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Monday, July 17, 2017

Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests Fire Update


Kamiah, Idaho (July 17, 2017) – Several lightning-caused starts, detected July 14-16, 2017, on the Lochsa/Powell, Moose Creek, and Red River Ranger Districts, are currently staffed, in mop-up status, or are being managed for resource benefits.  

Forest and Fire Management Staff considered the long-term effects of smoke in their decision to manage fires in the wilderness and roadless areas.  Fire managers are working with air quality specialists to monitor smoke and potential impacts to communities.  In addition to smoke impacts, values at risk, availability of resources, and location were considered in determining suppression actions of fires not threatening communities.

Firefighter and public safety is the number one priority in wildland fire management and emergency response.  Fire activity across the nation has significantly increased and the National Preparedness Level (PL) is currently 4.  PL 4 means that three or more Geographic Areas are experiencing wildland fire incidents requiring Type 1 and 2 Incident Management Teams.  Competition exists for resources between Geographic Areas.  Nationally, 60% of Type 1 and 2 Incident Management Teams and crews are committed to wildland fire incidents.


Current fire status for fires by district:
Lochsa/Powell:
Fires currently staffed and implementation of suppression actions on the Lochsa/Powell District include the Cherokee – 4 acres, located approximately 5 miles south of Lolo Pass and Brushy– 11 acres, located north of Brushy Fork about 4 miles south of Lolo Pass.  

Fires staffed and in the mop-up stage include the Parachute fire-0.25 acres, approximately 4 miles northeast of Powell, Storm fire–0.25 acres, Twin #322 fire–0.25 acres, Round Top 1 fire–0.5 acres all located approximately 5 miles south of Lolo Pass, Checkerboard–1.5 acres located near the Idaho/Montana border approximately 5 miles east of Lolo Pass, Pappoose–6.5 acres located approximately 4 miles northwest of Powell, Granite fire- .25 acres and is 2 miles west of Granite Pass, and Crab fire- .25 acres, discovered yesterday afternoon, and  is 7 miles east of Powell.

The fires on the Lochsa/Powell Ranger District with the exception of the Hidden and Maud fires are located in the area referenced as the checkerboard with adjacent privately owned tracts of land. 

The Hidden (approximately 1 acre) and Maud (approximately .25 acres) fires are located in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, currently unstaffed and are being managed for resource benefits.  Both fires received precipitation on the afternoon of July 15, 2017.
For more information on current fire status or closures for public safety due to wildfire, please call (208) 942-3113.

Moose Creek Ranger District:
Seven fires are currently burning in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness on the Moose Creek Ranger District and are being managed for resource benefits.

The Moose Creek 1, 2, and 3 fires have merged and will now be call the Moose Creek 1 fire.  The fire is estimated to be 100 acres and is .25 miles east and southeast of Moose Creek Ranger Station.  Crews are implementing a Point Protection strategy for building and bridges in and near the historic Moose Creek Ranger Station.  Structure protection measures include wrapping buildings and installing sprinkler systems. 

The Mink Peak fire is on Mink Peak and is approximately .5 acres in size.  The Lone Pine fire is .25 miles west of Lone Pine Point in Marten Creek and is .5 acres in size. The Lone Pine fires is 1.5 miles south of the Three Links bridges. The Elbow Bend fire is one mile south of Roll Point and 1.8 miles northeast of Elbow Bend. The fire is located within the 2015 Roll fire perimeter.

Visitors recreating on the Selway River should expect to see smoke and fire in the area of Moose Creek Ranger Station.  Several trail closures, listed below, are in place for public health and safety due to active Wildfire :
Trail 430:  From the Moose Creek Ranger Station to the junction of the 435 Trail. 
Trail 421:  From Moose Creek Ranger Station north to the junction of the 620 Trail.
Trail 427:  To the trail Junction at Freeman Peak (Junction of 427 and 430 trails).
Trail 438:  From the Bridge on the Selway River to the junction with Trail 602.
Trail 436:  Trail 436 to the junction of Trail 562.
Trail 626:  Trail 626 to the junction of Trail 601.
Trail 555:  Trail 555 to the junction of Trail 437.

For more information on current fire status or closures for public safety due to wildfire, please call (208) 926-4258.

Red River Ranger District:
Fires currently being managed for resource benefits on the Red River Ranger District, are located approximately 14 miles east of Red River Ranger Station.  The Ladder fire is approximately 2 acres, Rattlesnake Point fire is approximately 6 acres, and the Bleak fire, approximately 15 acres located 3.5 miles southwest of Dry Saddle near the Magruder Road.

The Little Mallard fire, located 2 miles northeast of Dixie is one acre and firefighters are currently completing mop-up of the fire.

For more information on current fire status or closures for public safety due to wildfire, please call (208) 842-2245.

Know before you go - Fire and closure information will be posted on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests website at www.fs.usda.gov/nezperceclearwater

The current Fire Danger level across the forest is Very High.  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.