Fire Update 9/17/2017

Local Conditions: Much cooler temperatures in Yellow Pine the last couple of days. Yesterday the high was 64 and the low this morning 34 degrees. Tomorrow there is a good chance for rain in the forecast. Air has been much better, but there is still a slight haze of smoke.

Yellow Pine Forecast

Today Partly sunny, with a high near 67. Light south southwest wind becoming southwest 8 to 13 mph in the afternoon.
Tonight A 20 percent chance of showers after midnight. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 44. South southwest wind 5 to 11 mph.
Monday Showers. Temperature falling to around 44 by 9am. South southwest wind 7 to 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%.
Monday Night A 50 percent chance of showers. Cloudy, with a low around 35. West southwest wind 5 to 8 mph.
Tuesday Showers likely. Cloudy, with a high near 48. West southwest wind 6 to 8 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%.
Tuesday Night Showers. Low around 36. Chance of precipitation is 80%.
Wednesday Showers. High near 47. Chance of precipitation is 90%.

Johnson Creek Airport WebCam
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Boise NF Stage 1 fire restrictions will be lifted effective Sunday, September 17, at 12:01 a.m.

Payette NF Stage 1 fire restrictions were lifted September 15th.

Some fire closure areas have been reduced, see individual fire links for latest reports.
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McCall Air Quality
Sept 16 smoke map

NOAA generates daily maps showing smoke pattern:

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Bearskin Fire

Boise National Forest

Current as of 9/16/2017, 12:58:40 PM
Incident Type Wildfire
Cause Lightning
Date of Origin Wednesday August 23rd, 2017 approx. 07:30 PM
Location 21 miles NE of Lowman, Idaho – located in Valley County
Incident Commander M Quesinberry
Total Personnel 136
Size 30,144 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained 10%
Estimated Containment Date Sunday October 01st, 2017 approx. 12:00 AM

9-15-2017 Bearskin Fire Closure Reduced – Version #4
The Bearskin Fire area closure on the Boise and Salmon Challis National Forest has been reduced significantly due to a decrease in fire activity. The change in the closure opens more than 80,000 acres to fall hunters and recreationists. The modified closure goes into Friday, Sept. 15, at noon.

9-15-2017 Bearskin Fire Closure Order – Version #4

Bearskin Fire Update – Saturday, September 17, 2017

Boise, Idaho – Most work on the Bearskin Fire was completed by the end of shift Saturday and most resources will be off the fire by tonight in advance of an expected cold front. Only a small workforce of local engines and crews will remain after today, actively engaged in mop-up and monitoring to ensure the fire does not escape containment and to conduct firing operations if needed. Smoke may linger for weeks, and even flare up, as interior hot spots ignite.

Weather was warm and dry Saturday and that is expected to continue for one more day. A cold front will arrive Monday and from 3 to 6 inches of snow is expected between then and Wednesday.

Operations Section Chief John Giller says today, three engines will be working along County Road 579 on the west side of the fire, focusing on an area that showed a little activity late Saturday. The east side of the fire is quiet and in patrol status.

All the suppression repair work is done – suppression repair restores areas on the landscape that have been damaged by the work of equipment and crews fighting the fire. Backhaul will continue today, returning truckloads of equipment used on the fire like pumps and hoses, to the local district.

The National Incident Management Organization (NIMO) which has been managing the fire since Sept. 11 will transfer command to a local Incident Commander Monday morning at 6 a.m. As NIMO prepares to demobilize (leave the incident), leadership attention will be focused on the firefighters, both hand crews and engines, as operational responsibility is transferred to the District. This ensures continuity of tasks and keeps firefighter safety first and foremost.

For Forest Closure Orders and maps visit:
Scroll down to Lowman Ranger District Closures for Bearskin Area Closure Reduced – Version #4.

Stage 1 fire restrictions will be lifted effective 12:01 a.m. September 17. To view the order

9-15-2017 Bearskin Fire IR Map

InciWeb link:
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Payette Wilderness Fires

Missouri Fire
1,277 Acres 9/15/2017
Location Missouri Ridge, Krassel District north east of Yellow Pine
Area Closure Order for Missouri Fire has been Terminated 9/15/2017
The Area Closure Order for the Missouri Fire (Order #0412-504) has been terminated effective September 15, 2017. This lightning ignition on the Krassel District north of Yellow Pine has displayed little to no activity and no growth for several weeks. Those venturing into the burned area are advised to watch for hazard trees and unstable terrain. The Missouri Ridge Trail (NFS #031) is passable.

Goat Fire
818 acres 9/14/2017
Location in the Middle Fork of the Salmon River drainage.
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Highline Fire

Payette National Forest

Current as of 9/17/2017
Incident Type Wildfire
Date of Origin Saturday July 29th, 2017 approx. 12:00 AM
Incident Description Wildfire Burning Within The Frank Church River Of No Return Wilderness
Incident Commander Joe Reinarz, Incident Commander, National Incident Management Organization (NIMO)
Total Personnel 70
Size 84,619 Acres

Current Situation: The rain that fell over the Highline and Goat fires over the last 36 hours reduced fire behavior significantly. Approximately two tenths of an inch came down to wet the fuel across the area. A reconnaissance flight on Saturday revealed only isolated pockets of smoldering heat. The largest area of heat concentration was on the northeast corner of the Highline fire in the Big Bear Creek and Mule Creek Peak area. No open flame was observed during the flight and not much discernable fire growth was detected. The weather forecast for the next few days shows a wet system coming in Monday through Friday bringing precipitation amounts of up to one inch over the week. Sunday, crews will be extracted from the Root Ranch and the Beaver and Big Creek areas in front of the forecasted precipitation. Personnel will be consolidating extra point protection equipment in Beaver and Big Creek in anticipation of extraction from the fire area once threat to the values at risk are mitigated. A total of 70 personnel are assigned.

Highline Fire Update – September 17, 2017

Highline Fire Operations Map, Sept 17, 2017

List of Trails Partially or Entirely Closed in the Highline Fire Area

Minimal fire behavoir on the Highline Fire Posted on: 09/17/17

InciWeb link:
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Highline Fire Closure Area Reduced in Middle Fork Elk Zone

By Evin Oneale, Regional Conservation Educator
Friday, September 15, 2017

A large portion of the Middle Fork Elk Zone has reopened thanks to cooler temperatures and slower fire growth of the Highline and Goat Fires burning within the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area. The new closure area and other fire updates can be viewed at or

The updated closure impacts only 17 percent of the Middle Fork Elk Zone, where the season opens today (September 15).

The Big Creek Trail #196 and everything south of the trail is now available to hunters. Several backcountry airstrips are also operational including Cold Meadows, Cabin Creek and Soldier Bar.

While the previous closure affected 52 percent of Unit 26, now only 19 percent of the unit is closed. Nearly half of unit 20A remains closed as fire activity is primarily within that unit.

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Salmon-Challis 2017 Wilderness Fires

Honeymoon Fire
1,860 Acres 9/14/2017
Location Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, 30 NM NW of Stanely, ID

Tappan Fire
1,650 Acres 9/14/2017
Location On the Middle Fork and North Fork Ranger Districts, near the confluence of Camas Creek and the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. Fire is located east of the Middle Fork of the Salmon River

Ibex Fire
17,256 Acres 9/14/2017
Location 23 miles NW of Challis, Idaho
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Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests Fire Updates

Coolwater Complex
3,118 acres 9/16/2017
Location Near Andy’s Lake and Coolwater Mountain

Hidden Fire
12,261 acres 9/16/2017
Location Hidden Ridge, 7 mi. NE of Elk Summit Guard Station

Chute Creek Fire
4,420 acres 9/15/2017, 8:07:37 PM
Location 2.5 miles west of Blodgett Lake, 16.7 miles west of Hamilton, Montana

Buck Lake Fire
2,390 acres 9/15/2017
Location 19 Miles NE of Elk City, Idaho

Hanover Fire
26,500 acres 9/15/2017
Location South of Grangeville, ID and northeast of Riggins, ID

Rattlesnake Point Fire
4,843 acres 9/15/2017
Location Rattlesnake Point – Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness

Moose Creek 1 Fire
17,395 acres 9/15/2017
Location Southeast of the Historic Moose Creek Ranger Station

Lone Pine Fire
15,237 acres 9/15/2017
Location Below Lone Pine Point in the Selway Bitterroot Wilderness

Patrol Ridge Fire
1,175 acres 9/14/2017
Location Patrol Ridge – 4.5 miles east of Windy Saddle

Big Elk
80 acres 9/14/2017
Location Big Elk Creek

Pronghorn Fire
78 acres 9/14/2017
Location Matteson Ridge
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Idaho Panhandle National Forest Fires

North Fork Hughes Fire
3,931 Acres 9/14/2017
Location 20 miles North of Nordman, Idaho

Buck Fire
2,100 Acres 9/16/2017
Location on the St. Joe Ranger District, approximately 16 miles southeast of Avery, Idaho.
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National Interagency Fire Center

September 17, 2017

No new large fires were reported yesterday. Nationally, 49 large fires have burned nearly 1.9 million acres. More than 19,000 wildland firefighters and support personnel are assigned to fires across the western United States.

Weather: Breezy conditions will develop across the northwestern states as the next system begins to move on shore. Widespread wetting rainfall is expected by mid-day in the Cascades. By mid-afternoon, cloud cover will begin to increase across the Northern Rockies and the Great Basin. Temperatures will again be below normal across the West, but could be as much as 20 degrees below normal across the Pacific Northwest. For the most part, California will miss out on the approaching precipitation as conditions remain dry. Looking elsewhere, a breezy southwesterly flow will continue across the Great Plains, extending as far east as the Great Lakes region. Meanwhile, Jose will continue a slow northward track off the East Coast.

States currently reporting large fires:

Arizona (1)
California (7)
Idaho (3)
Montana (14)
Nevada (1)
Oregon (14)
South Dakota (1)
Washington (8)
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PNW Fires 9/17/2017