Bearskin Fire Update September 12, 2017

Release Date: Sep 12, 2017   Boise, Idaho

Contact(s): Venetia Gempler (208) 373-4105


Management of the fire transitioned from the Atlanta NIMO Team to the Portland NIMO Team on Monday. “Our focus will be on a confine and contain, as well as point protection strategy to manage the fire, protect values and ensure firefighter safety until we get a season ending event,” said Bill Hahnenberg, the new incident commander. A season-ending event means enough rain or snow to bring fire season to an end. Hahnenberg emphasized that no natural or cultural resource or structure is worth the life of a firefighter. “Sometimes,” he added, “this may mean backing off to a better location where we can fight the fire safely on ground of our choosing.”

Monday, heavy equipment crews completed snagging work along National Forest System (NFS) Road 579 and chipping crews continued to make progress along NFS Road 555. Defensive firing operations to reduce fuels in front of the fire, did not take place due to dry, hot weather conditions.

Today’s plan is to monitor and patrol along the east and north sides of the fire. Assessments will continue on the southern end of the fire to ensure adequate resources are in place for protection of Forest Service and Bureau of Reclamation facilities in the event the fire travels that far. Crews will continue improving the contingency line along NFS Road 555 south toward the reservoir while crews are evaluating and looking for more opportunities to engage in firing operations if weather permits.

The fire area will be mostly sunny today with a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon and possible light winds.

Public Information Officers (PIO) will be staged at specific locations and times daily to answer questions: In Stanley at the Visitor Information Center: 3:30 – 4:30 pm, in Grandjean at the Sawtooth Lodge: 11:30 – 12:30 pm, in Lowman at the District Rangers office: 9 – 10 am, in Crouch at the Community Hall: 11:30 - 12:30 pm and the Chevron in Garden Valley: 2:30 - 3:30 pm. A PIO will also provide a fire update on KXGV 98.5 in Crouch every day at 11:00 am.

The Bearskin Fire area closure remains in place for public safety and includes the Deadwood Reservoir area and all the campgrounds and trails in the vicinity. NFS Road 582 through Bear Valley remains open except between the junctions of NFS Roads 545 and 515 which is closed for construction. Work is expected to last into October.

All Forest Closure Orders and maps are available online. Stage 1 fire restrictions are in effect on public and private lands under fire protection of the Boise National Forest, Boise BLM and State of Idaho. Campfires are only permitted in developed recreation sites with an agency approved metal fire ring. Smoking is allowed in a cleared area of at least 3 feet in diameter, in a vehicle or in a developed recreation site.