Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests Fire Update – September 16, 2020

KAMIAH, Idaho (September 16, 2020) – Smoke from fires burning near the West Coast and locally continues to impact air quality on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests and across north-central Idaho. The National Weather Service predicts that cooler weather and possible precipitation could improve air quality this weekend. Until then, fire danger remains Very High on the forest, and air quality is poor. Visit to see smoke conditions and air quality reports where you are.

The Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests has assigned additional resources from a local Type 3 organization to the Shissler fire near Elk City in response to recent increased fire activity and growth. Fire managers plan to host another public meeting for the incident soon in order to address public questions and provide more information. Details on this public meeting will be announced once logistics are finalized.

Officials have been unable to conduct infrared reconnaissance this week on the Shissler fire, which would provide a precise acreage update, due to poor flying conditions in the fire area and limited resource availability as fires burn across the country. Based on satellite heat detection, which offers a broader estimate of fire size, officials estimate the Shissler fire to be approximately 11,500 acres. This number may change, in either direction, once officials are able to more precisely size up the fire. The Shissler fire is now approximately 10% contained.

Recently, the Shissler fire has been active on all sides, primarily to the north and northeast and within the Three Prongs Creek drainage. The fire was very active over the weekend as it moved towards Green Mountain, and has since quieted and slowed its movement. Sunday evening, firefighters strategically removed wildfire fuels to protect structures on Green Mountain as the fire reached the lookout. The fire continues to burn away from private residences and structures in the Red River Valley. The possibility of precipitation this weekend could lessen fire behavior. Fire crews continue to prioritize firefighter and public safety and the protection of structures and other values at risk while responding to this fire.

Green Mountain Road #285 remains closed to the public at this time, except for by Forest Service escort, due to the Shissler fire. Moving forward, fire managers may have to adjust this closure for public safety in response to changing fire activity in the area. Officials intend to continue to provide access on this route to the extent possible while providing for the safety of the public while there is active wildfire in the area. If you have questions about the status of Green Mountain Road, please contact the Red River Ranger District at (208) 842-2245. For more information about this and other Shissler fire closures, please visit

A Type 2 Incident Management Team continues to manage the Marion and Beaver fires near Powell. Information is available on InciWeb at and

Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests Fire Information is available online at, on social media at and, 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.


USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.