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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests Fire Update - August 16th

Kamiah, Idaho (August 16, 2017) – Previously undetected fires continue to appear across the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests.  Ongoing suppression efforts on fires not being managed for resource benefits are proving successful.

Stage 1 Fire Restrictions are in effect in the Grangeville Fire Restrictions Area, Riverbreaks, Hells Canyon National Recreation Area, and Uplands.  The restrictions do not include wilderness areas.  Visitors should 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.  For current air quality in Idaho, please visit http://www.deq.idaho.gov/air-quality/burning/current-wildfire-smoke-info/ and for Montanahttp://svc.mt.gov/deq/todaysair/smokereport/mostrecentupdate.aspx .

Current status by district: 

Palouse Ranger District
The Palouse District on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests is divided by the Coeur d’ Alene and Grangeville Dispatch Zones.  As of 12:01 a.m. the portion of the Palouse District located in the Coeur d’ Alene Dispatch Zone (which includes Laird Park, Giant White Pine, and Bald Mountain Campgrounds) is in Stage II fire restriction and the portion located in the Grangeville Dispatch Zone is in Stage I fire restrictions

For more information, please call the Palouse Ranger District at 208-875-1131.

Salmon River Ranger District
Management of the Hanover fire will transition Thursday evening to Dave Bales Southwest Type 2 Incident Management Team.  Information for the Hanover fire can be found athttps://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
All non-wilderness fires on the district are contained, and mop up operations continue.  These fires include:  Skookum fire (.1 acre), Grave Creek fire (.25 acre), Dewey fire (.5 acre), andHuckleberry fire (.75 acre).

The Hidden fire is mapped at 4,627 acres.  Some intense heat is showing on the fire perimeter around Hidden Lake and on the north flank, with scattered and isolated heat on the remainder of the fire.  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, 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 Falls fire (2 acres), 12 miles north of Elk City, and Horse Point fire (.1 acre), 10 miles north of Elk City are staffed and being activity suppressed,
The Chute Creek firedetected on August 13, is located 8 miles southeast of Elk Summit Guard Station in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, is mapped at 662 acres.  The fire shows intense heat along East Moose Creek and on the east, 2.5 miles west of Blodgett Lake.
Moose Creek 1 fire (8,729 acres) has grown to the north along the East Fork of Moose Creek, with minimal growth also on the north slope above Dog creek.  The Lone Pine fire (5,762 acres) had minimal growth on all sides. Crews are on scene at the Halfway, Meeker and Three Links bridges. The fire was active in Grizzly Saddle on the south side of the Selway River.   Activity on other fires in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness was minimal.  Those fire include:   Ballinger fire (.1 acre); Mink Peak fire (772 acres); Buck Lake fire (389 acres);  Tony fire (.5 acre); Fry Panfire (101 acres); Sixty Two fire (estimated 15 acres); and  Moe Peak fire showing no smoke.  These wilderness fires are being monitored 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 watch for trees 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
Only three fires outside the wilderness remain.  The Black Hawk fire (.25 acre) and Badger fire (.5 acres), both west and southwest of the Red River Hot Springs, are contained. Firefighters are staffing the Lynx fire (.1 acre), 6 miles northeast of the Green Mountain Lookout, to suppress it.

The Patrol Ridge fire (68 acres), 4.5 miles east of Windy Saddle, is burning on Patrol Ridge but has not yet reached the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness boundary.  This fire is managed for long-term resource benefits using a point protection strategy.  A trail closure exists for the safety and protection of the public.

The Plummer fire (estimated at 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 (4,394 acres) has grown minimally to the southeast. 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 (172 acres) fires show little activity.  These fires are 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 visithttps://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5379/#

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

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