Salmon, Idaho: There will be a Public Meeting tonight to discuss the Fire Situation on the Salmon-Challis National Forest and surrounding areas at 6:00 p.m. at the Salmon Valley Business and Innovation Center at 803 Monroe Street, Salmon, Idaho. New information, if available, will be presented at that time.
Smoke is filtering into the city of Salmon and surrounding valleys. Smoke in the valley will continue to be an issue as there are many fires in the Region that have recently started due to lightning.
In order to help put the local fire situation into perspective, nationally, we are at a Planning Level 5, which means there are many fires regionally and nationally which are competing for available fire resources. This has and will continue to challenge the Forest in obtaining resources for our local fires.
Several fires started over the last few days. Many fires were staffed and successfully contained within the last 24 hours. Fire activity will also continue and increase with predicted weather and winds.
NORTH FORK RANGER DISTRICT
· A ¼ acre fire staffed with two (2) engines that is controlled.
· A three (3) acre fire staffed with a squad of five firefighters
Elkhorn Fire: Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness
· The Elkhorn Fire, fire is estimated to be 50 acres with 90% containment. The fire is located west of Clear Creek and north of Elkhorn Creek, approximately 3.5 miles from the wilderness boundary. The fire is burning in grass, brush, and timber with dead and down tree components. Although lightning caused fires should be permitted to play, as nearly as possible, their natural ecological role within the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, fire managers decided to suppress this fire due to its proximity to the non-wilderness boundary and considering values at risk within the Panther Creek drainage. Resources currently staffing the fire are 57 firefighters, and a helicopter. The helicopters are supporting firefighters with bucket drops. The helicopters may be observed dipping out of the main stem of the Salmon River.
· ¼ acre fire burning in timber. The fire is currently out.
SALMON-COBALT RANGER DISTRICT
· The fire is estimated at 30 acres, is burning in grass and fire, and is located north of Napoleon Gulch, west of the Salmon River, approximately 15 miles north of Salmon. The fire is visible from Highway 93. Fire managers ask the public to be mindful of traffic congestion along Highway 93. Fire managers urge the public to continue traveling past the fire area and not stopping along the roadway.
· A 1/10 of an acre fire on the north side of Wilson Creek drainage in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. The fire is at 8,500 feet elevation and will be permitted to play, as nearly as possible, its natural ecological role within the wilderness.
· The fire is located near Meadow Creek on Goldbug Ridge and is estimated to be 1.3 acres in size. The fire is out.
· The fire is located near Lost Creek on Goldbug Ridge and is estimated to be a 1/4 of an acre. The fire is out.
Roaring Fire: Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness
· Fire was detected on August 5th and is in monitoring status. The fire is located in the Bighorn Crags and is one (1) acre in size burning in timber. This fire is lightning caused, and will continue to be permitted to play, as nearly as possible, its natural ecological role with the wilderness.
CHALLIS-YANKEE FORK RANGER DISTRICT
· A ¾ of an acre fire near McGowan Creek burning in dead and down fuels. Fire is out.
In addition, resources from the Salmon-Challis National Forest assisted the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest with the Frying Pan fire, a ¼ acre fire on the Continental Divide.
Weather forecast is for hot temperatures and isolated scattered showers and thunderstorms are predicted in the fire area through early evening today
As we move forward with strategically trying to staff and address our fires, the upmost priority for us is to ensure firefighter and public safety. As each of you can imagine, this is difficult with limited resources, yet we will balance to the extent possible without compromise to safety.
Know before you go. Always check with your local Ranger Station prior to your trip to get the most up to date information on current fire activity, closures, fire danger, and fire restrictions for the area.