Johnson Bar Fire: Aug. 14 update

The Johnson Bar Fire grew by nearly 900 acres last night, this morning encompassing 6,665 acres according to command.

On station are 22 pieces of heavy equipment and 571 personnel; an closure of much of the Moose Creek Ranger District has been lifted, but evacuation notices remain in effect on portions of the highway near the fire.

Command anticipated fire growth toward the Selway River would continue today despite scattered rainfall, which included about a quarter-inch around Lowell overnight. The majority of the main fire will continue smoldering, with more intense burning in pockets of unburned fuel.

"Crews made excellent progress with line construction around the fire located Northeast of the Selway River at mouth of Roar Creek," command noted in its Aug. 14 morning press release. "Three hotshot crews, two engines, and helicopters will continue containment efforts on the fire on the north side of Middle Fork of the Clearwater River above Lowell. Suppression lines on the west and south side of the main fire were brought together and will continue to be improved. Firefighters will scout the North-Northwest side of the fire to identify opportunity locations for extended containment line. Structure protection work will continue around Swiftwater Creek. Structures further north in the Selway corridor are being assessed for protection needs. No structures have been lost or damaged."

A Stage 3 evacuation order remains in effect for the Selway River corridor as well as a Stage 2 evacuation notification for residents along Highway 12 from Syringa to five miles east of Lowell. Residents of the Selway corridor are being permitted to access their homes today from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. The evacuation is still in effect, so they will need to leave the closed area by 10:00 a.m. A phone line with information on evacuations has been established. If you have questions about evacuations, call 926-4274 between 8:00 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Johnson Bar and O’Hara campgrounds remain closed, as do: Road 470 (Swiftwater Road) from Swiftwater Bridge to Road 286; Road 651 (O’Hara Road) from O’Hara Bridge to Road 1129; Road 1129 from Road 286 to Road 651; the Selway River is closed from O’Hara Bridge to the confluence with the Middle Fork Clearwater River; Selway River Road is closed at US Highway 12.

The incident command post can be reached at (208) 926-4164 between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. Details are online here.

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