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Saturday, August 19, 2017

Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests Fire Update - August 19

Kamiah, Idaho (August 19, 2017) –  Fire behavior is expected to become more active today with the passage of a cold front across north central Idaho that is likely to bring windier conditions.  Moisture from last weekend’s precipitation has helped to hold most fires on the forest somewhat in check over the past week; however, the coming winds will continue to dry fuels, making them more susceptible to ignition.
 
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 .
 
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/.

Current status by district: 

Salmon River Ranger District
The Hanover fire is under the management of Dave Bales Southwest Type 2 Incident Management Team.  Information for the fire can be found at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5459/, at(208) 839-9974, or on Facebook.

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

Lochsa/Powell Ranger District
The new Elliot fire, one mile south of The Smoking Place, was quickly staffed with rappellers and contained.  Mop-up operation continue.  The Jam fire (.25 acre), one mile east of Liz Butte cabin, and the Lost Creek fire (.1 acre), near Saddle Camp, are contained and expected out today.

Windier conditions on the Hidden fire resulted in increased activity Friday afternoon.  Although the fire is not believed to have grown dramatically, an infrared mapping flight tonight will give more details.  Smoke is expected to impact the local area as well as the Bitterroot and Missoula Valleys.  Trail closures remain in effect.

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, 12 miles north of Elk City, is estimated at 25 acres but remains within containment lines.  The fire is staffed with two engines and ten firefighters supported by helicopter drops as needed.

The Chute Creek fire8 miles southeast of Elk Summit Guard Station in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, is 1,777 acres.  The fire was active Friday, growing primarily along the southeast and northeast edges, with some additional growth to the east.  It is  now 1.1 miles west of Blodgett Lake. 

Fire activity on both the Moose Creek 1 fire (10,393 acres) and the Lone Pine fire (5,967 acres) was minimal Friday.  Structure protection measures are in place for various identified values at risk.  Activity on other fires in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness was also minimal.  Those fires include Isaac Lake fire (.1 acre); Barren Ridge fire (.1 acre); Dodge fire (.25 acre); Ballinger fire (.1 acre); Mink Peak fire (785 acres); Buck Lake fire (396 acres).  Because the Tony fire (.5 acre), Fry Pan fire (101 acres), Sixty Two fire (estimated 15 acres), and Moe Peak fire have not grown in several days, this will be the last report unless significant fire activity occurs.
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 falling trees.
For more information on fire activity or area closures on the Moose Creek Ranger District, please call (208) 926-4258.

Red River Ranger District
Three new fires were reported Friday.  The Tamarak fire (.1 acre) and the Mouse fire (.1 acre), 1.5 and 2 miles, respectively, west of Granite Peak on Matteson Ridge are staffed by smoke jumpers.  The Limber fire (.3 acre), at Limber Luke Campground, is staffed with local resources.  Firefighters are working to suppress all three fires.

The Lynx fire (.4 acre), 6 miles northeast of the Green Mountain Lookout, is out.

The Patrol Ridge fire (estimated 114 acres), 4.5 miles east of Windy Saddle, became active Friday afternoon, and structure protection is in place at Warm Springs Bar.   The fire has not reached the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness boundary.  This fire is managed for resource benefits using a point protection strategy.  A trail closure exists 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.

Fires in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness include:  The Rattlesnake Point fire (4,407 acres) became more active yesterday.  The Bleak fire (174 acres) also burned more actively than it has for some time.  Since infrared mapping of those fires was not available, acreages are estimates only.   The Ladder fire (2 acres) has not grown for several days, so this will be the last report unless significant fire activity occurs.  All these wilderness 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 Saddle fire (.1 acre), 3 miles east of Wallow Mountain Lookout in the Quartz Creek drainage, will be managed for resource benefit.

An area closure on the Lolo National Forest to the east 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, 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/# .