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Idaho Fire Incident Map

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests Prepare for Fire Year 2018

Kamiah, Idaho (June 18, 2018) - Over 200 skilled firefighters, representing seven fire management units from the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests, attended an all-forest Preparedness event, ensuring their readiness for the upcoming 2018 fire year.  This, along with a refresher, hosted by the Grangeville Smokejumpers signifies the readiness of our firefighters and the beginning of fire season in our area.

The forest is currently staffed with approximately 260 highly trained firefighting personnel including hand crews, engine modules, two helitack crews, 30 smokejumpers, a Wildland Use Fire Module, and a variety of other support staff.

Firefighters representing their units demonstrated their knowledge and skills while participating in a variety of event stations including a Pumping Station, Engine, Equipment and Firefighter Review Station, Mobile Attack Station,Aviation / Helitack Station, and Medical Extraction/Emergency Station.  The intent of the pumping station is to review firefighter’s ability to setup a Mark III pump and hose lay; the Engine, Equipment and Firefighter station evaluates the readiness of an engine, the understanding of its capabilities and basic tactics, the engine is stocked with appropriate inventoried items, and each firefighter’s gear is in a state of readiness.  The engine crew must also demonstrate the deployment of hose lay for a mobile attack simulated fire scenario; The Aviation/Helitack station reviews pre-flight briefing and gear preparation to respond to an incident; the Medical Extraction/Emergency provides an overview and demonstration of preparing a person for medical transport.

The Grangeville Smokejumpers, located at the Grangeville Air Center, also hosted their annual refresher.  Approximately 40 jumpers from multiple locations including Missoula, McCall, and West Yellowstone participated in the refresher.  Smokejumpers across the country are transitioning to the Ram-air or square chutes from the traditional round chutes.  Although a few of the smokejumpers attending the refresher still jumped using the round parachutes, every jumper stationed in Grangeville has successfully transitioned to the Ram-air chutes.

Wondering what the fire year may bring?  Predictive Services recently released their wildland fire predictions for June – September.  The area that includes the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests is expected to see Normal significant wildland fire potential June through mid-July because it will still be drying out due to the above average snowpack and recent rainfall events in late April into June.  By mid-July heavy fine fuels will be dried out at lower elevations in North Idaho and Western/Central Montana.  Higher elevations will be drier than average in the latter half of July, which warrants an increase to Above Normal significant wildland fire potential in Idaho and Western/Central Montana.  Above Normal potential will continue into August and September, but areas with elevated potential will be expanded to include southern Montana.  More information and wildfire predictions, including maps, can be found at