Kamiah, Idaho (Aug. 12, 2015, 9 a.m. ) -- Lightning sparked another 54 new wildfires on the Nez PerceClearwater National Forests during the past 24 hours. More than 150 fires are now burning on the Forest and nearby state and private lands.
Yesterday, lightning from thunderstorms that passed through northcentral Idaho caused more than 100 new fires. With resources stretched thin, firefighters are working hard to contain as many fires as possible while continuing to identify new starts.
Hot, dry weather will persist through Friday, with additional fire starts likely. Friday is expected to be a critical fire day. Then a cold front will move through the area, dropping temperatures by 15 to 20 degrees.
The highest-priority fires are concentrated in four areas: Kamiah, Pilot Knob, Syringa and Lolo Creek. At least 25 fires are burning in the Kamiah area and another 25 have been identified around Pilot Knob. A smokejumper on the Big Hill Fire suffered a broken femur yesterday and was quickly transported by air to hospital in Lewiston.
A prescribed burn planned for the North Fork Ranger District this week has been postponed because of increased fire activity and smoke concerns. It will be rescheduled for a future date. Fire activity in the past 24 hours:
Lochsa Ranger District: At least 23 new fires. Firefighters were forced to pull off the two biggest fires in the district because of increased fire activity. The Big Hill and Syringa Fires both started Tuesday. At least two other fires were controlled and two more were contained. North Fork Ranger District: Eleven new fires. Firefighters expect to control two fires today.
Moose Creek Ranger District:Thirteen new fires. At least two of the fires have been controlled.
Powell Ranger District: Three new fires. Crews are looking for a fourth reported fire.
Salmon River Ranger District: One new fire. Firefighters were pulled off the Pilot Knob Fire yesterday because of increased fire activity.
Red River Ranger District: Three new fires. Two fires were controlled yesterday and three were contained. Firefighters were pulled off fires in the Pilot Knob area of the district yesterday because of fire growth.