There have been relatively few new starts on the Salmon-Challis National Forest over the past week, even though the two large incidents currently burning on the Forest – Mustang Complex and Halstead Fire – have grown considerably in the same timeframe.
The Ditch Fire was spotted on the Challis-Yankee Fork Ranger District in the Pahsimeroi Valley on August 14, 2012. By staffing the fire early, and having good access, this fire was held to 3 acres and was contained as of August 17, 2012. It is anticipated that control of the fire will occur by this evening.
The Merino, Bear, Norton and White Fires were detected within the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness on the Middle Fork Ranger District, Salmon-Challis National Forest between August 8, and August 10, 2012. All fires were started by lightning. Currently, given terrain and resources available the fires are being monitored to determine when future management actions may be needed.
The Merino Fire is currently 623 acres as of August 18, 2012. This fire has not crossed the Indian Springs Road or Cliff Creek at this time and remains approximately 6 air miles southeast of the Middle Fork of the Salmon River.
Little change was detected on the Norton Fire, which is approximately 3 miles northwest of the Middle Fork of the Salmon River near Norton Creek. Two smokejumpers, serving as Fire Effects Monitors are watching the Norton Fire.
The White and Bear Fires have not shown any evidence of smoke for nearly a week, but they are still being monitored to ensure public safety.
For more information on the fires on the Salmon-Challis National Forest, including the latest closures, maps, and fire photos visit www.inciweb.org/unit/46.
Air quality information from a monitor at the North Fork Ranger District is available at