Fire Update August 17, 2018

There are NO fires currently threatening Yellow Pine.

The high yesterday was 93 degrees under cloudy smoky skies. It has been 48 days since our last drop of rain.

Red Flag Warning Aug 17, 12pm to Aug 18, 12am

Stage 1 Fire Restrictions are in effect. Extreme Fire Danger!


Air Quality in Yellow Pine = Yellow

Air Quality Index (AQI) McCall
observed at 9:00 MDT
75 Moderate

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Kiwah Fire

Meadow Creek Road is Closed
8/11 PM update: The Meadow Creek Road above Stibnite has an emergency closure as the Kiwah Fire has bumped the road above Indian Creek. No other closures are in effect at this time. The road is open to Thunder Mountain, but members of the public are asked to limit traffic on the road as firefighters are working along the road and in Thunder Mountain. A future closure of the Thunder Mountain area may be necessary depending on the impact of an expected high level of fire activity today. Helicopters are assisting firefighters with water bucket drops throughout the north side of the fire.


Kiwah Fire Thermal Map
Zoomed in Map showing proximity to Meadow Creek Road August 17

Salmon-Challis National Forest
Location eight (8) miles northwest of Indian Creek Guard Station on the south side of the Indian Creek drainage in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness
Cause Lightning
Date of Origin Wednesday July 18th, 2018 approx. 05:30 PM
Current as of 8/17/2018, 7:41:30 AM
Total Personnel 17
Size 15,437 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained 1%
Estimated Containment Date Monday October 01st, 2018 approx. 12:00 AM

Kiwah Fire Update August 17, 2018


The Central Idaho Dispatch Zone is at EXTREME Fire Danger.

The lightning caused Kiwah Fire, was detected at approximately 5:30 p.m. on July 17, 2018. Fire managers estimate size at 15,437 acres. The fire is burning in a mixed conifer forest on the Middle Fork Ranger District and is being allowed to play, as nearly as possible, its natural ecological role in the environment while providing for firefighter and public safety. The fire is located in steep, inaccessible terrain northwest of Indian Creek Guard Station within the Indian Creek drainage in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. Yesterday, fire activity was primarily on the north and west sides of the fire. Fire activity on the east side of the fire around Battle Axe Mountain has had little movement in the last three days. Fire managers continue to monitor progress on the east side of the fire by lookouts. The potential remains high for the fire to continue to grow, as there are many actively burning areas within the fire perimeter.

There are two closures associated with the Kiwah Fire. The Salmon-Challis National Forest, Middle Fork Ranger District, Kiwah Fire Emergency Trail Closure Order #04-13-18-600 and the Payette National Forest, Krassel Ranger District, Kiwah Fire Emergency Road Closure: #0412-524. The closure orders are on Inciweb at

Fire management is being coordinated between the Salmon-Challis National Forest and the Payette National Forest. The Kiwah Fire is being managed to restore and maintain ecological process consistent with the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Management Plan. A priority of fire mangers is providing employee and public safety while defending the identified values at risk. Specific values potentially threatened with this fire include private property and mining infrastructure, Forest Service Guard Stations, Middle Fork Salmon River boat traffic, road and trail improvements, lookout buildings, communication sites, and cultural resources. The cultural resources are abandoned, historical mining structures. Challenges firefighters are facing on this incident include extended hot and dry conditions, heavy fuel loading, and limited availability of firefighting resources to support this fire.

Firefighters are implementing a point protection strategy. A point protection strategy is a wildfire response strategy, which protects specific assets or highly valued resources from the wildfire without directly halting the continued spread of the wildfire. The strategy takes in to account exposure to firefighters, values at risk, impacts to area user groups, and in the case of the Kiwah Fire, wilderness values. The selected point protection strategy was determined to best balance for protection of values and firefighter safety.

To date firefighters have created protection plans for the Stibnite Mine Site, Thunder Mountain, Indian Creek Guard station, and Pistol Creek Ranch areas. To date, significant progress has been made to implement these protection plans, with point protection measures in place on both the Salmon-Challis and Payette National Forests. The fire will continue to be monitored for fire spread in the direction of these values. There are 17 firefighters assigned to the Kiwah Fire. Work will continue into the coming weeks.

Firefighters and fire managers will continue to utilize the resources available complete the needed work as efficiently as possible. Fire managers expect the Kiwah Fire will continue to spread until a significant precipitation event occurs. Typically, season-ending weather events occur in this area between the last half of September through the first half of October.

Scattered thunderstorms are forecast to develop this afternoon and continue through the evening, decreasing into Saturday. The storms will have the potential to produce very strong outflow winds that may exceed 50 mph at times, particularly this afternoon. Localized wetting rains will be possible. Cooler temperatures and breezy winds are expected for Saturday.

Nationally, there are 50 uncontained large fires in the west managed under a full suppression strategy, and 55 large fires managed under a strategy other than full suppression. These fires are contributing to the smoke, which is drifting into the valleys surrounding Salmon and Challis. The public can find further information on smoke at,, and

Updates and information will be provided as significant changes occur. The Kiwah Fire is on Inciweb at

Visit the Salmon-Challis National Forest website:, and check out News & Events, ‘Like Us’ on, and ‘Follow Us’ on for further information.

Area Overview Map August 16

Closures — Kiwah Fire

Kiwah Fire InciWeb link:
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Rattlesnake Creek Fire

Nez Perce – Clearwater National Forests
Location West side of Highway 95 near mile marker 184; near Pollock
Cause Human
Date of Origin Monday July 23rd, 2018 approx. 12:00 PM
Current as of 8/17/2018, 8:54:45 AM
Total Personnel 375
Size 7,449 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained 31%

8/17/18 Rattlesnake Cr. Update

Rattlesnake Creek Fire Information Phone Number (208) 495-6934

Follow Emergency Evacuation Information on: Idaho County Sheriff’s Office Facebook Page or the Adams County Sheriff’s Office Facebook Page

Summary: Active fire behavior spread fire down to Pollock Lookout prompting the Adams County Sherriff’s Office to issue the Level 3 or “Go” evacuation order for the west side of Hwy 95 from mile marker 178 to 182 and the Hillman and Boulder subdivisions early Thursday afternoon. Erratic outflow winds from a passing dry thunderstorm pushed the column east, causing spotting into the Fall Creek drainage. Point protection was implemented for Hillman and Boulder. Firefighters assessed structures for necessary protection measures in neighborhoods to the south of mile marker 178. A bulldozer created contingency lines in the Elk Creek subdivision. The containment line north of the fire on White Bird Ridge was completed and tied into the shores of Rapid River.

Today, crews will finish assessments in Whitewater Wilderness Estates and scout contingency lines on the northwest side of Rapid River near Shingle Creek. Firefighters will be in place in the Hwy 95 corridor to implement point protection strategy as needed. The southern end of the fire is approaching the burn scar from the 2012 Wesley Fire as well as areas that have undergone fuel treatment in the last few years. This change in fuel type may give firefighters a chance to check the spread of the fire to the south. Resources Threatened: Private property and structures in the Pollock, Pinehurst, Hillman Basin, and Whitewater Wilderness Ranch Estates areas remain threatened, as well as threats to state and federal infrastructure (Highway 95) and natural resources.

Evacuations/Closures: Residents in Hillman Basin and Boulder as well as those on the west side of Hwy 95 from mile marker 178 to 182 are in “Go” status. Residents in the North Pollock, Elk Lake and Pinehurst areas and residents along Hwy 95 from mile marker 167 to 177 are in pre-evacuation status (“Be Set”). Smokey Boulder Road to Railroad Saddle is closed. Some road and area closures remain in effect to provide for public safety. Residents in the general vicinity should remain vigilant and refer to the Sheriff’s Office Facebook pages for any status updates. Both Idaho and Adams counties use AlertSense for emergency alerts. In Idaho County, call the Sheriff’s Department @ 208-983-1100 to enroll; in Adams County, visit to sign up. Additionally, the Nez Perce-Clearwater and Payette National Forests have area closures in effect, including portions of the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area (NRA); see and or the closures tab on Inciweb for more details.

Please observe posted speed limits along Hwy 95 adjacent to the fire and be aware of active fire traffic.

Temporary Flight Restrictions: Temporary flight restrictions (TFR) are in effect around the entire fire area. Remember, that temporary flight restrictions also apply to unmanned aircraft systems (drones), so if you fly, we can’t!

Announcements: Stage 1 Fire Restrictions are in effect; use the following link for specific restriction information . For public and firefighter safety, please adhere to all safety signage and speed reductions. Do not stop along the highway corridor near the fire. For road conditions and closures

For smoke monitoring information, see Idaho Department of Environmental Quality OR
For further information, please visit the following links:
Facebook: @RattlesnakeCreekFire

Level 3 Evacuation for section of Hwy 95, including Hillman and Boulder

As of 1400 hours on 8/16/18, Adams County Sheriff’s Office has issued the following notice: DUE TO FIRE A THREAT THE RATTLESNAKE FIRE IS NOW AT A LEVEL 3 EVACUATION (GO). FROM THE COUNTY LINE(MP/182) TO HILLMAN BASIN RD (MP/178) ON THE WEST SIDE OF THE HIGHWAY. Smokey Boulder Road to Railroad Saddle is closed. Please see Adams Co. Facebook page for more information.

8/17/18 Rattlesnake Cr. Map

Rattlesnake Creek Fire InciWeb link:
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Rabbit Foot Fire

Salmon-Challis National Forest
Date of Origin Thursday August 02nd, 2018 approx. 12:30 PM
Location 14 Nautical Miles South West of Salmon, ID
Cause Lightning/natural
Current as of 8/17/2018, 9:26:41 AM
Total Personnel 655
Size 29,075 Acres
Estimated Containment Date Wednesday October 31st, 2018 approx. 12:00 AM

August 17, 2018 Morning Update Rabbit Foot Fire

Summary: Yesterday focused on utilizing areas where roads, natural features, and changes in fuel types could be used for establishing anchor points as well as constructing indirect fire lines. The west side of the fire contingency line construction continued, with bundling of trees cut by a feller-buncher and point protection implementation. A total of more than 30 miles of existing roads have been improved using mechanized equipment. Between Panther Creek and Moyer Basin, on the northwest side of the fire, preparation continued for burning operations when conditions are favorable. Crews and dozers had also completed nearly 20 miles of indirect line in preparation for containing the approaching fire. There were technical communication issues during yesterday’s shift. Radio repeaters were temporarily down for 2 hours due to equipment failure. Firefighters disengaged from work during this time, due to safety concerns because of no communication capability. They reengaged when coverage was reestablished.

Planned Actions For Today: Today’s activities include continuing improving the dozer line, point protection, and focusing on firefighter safety. With a change in weather patterns expected today, a red flag warning has been issued for the area with dry thunderstorms and 50% chance of wetting rain. With outflow winds reaching up to 60 miles per hour; having good situational awareness will be critical to safely working in hazardous conditions. Crews will do their best to mitigate risk while these afternoon changes take place. Further preparation of the Silver Creek. road using a Feller-Buncher with a processing head will help to break down some of the heavy fuels and stack them for use. Initial attack may also increase today with dry thunderstorms. The Rabbit Foot Fire is full suppression fire. Due to its location in rugged terrain coupled with poor accessibility and hazardous burning conditions, the option of utilizing a confine and contain tactics with point protection has been implemented. This allows for the greatest safety factor for firefighters, best protection of resources at risk , and the highest probability of success.

Weather: A Fire Weather Watch will be in effect Friday, as a low pressure system moves into the area today. There will be increasing atmospheric instability, and a possibility for isolated thunderstorms with limited potential for rain and increased chances of lightning. Afternoon wind speeds are expected to be 5-10 mph, with outflow winds near thunderstorms as high as 50 mph. The air will remain very dry, with humidity in the teens and a high probability of ignition from wind-driven embers. Temperatures are predicted to be in the upper 70’s across the ridgetops while reaching the mid-80’s in the valleys.

Closures: Stage One fire restrictions remain in effect on the Salmon-Challis National Forest, Bureau of Land Management, and State lands. Fire related area closure orders remain in effect and have expanded in response to the new fire growth. For more information on fire restrictions and area closures, visit Inciweb or the Salmon-Challis Facebook page. (

Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR):Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs) for non-incident aircraft including drones will be updated to reflect fire growth on the south flank. Pilots see NOTAM #8/1105.

Evacuation Notices: The Lemhi County Sheriff’s department will continue to notify residents regarding level 1 and level 2 pre-evacuations. Please contact the Sheriff’s department for any questions related to evacuations at (208) 756-8980.

August 16 Infrared Map for Rabbit Foot Fire

August 16 Perimeter Map for Rabbit Foot Fire

Rabbit Foot Fire InciWeb link:
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Ross Fork Fire

Twitter: @BLMIdahoFire
Facebook: Idaho Fire Info
(#RossForkFire & #BLMIFDFire)

Start Date: 08/16/2018
Location and Jurisdiction: 5 miles North East of Pocatello, on Tribal Land, BIA. Next to the location of the Big Horse Fire that occurred earlier this month.
Cause: Under investigation
Fire Size: 2480 acres
Percent Contained: 50% contained, estimated containment 8/17 2200, estimated control time 8/18 2000
Fire Behavior: Running
Structures Threatened: Yes
Fuels and Terrain: Burning in grass and brush running.
Fire Crews/Resources: 9 engines, 3 dozers (70 firefighters)

Evacuations: 40 homes evacuated, closest structure to fire ¼ mile on eastern flank. Evacuations will be lifted today at 10 a.m.

Closures: All of Ross Fork road is closed and Simplot road is closed from Sands to Ross Fork

Summary: The crews finished putting dozer line around the fire last night. The firefighters finished tying in the Ross Fork Fire with the Big Horse Fire using indirect fire line.

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Idaho Fires: 11 Acres: 156,564 New: 0 Contained: 0
Chesterfield Fort Hall Agency BIA 2,380 75 5 miles northwest of Chesterfield
Copper Mountain Idaho Panhandle National Forest FS 182 25 4 miles east of Eastport 208-267-6774
Cougar Idaho Panhandle National Forest FS 3,900 25 5 miles east of East Hope 208-264-0571
Kiwah Salmon-Challis National Forest FS 15,437 0 49 miles northwest of Challis 208-756-7853
Mesa Payette National Forest FS 34,719 89 4 miles south of Council 775-403-2144
Rabbit Foot Salmon-Challis National Forest FS 26,294 0 14 miles southwest of Salmon+ 208-879-1243
Rampike Idaho Panhandle National Forest FS 1,100 0 23 miles northeast of Kellogg 208-557-8813
Rattlesnake Creek Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest FS 5,282 43 5 miles southwest of Riggins 208-495-6934
Sharps Eastern Idaho, Dept of Lands ST 64,853 90 6 miles east of Bellevue 208-731-8604
Smith Creek Idaho Panhandle National Forest FS 617 0 19 miles west of Bonners Ferry 208-557-8813
Surprise Creek Idaho Panhandle National Forest FS 1,800 0 18 miles east of Athol 208-264-0571