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Monday, September 12, 2016

Nez Perce-Clearwater NFs Fire Update - September 9, 2016

Kamiah, Idaho (September 9, 2016) – Fire behavior decreased as a cooling trend and wetting rains entered the area Saturday and continued throughout the week.  Precipitation varied across the fire areas ranging from ½ to nearly and inch in some locations. 

Minimal fire activity has reduced smoke within the fire perimeters on wildfires burning 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. 


A ridge of high pressure will build over the region through Saturday causing a warming and drying trend.  Sunday into Monday is predicted to be cooler with easterly winds and very little precipitation as a disturbance drops down from Canada.  A slow warming trend is forecast for the rest of next week with showers potentially impacting the area by the end of the week.

Current status of active fires that are being managed for resource benefits:

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 8,695 acres with limited growth to the east due to old burns and rocky patches.  Minimal growth during the last week has been in the East Fork of 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.
Fire and closure information will be posted on InciWeb at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5002/ .

Elk Ridge fire – The Elk Ridge fire is approximately 1,223 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 – This will be the last report unless significant fire activity occurs.  The August 10, lightning caused fire is 163 acres and is located 9 miles east of Moose Creek Ranger Station.  Minimal growth occurred to the north, along Freeman Creek.

Sixtytwo fire – This will be the last report unless significant fire activity occurs. The Sixtytwo fire was detected on August 14, and is a lightning-caused fire.  The fire is 56 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 4,868 acres.  Cool weather and wetting rains have limited fire growth in the last week.

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 – This will be the last report unless significant fire activity occurs.  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 – This will be the last report for the Goat and the Bedrock fires unless significant fire activity occurs.

Goat fire – The Goat fire is lightning-caused and is approximately 210 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 105 acres.

The Goat and Bedrock fires are not threatening life or property.  Cooler temperatures and wetting rains have reduced fire activity on both fires.  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.

Currently, the forest does not have any fire restrictions.  Fire Danger levels vary across the forest from low to very high.  Visitors and sportsman are reminded to please be careful with any equipment that could produce a spark.  Also, 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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