Start Date: July 27, 2012
Current Size: 179,035 acres
Location: Approx.18 miles north of Stanley, Idaho
Jurisdiction: USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Region, Salmon-Challis National Forest
Resources on the fire: 97 personnel – 1 hand crew, 8 engines, and 3 helicopters
Fire activity in the Marsh Creek drainage is slowly moving downstream, northwest towards Bear Valley Creek and the confluence of Marsh and Bear Valley Creeks as they become the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. Engines crews and the Type 3 helicopter worked a persistently active area in lower Basin Creek. Although the wind was coming from the south, very smoky air remained in the Sawtooth Valley. Saturday forecast has continued light winds with very unstable air which has the potential to increase fire activity in areas which have receptive fuels. Transfer of command from Great Basin Team #8 (Adell) to a Type III organization (Bartel) occurred at 0700.
What happened yesterday: Fire behavior was active with torching and crown runs influenced by steep slopes. Seafoam saw increased fire activity. Vanity Creek had an intense fire run to the top, as did a run in Lightning Creek which topped out and over into the headwaters of Pioneer Creek in the Loon Creek drainage. All activity was in the higher elevations. Additional helicopter bucket work was done in Jordan Creek to mitigate increased torching. China Creek and Mystery Lake areas did not show much movement. Fire moved closer to Collie Lake, while a handcrew and engine continued suppression repair work near Marsh Creek and Lola Creek Campground. The Salmon and Sawtooth National Forests’ Burned Area Emergency Rehab (BAER) teams did an initial assessment.
The Plan for Today: Mop up, suppression repair and backhaul of firefighting equipment will continue in the Seafoam Area. Engine crews will monitor lower Basin Creek and carry on with rehab efforts. The upper reaches of Jordan Creek will be monitored as will the southern length of the fire from Marsh Creek through to the Yankee Fork.
Fire Weather: Clouds will increase throughout the day with a slight chance of rain Saturday night. Temperatures will remain high for this time of year. Air quality below 7500-foot elevation may remain stagnant until the inversion lifts about noon. The Stage I air quality advisory for Lemhi and Custer Counties remains in effect.
River Closure: The Salmon River is closed to floating from Buckhorn Bridge to the Sawtooth National Recreation Area eastern boundary from Sept. 3-22 during salmon spawning. Bank fishing is open. The river will be open to all user groups Sept. 23.
Closures: The Loon Creek Rd., Forest Rd. 172, remains closed from 9 am to 9 pm from the Hecla Mine thru to the Loon Creek Guard Station to allow for safe firefighting operations. The Nip & Tuck Rd. (Forest Rd. 033) opened for non-motorized traffic. All spur roads leading to the north of the main road are still closed. Along the Highway 75 Salmon River Corridor from Stanley to the Sawtooth NRA boundary, the following campgrounds are open and will be managed by the Sawtooth National Recreation Area through the end of hunting season: Casino, Mormon Bend, Upper O’Brien, Holman, and Whiskey Flat. For information and maps of the closure area visit: www.fs.usda.gov/sawtooth and www.fs.usda.gov/scnf . For a high resolution map of the closure area go to the Flickr site www.flickr.com/salmonchallisnf. For more information follow us on Twitter @scnf_fire_info.