Contact: Public Information Officers: Bob MacGregor, Glenda Scott
Phone: 406-329-0153 / Cell: 603-568-9893, 406-529-2308
Phone and cell coverage is limited, please call back if you do not make contact.
What: Gold Pan Complex (Gold Pan & Goat Fires)
Location: 35 miles SW of Conner, MT. in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness in Idaho.
Jurisdiction: Bitterroot National Forest – West Fork Ranger District
Summary: There was active fire movement yesterday on the Pasture Ridge east of Magruder Station and to Horsejaw Mountain. The fire is burning in extreme steep and rocky terrain with a high potential for spotting. It has increased to 11,628 acres based on an early morning infra-red flight. The fire is about ½ mile from the historic Magruder Ranger Station but has moved to the east of the Station towards Deep Creek. Today the fire is expected to continue moving to the north and northeast with the potential to spot across Magruder Corridor Road and on Pasture Ridge. Fire crews will continue protection of the Magruder Ranger Station and other forest structures, and scout to find locations such as past fire scars where there are opportunities to slow the fire movement. One helicopter is committed to the fire for water drops if it is needed.
The Goat fire had little fire movement and stays at 11 acres. It is burning in timber approximately 2 miles southwest of the Gold Pan fire. It’s a “hold over” started by lightning on July 17th.
An emergency area closer is in effect on the West Fork Ranger District in the Frank Church Wilderness due to active fire movement. The road closure includes the Magruder Road Corridor which is closed at Nez Perce Pass on the Montana/Idaho line to Observation Pass.
The Gold Pan Complex is under the command of Hutton’s Type II Wildland Fire Management Team. Fire forecasts indicate continued high burning potential through the summer and the potential for the fire to move to the east outside the wilderness. For this reason, Poncin’s Type I Team has been ordered and will begin management of the fire on Wednesday.
Area Closure: To provide for public safety an emergency closure is in place for parts of the Frank Church Wilderness in Idaho. The closure includes areas south of Magruder Road and Trail #37 to BeaverJack Mountain. The closure includes Trail #13 east towards Trail #36. To see a map of the closure visit http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3538/. All forest service roads and trails within this area are closed.
Magruder Road: Currently closed at Nez Perce Pass on the Montana-Idaho line. Road guards are in place to divert traffic. The road is closed for more than 20 miles between Nez Perce Pass and Observation Point.
Smoke & Haze: Due to the location of the fires and fuels burning, smoke will likely continue to settle in the southern Bitterroot Valley, possibly drifting to North Fork and Salmon, Idaho. There are several fires burning in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness in Idaho on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest that are contributing to the smoke & haze this weekend in the Bitterroot Valley.
For the latest fire information and photos http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3538/. Stay in touch with the Bitterroot National Forest through www.facebook.com/DiscoverTheBitterroot and www.twitter.com/BitterrootNF.