Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests Fire Update

Release Date: Aug 7, 2017  

The current Fire Danger level across the forest is Extreme.  Hot, dry weather is expected to continue with little chance of rain forecasted.  Nationally, human-caused starts are the primary cause of wildfires - having nearly ten times the start rate of natural starts. The average 10-year percent U.S. wildfire starts are 88% human-caused and 12% lightning caused.  Recreationists are reminded to use caution with any outdoor activity that may cause a spark and never leave campfires unattended.

Firefighter and public safety is the number one priority in wildland fire management and emergency response.  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.

For current air quality in Idaho, please visit http://www.deq.idaho.gov/air-quality/burning/current-wildfire-smoke-info/ and for Montana http://svc.mt.gov/deq/todaysair/smokereport/mostrecentupdate.aspx .

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 by mid-week for parts of the Zone.

 

Current status by district: 

Salmon River Ranger District

The Hanover fire is currently being managed by Irv Leach’s Type 2 Incident Management Team.  Information for the Hanover fire can be found at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5459/

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 grew to 2,815 Sunday, with most of the advance to the west within the Tadpole Creek drainage.  It is a .1 mile from Hidden Lake.   Fire activity was moderated Sunday morning due to heavy smoke in the local area.  When the smoke cleared in the afternoon, an increase in fire activity occurred.  The fire continues to be monitored with ground and aerial resources.  The Nez Perce-

Clearwater National Forests and Bitterroot National Forests are working together in the long-term management and strategy for this fire.  Trail closures remain in effect.  Smoke is expected to impact the local area as well as the Bitterroot and Missoula Valleys.

Mop-up operations and patrol continue on the 5.5-acre Hilton fire, 1.5 miles southeast of Beaver Ridge Lookout.   Firefighters expect to remain on the fire two more days before calling the fire fully out. 

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

 

Moose Creek Ranger District

All current fires are in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness.  These fires are being monitored primarily by air and are being managed for long-term resource benefit.

The Moose Creek 1 fire grew to 6,449 acres with the majority of the growth being up Whistling Pig Creek drainage and north toward East Moose Creek. Minimal growth also occurred on the north slope above Dog Creek.  Crews will conduct burnout operations below Shissler Lookout today. The Halfway, Meeker and Three Links bridges have been wrapped and have pumps and hose in place for their protection.   Structure protection remains in place on the Shissler lookout.  Visitors recreating on the Selway River should expect to see smoke and fire in the area and use extreme caution as trees are currently falling in and around the river.

The Lone Pine fire grew to 4,867 acres with most growth to the northwest up Meeker Ridge. The fire continues to fill in on all sides and was active in Grizzly Saddle on the south side of the Selway River.  The Mink Peak fire is 642 acres, growing into Pack Creek to the southeast.  Smoke will impact the Selway River corridor. The Buck Lake fire, in the Buck Lake Creek drainage, grew to 343 acres Sunday, moving to the northeast.   The Sixty Two fire in the Sixty Two Creek remains estimated at 15 acres.   Fry Pan fire on the Bitterroot National Forest boundary is mapped at 95 acres, with minimal growth to the northwest between Brush Fork and Fry Pan Creeks.  Moe fire near Moe Peak has not shown smoke for several days. 

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 Plummer fire in the Gospel Hump Wilderness five miles north of the mouth of Sheep Creek (on the Salmon River) is estimated at 10-15 acres.   Planes have been unable to fly over the fire to obtain more information due to the heavy smoke that has settled over the area.  It is 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 Nixon Creek is now 2,514 acres, with the majority of the growth to the northeast.  The fire has spotted northeast along Bear Creek and east of Bear Creek along the ridge above.  There is also a 5-acre spot east of Nixon Creek.  The Ladder fire (2 acres) was quiet Sunday, and the Bleak fire (130 acres) grew only minimally to the north.   Sheep Hill Lookout has been wrapped to protect it from 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 is in effect.

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

 

 

For fire information on Moose Creek 1, Rattlesnake Point, Lone Pine, and Hidden please visit https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/state/13/# .

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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