Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests fire update - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests fire update

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The National Fire Preparedness Level (PL) has been raised to its highest point, PL-5.  

The PL ranges from one, indicating minimal activity, to five, which signals very high activity.  The last time that the National PL was raised to 5 was on August 13, 2015.  Lightning activity over the past couple of days has increased dramatically south and east of the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests, but possible thunderstorms are in the forecast for the forest for the weekend. 

In addition, Stage 1 Fire Restrictions are in effect in the Grangeville Fire Restrictions Area, Riverbreaks and Hells Canyon National Recreation Area.  Visitors are encouraged to Know before you go - Fire and closure information is posted on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests website at www.fs.usda.gov/nezperceclearwater.  Information on fire restrictions across the state is located at http://www.idahofireinfo.com/.

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

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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 Maud fire was detected by air on August 8, two miles southwest of Siah Lake.  The two-acre fire is burning in large timber in an area with no recorded fire history.  Occasional single tree and group torching, resulting in short range spotting, has occurred.  Eight rappellers are making progress with water and tools, and mop up operations continue.

fire is currently greater than 3,500 acres.  The fire continues to burn in dead and down timber in the footprint of the 2007 Bridge fire. Growth occurred to the north along Big Flat Hidden Ridge trail near the junction with Colt Killed trail, and the fire is less than a mile from that junction.  Growth is also on the west perimeter near the Hidden Lake and Hidden Peak trails.  The fire is on the shores of Hidden Lake and Hidden The backing to the west. 

It will continue to be monitored with ground and aerial resources.  The Nez Perce-Clearwater 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.

The Hilton fire (5.5 acres), 1.5 miles southwest of Beaver Ridge Lookout, is in a patrol and monitor status via ground and aerial resources.

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

Moose Creek Ranger District

Fires on Moose Creek Ranger District are located 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 7,758 acres, adding 589 acres to the west up the Whistling Pig Creek drainage and north toward East Moose Creek.  Minor growth occurred on the north slope of Dog Creek.  Structure protection is in place on the Halfway, Meeker and Three Links bridges as well as on the Shissler Lookout.  Crews will continue structure protection efforts.  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 5,648 acres, with growth on all sides.  The fire was active Thursday in Grizzly Saddle on the south side of the Selway River and has spotted across the river south to north near Puzzle Point.  The Mink Peak fire is now 764 acres, with activity on all sides.  Fry fire on the Bitterroot National Forest boundary is mapped at 100 acres, with the growth being in Fry Pan Creek.  Pan .   fire in Sixty Two Creek remains estimated at 15 acres

Sixty TwoThe The Buck Lake fire, in the Buck Lake Creek drainage, has increased to 382 acres, with most growth to the northeast toward Rock Pillar.  Smoke will impact the Selway River corridor. Moe fire near Moe Peak is showing no smoke.

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 is located in extremely remote and rugged terrain in the Gospel Hump Wilderness, five miles north of the mouth of Sheep Creek (on the Salmon River).  Fire activity on the Plummer fire is in the Marble Butte and Plummer Point areas and is estimated at 100-150 acres.   Smoke continues to inhibit aerial reconnaissance.  Coordination with the Hanover Incident Management team and the Salmon River Ranger District is ongoing as the Plummer and Hanover fires are anticipated to burn together.

Fires in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness include:  the Rattlesnake Point fire, 3,810 acres, is located on the north side of the Salmon River between Rattlesnake Creek and Nixon Creek.  The fire continues to move primarily to the east and northeast and has spotted into the Sabe Creek drainage.  The Nez Perce-Clearwater and Bitterroot National Forests are working together in the long-term management and strategy of the fire. 

The fire is anticipated to continue east and into the Bitterroot National Forest impacting Blacky Foster, Lantz Bar, and trail systems in and around Harrington Mountain.

The Ladder (2 acres) and Bleak (166 acres) fires have had minimal growth in the last week.  Sheep Hill Lookout is identified as a value at risk from the Bleak fire and is wrapped.  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.

North Fork Ranger District

The Lolo National Forest to the east of the district has implemented an area closure for public health and safety due to the Sunrise fire that may impact visitors accessing Hoodoo Pass, Hoodoo Lake and the areas adjacent to the pass via Forest Road #250 from Montana. Hoodoo Pass is accessible via Cedar Creek and Freezeout Road (high clearance vehicles recommended and no trailers).  For information about the closure and the Sunrise fire, please visit https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5379/#

For more information on this development, please call the North Fork Ranger District at (208) 476-4541.

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

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