Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests Fire Update

Release Date: Aug 4, 2017  

An inversion held smoke in the valleys and across the prairies Thursday.  With over 275,000 acres currently burning in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Nevada that probably will not change until weather conditions alter.  The forecast is for more of the same.

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.  In addition to smoke impacts, values at risk, availability of resources, and location were considered in determining suppression actions of fires not threatening communities.

Firefighter and public safety is the number one priority in wildland fire management and emergency response.  Fire activity across the nation has significantly increased and the National Preparedness Level (PL) is currently 4.  PL 4 means that three or more Geographic Areas are experiencing wildland fire incidents requiring Type 1 and 2 Incident Management Teams.  Competition exists for resources between Geographic Areas.  Nationally, 60% of Type 1 and 2 Incident Management Teams and crews are committed to wildland fire incidents.

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: 

Salmon River Ranger District

The Hanover fire is located in the Gospel Hump Wilderness and five miles southwest of Square Mountain Historical Lookout.  The fire is burning in heavy timber and grass in steep terrain.  The fire has grown outside the wilderness boundary to the south and west.  A late night Infrared flight showed the fire at 2,799 acres.  Leach’s Northern Rockies Type 2 Incident Management Team took command of the fire at 6:00 a.m. this morning.  The team will be providing a phone number for information specific to the Hanover fire and will update the InciWeb site at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5459 .

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 on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/nezperceclearwater under “Alerts & Notices.”)

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

 

Lochsa/Powell Ranger District

A hold-over fire, the Hilton fire, was reported Thursday evening 1.5 miles southwest of Beaver Ridge Lookout in the Storm Creek drainage.  Currently two acres, the fire is smoldering and creeping.  Twelve firefighters are assigned and will be working to fully suppress the blaze.

The Hidden fire in the Selway Bitterroot Wilderness demonstrated moderate behavior Thursday as it moved through dead and down material in the old burn scar of the 2007 Bridge fire, growing to an estimated 1500 acres.  The majority of the spread was toward the southeast toward Frog Lake, on the south side of Tadpole Creek.  The fire has yet to consume the large pockets of green timber in the area, but that remains a possibility.  Fire activity is still one mile from the old Hidden Peak lookout and three miles from the Montana/Idaho border.   Smoke will continue to impact the local area around Hidden Lake and Elk Summit and very likely the Bitterroot valley as well.  The fire continues to be monitored by ground and aerial resources and is being managed for resource benefit.

The Goat Roost fire (2.4 acres) has not grown and is still staffed by 13 fire personnel.  The fire is expected to be fully out today.

Trail closures, listed below, are in place for public health and safety, as follows:

                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.

(A complete copy of Order No. 01-17-55-17-014 can be found on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/nezperceclearwater under “Alerts & Notices.”)

For more information on fire activity or area closures on the Locsha/Powell Ranger District, please call (208) 942-3113.

 

Moose Creek Ranger District

Aerial reconnaissance of the Buck Lake fire, formerly called the Grave Peak fire, found that it is actually in the Buck Lake Creek drainage and estimated at 100 acres.  The fire is demonstrating moderate behavior, with single-tree torching, backing and creeping.  It will be monitored and managed for resource benefits.

The Moose Creek 1 fire (4,396 acres), immediately southeast of the historic Moose Creek Ranger Station, has burned to the northeast over Trout Creek toward Trout Peak. The fire continues to progress to the southeast in the head of Dog Creek drainage.  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.

An area closure is in effect to the Moose Creek 1 fire for the protection and safety of the public, in an area defined as:

Beginning at the Moose Creek Ranger Station in section 12, T33N, R12E, Boise Meridian in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness following East Moose Trail #421 northerly to the junction with Trout Peak Trail #427. Then follow Trail #427 easterly to Freeman Peak and the junction with Lost Horse Trail #430. Then follow Trail #430 easterly to Horsefly Meadows and the junction with Pettibone Creek Trail #633. Then follow Trail #633 southerly to Selway River Trail #4 in T32N, R13E Boise Meridian. Then follow Trail #4 northwest back to the junction with Trail #421 at Moose Creek Ranger Station, the point of beginning. The trails bordering the closure area shall remain closed.

(A complete copy of Order No. 01-17-06-17-015 can be found on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/nezperceclearwater under “Alerts & Notices.”)

 

The Lone Pine fire is estimated at 2,963 acres.  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 in the Sixty Two Creek remains estimated at 5 acres.   Fry Pan fires (81 acres) near the Bitterroot National Forest boundary was quiet Thursday.  Moe fire near Moe Peak remains estimated at .75 acre.   All are being monitored daily by air and being managed for resource benefits.

Trail closures in effect for the Lone Pine and Mink Peak fires are in place for public health and safety, as follows:  

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.

(Complete copies of Order Nos. 01-17-06-17-009 and -010 can be found on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/nezperceclearwater under “Alerts & Notices.”)

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 two miles south of Mud Springs in the Newsome Creek drainage is out.

The Plummer fire remains estimated at 10 acres in rough country of the Gospel Hump Wilderness five miles north of the mouth of Sheep Creek (on the Salmon River).  This fire will be managed for resource benefits.

Fires in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness include:  the Rattlesnake Point fire on the north side of the Salmon River between Rattlesnake Creek and Deer Creek, was active Thursday as it moved to the north and east and grew to an estimated 1900 acres; 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.   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 relating to these fires is in effect for public health and safety in an area defined as:

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

(A complete copy of Order No. 01-17-05-17-002 can be found on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/nezperceclearwater under “Alerts & Notices.”)

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

 

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.

 

 

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/5442

For information specific to the Lone Pine fire, visit https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5456

For information specific to the Hidden fire, visit https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5446

For information specific to the Hanover fire, visit https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5459

 

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

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