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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests Fire Update - August 15th


Kamiah, Idaho (August 15, 2017) – New fires continue to be detected across the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests as a result of thunderstorms on Saturday.  Firefighting resources responded quickly to staff fires not being managed for resource benefits and are working on suppression activities, completing mop up operations or have contained the fires.  

Stage 1 Fire Restrictions are in effect in the Grangeville Fire Restrictions Area, Riverbreaks and Hells Canyon National Recreation Area, and Interagency Fire managers in the Grangeville Dispatch Zone will implement Stage 1 Fire Restrictions in the Uplands on Wednesday.  Those restrictions will not include wilderness areas.  Visitors are encouraged to know before you go: fire and closure information is posted on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests website at www.fs.usda.gov/nezperceclearwater Information on fire restrictions across the state is located at http://www.idahofireinfo.com/.

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.


Current status by district: 
Salmon River Ranger District
All fires detected Sunday have been contained and resources are available to staff any new fire starts.

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/, by calling (208) 839-9974 or on Facebook.

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

Lochsa/Powell Ranger District
The Skookum fire, detected Monday, was quickly staffed and contained at .1 acre.  Mop up efforts are underway.  The Grave Creek fire (.25 acre), .5 mile west of Saddle Camp Road is contained and being mopped up.   Mop up operations are continuing on the Dewey fire (.5 acre) in the headwaters of Musselshell Creek and the Huckleberry fire (.75 acre) ¾ mile southwest of Liz Butte Cabin.

Minimal fire activity was observed on the Hidden fire (approximately 4,600 acres) Monday.  The fire is on the shores of Hidden Lake and backing around the lake to the west.  The Nez Perce-Clearwater and Bitterroot National Forests are working together in the long-term management and strategy for this fire.  Smoke is expected to impact the local area as well as the Bitterroot and Missoula Valleys.  Trail closures remain in effect. 
The Maud fire (2.3 acres), two miles southwest of Siah Lake, has been contained.  It and the Hilton fire (5.5 acres), 1.5 miles southwest of Beaver Ridge Lookout, are in monitor status and will be patrolled by air and ground 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
The Tony fire (.5 acre) was reported Monday burning 1 mile south of Moose Creek in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness.  Minimal fire activity was observed.

The Falls fire (2 acres), 12 miles north of Elk City, is staffed with a dozer, engine and ground crew supported by a heavy helicopter.  The Horse Point fire (.1 acre), 10 miles north of Elk City is staffed and contained.  Firefighters will work to fully suppress these fires. 

The Shoot fire, 8 miles southeast of Elk Summit Guard Station is burning in the Chute Creek drainage.  Active fire behavior was observed Monday afternoon and smoke from the Shoot fire was traveling east, down Blodgett Canyon toward the Bitterroot Valley.  Activity on other fires in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness was minimal.   Moose Creek 1 fire (7,758 acres) continues to burn up Whistling Pig drainage and north toward East Moose Creek.  The Lone Pine fire (5648 acres) had minimal growth on all sides. Crews are on scene at the Halfway, Meeker and Three Links bridges.  Remaining fires in the wilderness are:  Ballinger fire (.1 acre) is near Ballinger Point northwest of Three Link bridge;  Mink Peak fire (764 acres); Buck Lake (382 acres) with most growth northeast toward Rock Pillar; Fry Pan fire (100 acres);Sixty Two fire (estimated 15 acres); and Moe Peak fire showing no smoke.  These wilderness fires are being monitored primarily by air and are being managed for long-term resource benefit.  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. 

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 four fires 1 to 1.5 miles west of the Red River Hot Spring and three fires 3 miles west of Dixie Work Center are fully contained and mop-up efforts continue.   The Magruder fire east of Mountain Meadows is out.

The Patrol Ridge fire, 4.5 miles east of Windy Saddle, is estimated at 60+ acres.  This fire is managed for long-term resource benefits using a point protection strategy.   Portions of Trails 530 and 531 are closed for the safety and protection of the public.

The Plummer fire (estimated 200 acres) is located in the Gospel Hump Wilderness five miles north of the mouth of Sheep Creek.  Coordination with the Hanover Incident Management team and the Salmon River Ranger District continues as the Plummer and Hanover fires are expected to burn together.

Fire activity was minimal on fires in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness.  The Rattlesnake Point fire (4,069 acres) is expected to continue east into the Bitterroot National Forest.  The Nez Perce-Clearwater and Bitterroot National Forests are working together in the long-term management and strategy of the fire. The Ladder (2 acres) and Bleak (170 acres) fires are showing little activity.  All three fires are being managed for resource benefits using a point protection strategy.  Smoke and fire in the area of Bargamin Creek drainage can be seen from Magruder Road and the Salmon River.  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 for public health and safety due to the Sunrise fire that may impact Forest Road #250 from Montana. Hoodoo Pass is accessible via Cedar Creek and Freezeout Road (high clearance vehicles recommended and no trailers).  For information about the closure and the Sunrise fire, please visit https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5379/#

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

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