Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests Fire Update

Release Date: Aug 3, 2017  

As fire season gears up helicopters can be seen drawing water from many of the water sources on the Forests.  The public is requested to stay well back from those areas, since the pilots will be doing their jobs and may not be able to see someone in the line of danger.  Please take photographs from a good distance.

Hot temperatures and low humidity add up to very high probability of fire starts and growth of existing fires.  Already this summer Forest visitors are seeing towering smoke plumes in various areas and smoke lying across the Camas Prairie, along the Selway, South Fork of the Clearwater, and Salmon Rivers.  Weather inversions can result in low lying smoke.  Please see the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality website at http://www.deq.idaho.gov/air-quality.aspx for updated air quality ratings.

Interagency Fire managers in the Grangeville dispatch zone are continuing to assess the need for fire restrictions in the canyon and prairie area and anticipate implementation sometime next week.

 

Current status by district: 

 

Palouse Ranger District

Stage One fire restrictions have been put in place for the west portion of the Palouse Ranger District.  This includes Forest lands lying north and west of Highway 3/8 at the Latah county line at Sherwin Pass, south to Bovill, west to Helmer and Deary.

Under the Stage 1 Fire Restrictions, the following acts are prohibited Forest lands:

  • Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire or stove fire except within a designated recreation site in a permanent concrete or metal fire ring, or on their own land, and only within an owner-provided structure.
  • Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle, building, or designated recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.

For more information on these restrictions, please call the Palouse Ranger Station at (208) 875-1131.

 

Salmon River Ranger District

The Hanover fire in the Gospel Hump Wilderness and five miles southwest of Square Mountain Historical Lookout was held in check by an inversion until about noon Wednesday.  As the inversion lifted, fire activity gradually increased, but fire personnel were able to hold the fire line along the wilderness boundary on the southwest portion of the fire.  Increased activity, including single-tree and group-tree torching, occurred north of Marten Hill, while some single-tree torching was observed in the north end of Rock Creek.  Infrared photos showed the fire at 2,612 acres.  Leach’s Northern Rockies Interagency Type 2 Incident Management Team will be briefed this afternoon and will assume responsibility for the fire probably sometime Friday morning, August 4.

An area closure is in effect for the protection and safety of the public, in an area defined as:

Area within: Commencing at the intersection of RD 221 and RD 444 traveling west to the end of RD 444 then due south to Trail 312. Traveling south along Trail 312 to Wind River Pack Bridge. From Wind River Pack Bridge traveling north along Trail 88 to junction with RD 394. From RD 394 traveling north to junction with RD 221.  From RD 221 back to starting intersection of RD 221 and 444. Travel on these Roads and Trails, as well as the area bound by them is prohibited.

Note: River Camps and boat traffic along Main Salmon River are open to the public adjacent to closure area.

(A complete copy of Order No. 01-17-01-17-012 can be found here.)

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

 

Lochsa/Powell Ranger District

The Hidden fire in the Selway Bitterroot Wilderness is being managed as a long-term incident for resource benefit.   Fire activity was moderate Wednesday due to thick smoke in the fire area.  The fire grew to 728 acres, with growth primarily on the south side of the fire, backing down off the top of Hidden Ridge through dead and down logs from the 2007 Bridge fire toward Tadpole Creek.  A column of smoke can be expected as the fire moves through a large area of green timber.  The fire continues to be monitored by ground and aerial resources.

The Goat Roost fire (2.5 acres) has had no growth is still staffed by 13 fire personnel.  Fire personnel are expected to remain on the fire for several more days as they finish mop-up operations.

Several trail closures, listed below, are in place for public health and safety.

               Trail 71From the junction with Trail 50 to the junction of Trail 10

               Trail 10:  From the junction of Trail 9 to Hidden Peak Lookout

               Trail 906: From the junction with Trail 10 to the north shore of Frog Lake.

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 Grave Peak fire, estimated between 5 and 10 acres, was detected Wednesday near Grave Peak. It will be managed for resource benefits.

The Moose Creek 1 fire, immediately southeast of the historic Moose Creek Ranger Station, grew to 4,396 acres.  The spot fire that crossed Moose Creek between Whistling Pig and Vista Creek was extinguished.  Structure protection is in place on the Shissler lookout.  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 2,963 acres, with fire on all sides.  The Mink Peak fire (485 acres) is expected to join Lone Pine.  Smoke will be obvious along the Selway River corridor.  The Sixty Two fire (5 acres) in the Sixty Two Creek drainage was active Wednesday.   Fry Pan fires (81 acres) near the Bitterroot National Forest boundary added acreage to the north and east in the Fry Pan Creek drainage.  Moe (.75 acre) fire near Moe Peak exhibited little activity Wednesday.   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.  These closures will be increased and expanded in the near future.

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.

A new fire was detected in the Gospel Hump Wilderness.  The Plummer fire is estimated at 10 acres in rough country five miles north of the mouth of Sheep Creek (on the Salmon River).  That fire is being assessed for management for resource benefit.

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

###