Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests Fire Update – September 13, 2020

KAMIAH, Idaho (September 13, 2020) – As smoke descends into north-central Idaho from the multitude of fires burning near the West Coast, air quality on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests ranges from Moderate to Unhealthy, with Hazardous air quality in many nearby communities. Individuals are cautioned to limit time spent outdoors, especially if you are sensitive to wildfire smoke. Individuals may consider postponing strenuous outdoor activity until air quality improves or move activities indoors when possible. Smoke maps can be viewed online at https://hwp-viz.gsd.esrl.noaa.gov/smoke/ and https://fire.airnow.gov/.

Although smoke tends to keep temperatures a few degrees cooler than they may be under clear skies, fire danger remains Very High or Extreme across the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests. Whether you’re visiting public lands or spending time in your own backyard, we all must continue to stay cautious and take precautions to prevent an accidental wildfire.

“Firefighting resources are stretched thin across the country as agencies and partners work together to respond to such a high number of large wildfires across the west,” said Marty Mitzkus, Deputy Forest Supervisor on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests. “We’re asking everyone to please use extreme caution with anything that may cause a spark, as it is more challenging to respond to new fires right now as so many resources are committed to large, active incidents.”

Low humidity and high temperatures in the area yesterday caused the Shissler fire near Elk City to burn actively in the Butter Creek and Cabin Creek drainages. The fire is currently estimated at 6,000 acres; future reconnaissance flights, when possible, will provide a closer estimate. With the increase in fire activity and consistent west wind in the Cabin Creek drainage, the fire moved within half a mile of Green Mountain Lookout. Ground crews were able to prepare the structures at Green Mountain in anticipation that the fire will encroach the lookout and nearby Forest Service Road #285.

Forest Service Road #285, aka Green Mountain Road, has been closed for public safety due to the Shissler fire moving into the area. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (PDT) daily, the road will be open with Forest Service escort only. For more information, contact the Red River Ranger District at (208) 842-2245. The Shissler fire is on InciWeb at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7014/.

As anticipated, the Double fire in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness on the Moose Creek Ranger District has been active this weekend. Recent aerial reconnaissance mapped the fire at approximately 600 acres. Another flight will be conducted once conditions allow and when resources are available in order to determine updated fire activity information and acreage.

A Type 2 Incident Management Team continues to manage the Marion and Beaver fires near Powell. Information is available on InciWeb at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7058/ and https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7128/.

Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests Fire Information is available online at https://bit.ly/NPCFireInfo, on social media at www.facebook.com/NPClwNFs and www.twitter.com/NPClwNFs, on the forest’s official mobile app (search “Nez Perce Clearwater” in your app store), or by calling your local ranger station. Report all wildfires to the Grangeville Interagency Dispatch Center (208-983-6800) or call 911.

 

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