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Saturday, August 26, 2017

Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests Fire Update - August 26


Kamiah, Idaho (August 26, 2017) – Fire season on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests is far from over.  Patrols are keeping eyes open for new fires from Thursday’s storms.  Well over 100 lightning strikes were detected across the forest, yet only a handful of fires have been reported to date.  Forecasted hot and critically dry weather will quickly dry fuels, making them more receptive to ignition.  An inversion is likely to hold smoke across the region from neighboring fires in California, Oregon and Washington.

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.  For current air quality in Idaho, please visit http://www.deq.idaho.gov/air-quality/burning/current-wildfire-smoke-info/ and for Montana http://svc.mt.gov/deq/todaysair/smokereport/mostrecentupdate.aspx .

Current status by district: 

Salmon River Ranger District
Two additional fires were reported, staffed and contained at a .10 acre each on Friday:  the Pondo fire and the Clark fire.  The Kirkwood Corral fire is out, and the Alder fire near China Point is expected out today.

The Hanover fire (17,118 acres) is under the management of Dave Bales’ Southwest Type 2 Incident Management Team.   Information for the Hanover 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 closures on Salmon River Ranger District, please call (208) 839-2211.

Moose Creek Ranger District
The Falls fire (29 acres) received some rain Thursday evening which is helping to hold down fire activity.  The fire remains within containment lines.  It is expected to be a long-duration fire. 

Fires in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness have demonstrated minimal activity over the past several days; however, activity is expected to increase somewhat with the coming hot and dry weather.  Significant wilderness fires include:  Chute Creek fire (2,425 acres),  Moose Creek 1 fire (12,817 acres), Lone Pine fire (6,570 acres),  Pettibone fire (307 acres), Mink Peak fire (817 acres),  Buck Lake fire (approx. 412 acres), and Tony fire (approx. 210 acres). 
These wilderness fires are being monitored by air when conditions allow.  Visitors recreating on the Selway River should expect to see smoke and fire in the area and should use caution, watching for falling trees and other hazards.
Trail closures remain in effect for the safety and protection of the public.
For more information on fire activity or area closures on the Moose Creek Ranger District, please call (208) 926-4258.

Red River Ranger District
Two new fires were detected Friday burning in heavy timber.  The Bat fire (1.5 acre), 1.5 miles east of Big Mallard Creek Trailhead, is staffed with seven smoke jumpers and a 20-person crew is hiking to the fire.  The Duck fire (.75 acre), 2.5 miles east of Churchill Mountain, is staffed and more firefighters will be delivered by helicopter.  Ground resources will be assisted in suppression efforts with helicopter water drops.

The Bison fire (.1 acre), 1.5 mile southeast of Elk Summit Lookout, is controlled.  The Table fire (.1 acre) is out.  The Elk fire (.2 acres) and Deer fire (.1 acre), both one mile southwest of Granite Peak, are staffed by helicopter rappellers.

Fires in the wilderness have shown only minimal activity over the past several days; however, that activity is expected to increase with the predicted very hot and dry weather in the forecast.  Significant wilderness fires include:  the Patrol Ridge fire (251 acres), 4.5 miles east of Windy Saddle; the Plummer fire (estimated 200 acres), east of the Hanover fire; the Rattlesnake Point fire (4,626 acres) between Rattlesnake Creek and Sabe Creek on the Salmon River; and the Bleak fire (182 acres) north of Sheep Hill Lookout. 

An area closure and trail closures remain for the safety and protection of the public.

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

North Fork Ranger District
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/# .      
    
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