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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests Fire Update - August 17


Kamiah, Idaho (August 17, 2017) – Although last weekend’s storms brought rain, they also brought over 150 lightning strikes to the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests.  New starts from those strikes continue to be detected.    Additional starts are expected as fuels dry with increasing temperatures and lower humidity.  Patrol remains alert.

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. 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 inStage 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
Three new fires were reported on the Locsha/Powell Ranger District Wednesday.  The Jam fire (.25 acre) is one mile east of Liz Butte cabin.  The fire is staffed and being actively suppressed. The Two Mile fire (.5 acre) is 4.5 miles west of the Elk Summit Guard Station, and the Lost Creek fire (.1 acre), near Saddle Camp, is staffed and contained.

Fire activity on the Hidden fire has been minimal for several days.  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 Grave Creek fire (.25 acre), .5 miles west of Saddle Camp Road is staffed and being mopped up.

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 Horse Point fire (.1 acre), 10 miles north of Elk City, is expected out today.  The Falls fire (2 acres), 12 miles north of Elk City, remains staffed and is being actively suppressed.
The Chute Creek fire8 miles southeast of Elk Summit Guard Station in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, is mapped at 1,172 acres.  The fire was active Wednesday and is 1.5 miles west of Blodgett Lake.  The Nez Perce-Clearwater and Bitterroot National Forests are working together in the long-term management and strategy of the fire. 
Two new fires were reported yesterday in the Selway Bitterroot Wilderness: the Barren Ridge fire (.1 acre) 4 miles east of Fish Lake cabin and the Dodge fire (.25 acre) 7.5 south of Bear Mountain.  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 Pan fire (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
The Black Hawk fire (.25 acre) and the new 14 Mile fire (.1 acre) west of the 14 Mile Trailhead should be out today.  The Lynx fire (.4 acre), 6 miles northeast of the Green Mountain Lookout, is staffed and being actively suppressed.

The Patrol Ridge fire (68 acres), 4.5 miles east of Windy Saddle, is actively 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.

Fires in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness include:  The Rattlesnake Point fire (4,394 acres) was active yesterday, growing primarily south and 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 remains.

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/# .