Fire Update Aug 20, 2018

There are NO fires currently threatening Yellow Pine.

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


Red Flag Warning Aug 20, 12pm-9pm

Red Flag Warning

National Weather Service Boise ID
156 PM MDT Sun Aug 19 2018

...An upper low will drop into the region Monday bringing
scattered to numerous thunderstorms to the Boise, Payette, and
Western portions of the Sawtooth Forests. Some of these cells
should produce wetting rains. This system is also expected to
bring strong and gusty winds across the southern portions of the
Idaho BLM lands from Boise through Twin Falls...

Western Payette National Forest-Eastern Payette National Forest-
Northern Boise National Forest-
Southern Boise National Forest/Western Sawtooth National Forest-
156 PM MDT Sun Aug 19 2018

401...402...403 AND 421...

* THUNDERSTORMS...Increasing coverage of thunderstorms expected
  through the afternoon and early evening. Some of these will
  produce wetting rains around 0.10 to 0.15 inches...mainly
  across the Frank Church Wilderness area.

* OUTFLOW WINDS...Around 30 mph.


A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions
are either occurring now, or will shortly.

Yellow Pine Forecast

Air Quality in Yellow Pine = Yellow

Air Quality Index (AQI) McCall
observed at 9:00 MDT
95 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 8-20 Thermal Map

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 8/20/2018, 7:31:43 AM
Total Personnel 10
Size 15,437 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained 1%
Estimated Containment Date Monday October 01st, 2018 approx. 12:00 AM

Kiwah Fire Update August 20, 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 minimal on all sides of the fire, with no significant growth. Fire managers continue to monitor progress on the east side of the fire by lookouts. The potential for the fire to continue to grow remains, as there are many 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 10 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.

An upper low situated to our west will create the focus for fire weather concerns today. Scattered thunderstorms will be the focus of concern across all zones particularly during the mid to late afternoon hours with gusty winds upwards of 60+mph. Improving conditions are expected late evening. Watch for quickly changing and shifting wind directions.

Nationally, there are 53 uncontained large fires in the west managed under a full suppression strategy, and 57 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 20

Point Protection Measures at Stibnite

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
Size: 7,997 acres (based on infrared data)
Containment: 28%
Total Personnel: 446

Rattlesnake Creek Fire Update – August 20

Summary: Yesterday, crews took advantage of favorable weather to work directly on the fireline along the south half of the western flank on White Bird Ridge to keep fire out of the Rapid River drainage. Firefighters scouted for line locations suitable for heavy equipment to construct perimeter line and still protect sensitive resources on the southwestern end of the fire. Firefighters finished structure assessments in Shingle Creek, Papoose, the Rapid River area, and Round Valley.

Today there is a RED FLAG WARNING for lightning. With the help of aviation resources, crews will continue to secure direct line on White Bird Ridge between Pollock Mountain and the Adams/Idaho county line as long as lightning does not threaten their exposed position. These firefighters will be “spiking out” on this remote section of line as weather allows. Heavy equipment will construct indirect fireline on the south flank east to Hwy 95, using existing roads where feasible, to limit spread potential any further south. Contingency plans for point protection will be made in Elk Lake subdivision. Higher humidity and precipitation from passing thunderstorms is expected to moderate fire behavior.

Community Meeting: Tuesday evening 6:30 pm Mountain Time. New Meadows High School. Meeting will be livestreamed on Facebook, see below.

Resources Threatened: Private property and structures in the Pollock, Pinehurst, Hillman Basin, and Elk Lake areas remain threatened, as well as state and federal infrastructure (Highway 95) and natural resources.

Evacuations/Closures: Residents in Hillman Basin and Boulder 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. 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, or Inciweb for more details.

Follow Emergency Evacuation Information on: (Adams County) or

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 and air quality information, see or AirNow
Inciweb: (maps, photos, links, etc.)
Facebook: (daily updates & video updates)

8/20/18 Rattlesnake Creek Map

Rattlesnake Creek Fire InciWeb link:

Drone, radio issues hamper Idaho firefighting efforts

Technology-based issues have caused delays in recent days for crews working two of Idaho’s wildfires.

KTVB Staff August 20, 2018

Boise – Fire managers are accustomed to dealing with outside forces creating challenges for firefighters. Usually those outside forces involve weather or difficult terrain.

But in recent days, technology-based issues have caused delays for crews working two of Idaho’s wildfires.

On Saturday, air operations for the Rattlesnake Creek Fire were shut down after a drone was seen over the fire, officials said. Helicopters had been dropping water on spot fires along the fire perimeter before being grounded due to the drone.

This was at least the second time that a drone has grounded aerial operations on the fire.

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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 8/20/2018, 9:23:00 AM
Total Personnel 620
Size 34,518 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained 3%
Estimated Containment Date Wednesday October 31st, 2018 approx. 12:00 AM

August 20, 2018 Daily Update for the Rabbit Foot Fire

Summary: Engagement of firefighters was limited yesterday due to an intermittent failure of the primary radio system. The system was tested extensively and technicians believe that the problem has been identified and solutions are being implemented. Further testing is ongoing and firefighters are expected to re-engage today. The safety of fire personnel and the public is our primary concern and communication is a cornerstone of insuring that safety.

Due to the volatility of the fuels and the difficult terrain, a full suppression strategy and indirect tactics has been implemented as the best option for successful containment and control. Strategy and tactics are under constant re-evaluation by fire and land manages to ensure the most effective and efficient actions are taken.

At this point, the majority of indirect line has been completed due to the hard work of the firefighters. An opportunity in the Van Horn creek area, allowed firefighters to move adjacent to the fireline and establish an anchor point producing a 3% containment of the fires edge. Structure protection has also been a priority with 70 sprinklers kits already deployed. Planned burnout out operations to strengthen containment lines are in place and will occur when weather conditions are favorable.

Initial attack resources are identified for rapid deployment should a new start occur in the management area. Helicopters are available for water drop missions, logistical support as well as medical assistance.

Weather: A Red Flag Warning has been issued by the National Weather Service for thunderstorms, lightning and strong outflow winds. Storms may bring up to .50 inches of rain on parts of the fire area. Temperatures will be in the mid 60’s to lower 70’s, with humidity 34-44%. Winds will be out of the north 12-18 mph with gusts to 55 mph.

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): The Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) for non-incident aircraft including drones was adjusted in order to fit the fires need and facilitate air traffic around the fire area . Pilots see NOTAM #8/1950.

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 20, 2018 Perimeter Map

Rabbit Foot Fire InciWeb link:


In the Salmon-Challis National Forest, operations on the Rabbit Foot Fire were being hampered on Sunday due to what fire managers described as “intermittent failure of the primary radio systems.”

Officials said the fire operations would remain limited until reliable ground communications are reestablished. Stressing that safety of fire personnel and the public is top priority, officials said that crews will continue to fight the fire where communications are good.

source: KTVB
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August 20, 2018

Nationally, 109 large fires have burned more than 1.9 million acres. More than 27,000 firefighters, support personnel, national guard and military soldiers are assigned to wildfires in 12 states. Evacuation orders are in effect for residents who live near 20 large fires in the West. Extreme fire behavior was reported on the Stone and Front fires in California and the South Sugarloaf and Sheep Creek fires in Nevada.

Weather: The high pressure ridge over the West will amplify north from Mexico to southern Montana where it will encounter an unusually strong back door cold front that will be producing a strong northeasterly pressure gradient over the western half of Montana, northern Idaho, and northern Washington. The pressure gradient will create pockets of critical fire weather conditions, especially across northern Washington where afternoon humidities will be quite lower. Across western Washington and Oregon, a weak low pressure area in the middle levels of the atmosphere will move in-shore and inland. This will trigger isolated convection along and east of the Cascade Crest. Some storms will be dry. The greatest concentration of storms (widely scattered) will be over western Montana, where they will be overall wet. Across the Great Plains, a strong area of low pressure will bring cooler temperatures to the region. In the East, scattered showers will be possible across Virginia and North Carolina. The remainder of the East should be dry.

Idaho Fires: 11 Acres: 169,707 New: 0 Contained: 2
Artesian Jefferson County CNTY 1,000 40 4 miles north of Roberts
Copper Mountain Idaho Panhandle National Forest FS 240 25 4 miles east of Eastport 208-267-5561
Cougar Idaho Panhandle National Forest FS 5,524 31 5 miles east of East Hope 208-265-8058
Kiwah Salmon-Challis National Forest FS 15,437 1 49 miles northwest of Challis 208-756-7853
Mesa Payette National Forest FS 34,719 91 4 miles south of Council 208-634-0820
Rabbit Foot Salmon-Challis National Forest FS 34,512 3 14 miles southwest of Salmon+ 208-879-1243
Rampike Idaho Panhandle National Forest FS 2,000 0 23 miles northeast of Kellogg 208-557-8813
Rattlesnake Creek Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest FS 7,997 28 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 870 0 19 miles west of Bonners Ferry 208-267-5561
Surprise Creek Idaho Panhandle National Forest FS 2,555 19 18 miles east of Athol 208-265-8058
Barney Idaho Falls District BLM 605 100 41 miles southeast of Challis
North Wendell Gooding County CNTY 2,274 100 5 miles north of Wendell