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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests Fire Update


Kamiah, Idaho (August 9, 2017) – Current weather conditions continue to hold smoke and smoke haze across the prairies and valleys of the Grangeville Dispatch Zone.  Possible thunderstorms over the next several days may clear the smoke, but also bring the possibility of lightning and new fire starts.  Initial attack firefighting resources are staged in areas where they are most expected to be needed.

Firefighter and public safety is the number one priority in wildland fire management and emergency response.  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.


With the threat of wildfire danger increasing rapidly throughout many parts of north central Idaho, local land management agencies implemented Stage 1 Fire Restrictions in the Grangeville Fire Restrictions Area, Riverbreaks and Hells Canyon National Recreation Area at 12:01 a.m. today.  Please visit http://www.idahofireinfo.com/ for current information regarding fire restrictions or contact your local land management office. 

Current status by district: 

Salmon River Ranger District
The Hanover fire is currently being managed by Irv Leach’s Type 2 Incident Management Team.  Information for the Hanover fire can be found at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5459/

For more information on fire activity or area closures on Salmon River Ranger District, please call (208) 839-2211.

Lochsa/Powell Ranger District
The Maud fire was detected by air Tuesday two miles southwest of Siah Lake, burning in large timber in an area with no recorded fire history.  Twelve rappellers are staffing the two-acre fire.

The Hidden fire is estimated at 3,300 acres.  Most of the fire activity is in dead and down timber in the footprint of the 2007 Bridge fire.  Most of the growth appears to be on the west side of the fire near Hidden Lake and Hidden Peak trails.  Some growth was to the north along Big Flat Hidden Ridge trail near the junction with Colt Killed trail.  The fire is on the shores of Hidden Lake.  Monitoring of the fire with ground and aerial resources will continue.  The Nez Perce-Clearwater and Bitterroot National Forests are working together in the long-term management and strategy for this fire.  Trail closures remain in effect.  Smoke is expected to impact the local area as well as the Bitterroot and Missoula Valleys.

The Hilton fire (5.5 acres), 1.5 miles southwest of Beaver Ridge Lookout, is in a patrol and monitor status via ground and aerial resources.

For more information on fire activity or area closures on the Locsha/Powell Ranger District, please call (208) 942-3113.

Moose Creek Ranger District
All current fires are in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness.  These fires are being monitored primarily by air and are being managed for long-term resource benefit.

The Moose Creek 1 fire grew to 7,169 acres, moving to the west up the Whistling Pig Creek drainage and north toward East Moose Creek.  Minimal growth occurred on the north slope of Dog Creek.  Structure protection is in place on the Halfway, Meeker and Three Links bridges as well as on the Shissler Lookout.  Visitors recreating on the Selway River should expect to see smoke and fire in the area and use extreme caution as trees are currently falling in and around the river.

The Lone Pine fire grew to 5,292 acres, with growth on all sides.  The fire was active in Grizzly Saddle on the south side of the Selway River.  The Mink Peak fire is now 739 acres, extending into Marten Creek to the southeast.  Smoke will impact the Selway River corridor. The Buck Lake fire, in the Buck Lake Creek drainage, has increased to 364 acres, growing northeast toward Doe Lake.  The Sixty Two fire in the Sixty Two Creek remains estimated at 15 acres.   Fry Panfire on the Bitterroot National Forest boundary is mapped at 96 acres, with minimal growth in Fry Pan Creek.  Moe fire near Moe Peak is showing no smoke.

For more information on fire activity or area closures on the Moose Creek Ranger District, please call (208) 926-4258.

Red River Ranger District
The Plummer fire in the Gospel Hump Wilderness five miles north of the mouth of Sheep Creek (on the Salmon River) remains estimated at 10-15 acres.   It is managed for resource benefits.

Fires in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness include:  the Rattlesnake Point fire on the north side of the Salmon River between Rattlesnake Creek and Nixon Creek is 2,514 acres.  The fire continues to move primarily to the east and northeast toward Sabe Creek drainage.  Communication between the Nez Perce-Clearwater and Bitterroot National Forests is in place in anticipation that the fire will cross the boundary between the forests.  The forests are working together in the long-term management and strategy for this fire. The Ladder fire (2 acres) was quiet again Tuesday, while the Bleak fire (132 acres) showed minimal growth to the north.   Sheep Hill Lookout is wrapped to protect it from fire.   All three fires are being managed for resource benefits using a point protection strategy.  Visitors recreating on the Magruder Road and the Salmon River should expect to see smoke and fire in the area of Bargamin Creek drainage.   An area closure is in effect.

For more information on fire activity or area closures on the Red River Ranger District, please call (208) 842-2245.

North Fork Ranger District
The Lolo National Forest to the east of the district has implemented an area closure which may impact visitors to the Nez-Perce Clearwater National Forests, specifically those wishing to access Hoodoo Pass, Hoodoo Lake and the areas adjacent to the pass via Forest Road #250.  For information about the closure and the Sunrise fire that resulted in the closure, please visit https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5379/#

For more information on this, please call the North Fork Ranger District at (208) 476-4541.

For fire information on Moose Creek 1, Rattlesnake Point, Lone Pine, and Hidden fires, please visit https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/state/13/# .

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.