Local communities and forest visitors throughout north Idaho should expect to see smoke, road closures and burned areas in many locations as most remaining fires are expected to continue burning until steady rain or snow finally extinguishes them. These ongoing fires require forest visitors to exercise caution near burned areas and active fires. Members of the public are strongly urged to take closures seriously due to the high potential for serious injury or death due to falling trees and active fire within the closed areas.
Some of the most active fires remain in the Grizzly Complex, which has burned approximately 19,000 acres this year resulting in several road and area closures in the area. Although the fire has not destroyed any structures, it did burn into the Settler’s Grove of Ancient Cedars in late August 2015 causing significant damage to many of the trees. The stand was not completely burned, but many trees remain unstable and are continuing to fall without warning. Due to the unstable nature of this area the Settlers Grove will remain closed until the area is safe for visitors. This closure is expected to last until at least spring 2016.
As fire activity fades, and areas, roads and trails are determined to be safe, the Forest Service will continue lifting emergency closures. At this time only a handful of roads trails and areas remain closed to public access due to ongoing safety concerns. For an up to date listing of closures and closure maps, please visit the Idaho Panhandle National Forests website atwww.fs.usda.gov/ipnf, or contact your local Forest Service office.