North-central Idaho experiences many fires over the course of the summer, the majority of which are caused by lightning. However, human beings also factor into the number. Temperatures are forecast in the 90’s for at least the next week, with relative humidity reaching down into the single digits. Even one stray spark can be cause for disaster. Campfires should be left “dead out.” If they are too warm to touch, they are too warm to abandon.
Interagency Fire managers in the Grangeville dispatch zone are assessing the need for fire restrictions in the canyon and prairie area and anticipate implementation sometime next week.
Smoke will continue to be an issue across the Camas Prairie and along the Selway and Salmon Rivers. Please see the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality website at http://www.deq.idaho.gov/air-quality.aspx for updated quality ratings.
Current fire status by district:
Salmon River Ranger District
The Hanover fire in the Gospel Hump Wilderness, 5 miles southwest of Square Mountain Historical Lookout, demonstrated very active fire behavior Tuesday. It gained an estimated 2,000 acres, with the majority of the growth being to the south and west. The fire did cross the wilderness boundary onto National Forest lands to the west, and east of Road 221. Eight smoke jumpers and several engines are working the fire. Point protection measures are being taken for buildings in the Florence area. Firefighter and public safety remains the paramount objective and persons in the vicinity of the fire are being contacted. Forest managers are working to place an area closure and/or trail closures as needed to protect all parties.
An incident management team has been ordered to take over management of the Hanover fire and is expected to be briefed late August 3. This action will free up local resources for initial attack of new fires.
Lochsa/Powell Ranger District
The Hidden fire in the Selway Bitterroot Wilderness is being managed as a long-term incident for resource benefit. Infrared mapping of the fire shows it is now at 549 acres. Although the Hidden fire continues to burn primarily within the 2007 Bridge fire perimeter, it is expected to move east into a large pocket of green timber before moving back into dead and down fuel. A large column of smoke can be expected over the next few days while that happens. Fire managers will be working to prepare trail closures for the safety and protection of the public. The old Hidden Peak lookout 1.5 miles east of the fire is being assessed for structure protection needs.
The Goat Roost fire (2.5 acres) 3 miles south of the Powell Ranger station continues to be mopped up.
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 Moose Creek 1 fire, immediately southeast of the historic Moose Creek Ranger Station, grew to 4,098 acres, with most of the significant growth northeast toward Trout Peak. It has crossed Moose Creek between Whistling Pig and Vista Creek, prompting an evacuation of the Shissler lookout. A structure protection group will be assessing the lookout for protection. Visitors recreating on the Selway River should expect to see smoke and fire in the area of Moose Creek Ranger Station.
The Lone Pine fire has grown to 2,626 acres, with the most intense heat being north of the fire downslope to the Selway River and to the south end of the Lone Pine Creek drainage. Fire managers expect that the Mink Peak fire (119 acres) will join the Lone Pine before long. Smoke will be obvious along the Selway River corridor. The Sixty Two fire in the Sixty Two Creek drainage was active Tuesday when it grew to an estimated five acres. Fry Pan fires (5 - 10 acres) near the Bitterroot National Forest boundary grew somewhat to the northwest up Fry Pan Creek drainage. Moe (.75 acre) fire near Moe Peak exhibited little activity Tuesday. All are being monitored daily by air and being managed for resource benefits.
Several trail closures, listed below, are in place for public health and safety.
Trail 4: From the Moose Creek Ranger Station to the junction of the 516 trail.
Trail 430: From the Moose Creek Ranger Station to the junction of the 435 Trail.
Trail 421: From Moose Creek Ranger Station north to the junction of the 620 Trail.
Trail 427: To the trail Junction at Freeman Peak (Junction of 427 and 430 trails).
Trail 438: From the Bridge on the Selway River to the junction with Trail 602.
Trail 436: Trail 436 to the junction of Trail 562.
Trail 626: Trail 626 to the junction of Trail 601.
Trail 555: Trail 555 to the junction of Trail 437.
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 Trail fire (.25 acre) was detected Tuesday two miles south of Mud Springs in the Newsome Creek drainage. It is staffed with nine firefighters who are mopping it up.
Fires in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness have remained quiet, with little activity. They are
the Rattlesnake Point fire (estimated 1500 acres) on the north side of the Salmon River between Rattlesnake Creek and Deer Creek, the Ladder fire (2 acres) and Bleak fire (81 acres) in the vicinity of Sheep Hill. Sheep Hill Lookout has been wrapped to protect it from the fire. These fires are assessed daily, primarily by air. All three fires are being managed for resource benefits using a point protection strategy. Visitors recreating on the Magruder Road and the Salmon River should expect to see smoke and fire in the area of Bargamin Creek drainage.
An area closure is in effect for public health and safety due to activity on the Rattlesnake Point fire. The area closure is described as follows:
Commencing at the intersection Trail 502 and Main Salmon River at Bargamin Bar traveling northeast along Trail 502 to junction of Trail 501, traveling southeast on Trail 501 to Main Salmon River, traveling west along Main Salmon River including Trail 96 back to the intersection at Bargamin Bar. Trail 576 and Trail 577 are within the Area Closure. Travel on these trails as well as the area bound by them, is prohibited.
NOTE: The Main Salmon River is open to the public for boat traffic along the closure area. River right and river left are open to all boat traffic and camping. River users should expect to see smoke and may encounter smoky conditions while on the river
For more information on fire activity or area closures on the Red River Ranger District, please call (208) 842-2245.
For general fire information visit https://inciweb.nwcg.gov For information specific to the Moose Creek 1 fire, visit https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5405 For information specific to the Rattlesnake Point fire, visit https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5452
Know before you go - Fire and closure information will be posted on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests website at www.fs.usda.gov/nezperceclearwater.