored daily.

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

Lochsa/Powell Ranger District –
Cedar – July 17, 2016, lightning-caused fire, burning in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, is estimated to be 4,786 acres.  Recent increased local winds and available fuels have allowed the Cedar fire to reach the southern aspect on the north side of Swamp Creek.  Yesterday, the fire spotted further north into the 2006 Rabbit fire and is moving up the south-facing slopes adjacent to Swamp Creek.  Fire behavior is expected to reduce as the fire reaches the top of the ridge break and due to lower temperatures, predicted precipitation, and higher humidities.  Fire spread to the east continues to be minimal. 

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) andForest 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 and smoke observed during recent burn periods has been minimal. 

North Fork Ranger District –
Goat fire – The Goat fire is lightning-caused and is approximately 65 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 60 acres.

The Goat and Bedrock fires are not threatening life or property.  Some growth occurred on both fires during the week due to drier conditions and wind events that passed through the area.  The fires will continue to be managed for resource benefits and monitored daily.

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.

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