Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests Fire Update – July 2, 2021
KAMIAH, Idaho: July 2, 2021—Fire managers are urging the public to be cautious during the upcoming Independence Day weekend as firefighters respond to multiple small fires and smoke reports across the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests. Currently, the Grangeville Interagency Dispatch Center has helped to coordinate 72 wildfire responses and 64 smoke checks across the Dispatch Zone, which includes Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Idaho Department of Lands, and Nez Perce Tribe protection ground.
“Our capacity and capability to respond to new fire starts diminish quickly when we get widespread lightning like we have over the past couple of days,” stated Barry Ruklic, Deputy Fire Staff Officer for the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests. “We have brought in five additional crews and a couple of engines from outside of our area to help with our current fires from these storms, and finding any additional crews or engines may prove to be more difficult now that fire season is underway for our neighboring public lands as well.”
While spending time out in the forest this weekend, please recreate responsibly to ensure the safety of yourself, your family, and your local communities. The Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests are in VERY-HIGH to EXTREME fire danger which means wildfires can start easily and spread rapidly. Recent hot, dry weather has increased the potential for wildfire starts across north-central Idaho, and thunderstorm activity over the past two days has already begun to stretch Initial Attack firefighting resources thin.
Fire managers would like to again emphasize the importance of smart and responsible recreation during these periods of increased fire danger. “It’s very important to understand the potential ramifications of any accidents involving fireworks, campfires, or anything that can create a spark right now,” said Jim Wimer, Public Affairs Specialist for the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests. “The reality right now is that if we get new wildfire starts, especially near populated areas, Fire Managers will be faced with very difficult decisions on where to focus firefighting efforts and how to prioritize incident response.
“In some instances, we may be forced to pull firefighters from fires they are already on to respond to higher priority areas, such as new fires with an increased risk to life and property,” said Wimer.
The best way you can thank a firefighter this Independence Day weekend is by helping prevent human-caused wildfires. Use extreme caution with any activity that can cause a spark. Remember, fireworks are ALWAYS illegal on public lands, no matter the holiday. Many local areas have also instituted fireworks bans due to the current fire danger. If you have a campfire, make sure it is dead out before abandoning it – remember, “if it’s too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave.” We hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable Independence Day and appreciate your caution during this time of increased wildfire danger.
Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests Current Fires
by Ranger District
Salmon River Ranger District
· Sand Creek – 14 miles northeast of Riggins near Florence township
o Fire is currently 50 acres. personnel engaged in full suppression operations. Fire received light precipitation last night, ground crews are still working towards containment.
· Hungry Ridge – 12 miles Southeast of Grangeville
o 0.1 acre. Fire was met with full suppression tactics in initial response. Fire is currently staffed and contained.
Red River Ranger District
· Lost Lake –3 miles East of Sourdough Peak
o 0.1 acre. Fire managers are employing a full suppression strategy. Staffed with aviation resources only at this time due to remote location.
· Slide Creek – 4 miles East-Southeast of Red River Ranger Station
o 1 acre. Fire managers are employing a full suppression strategy. Fire is currently staffed.
· Meadow Creek – 8 miles East-Northeast of Red River Ranger Station
o 1-2 acres. Fire is currently unstaffed due to active fire behavior, remote location, and difficult access. Smokejumpers on order
Moose Creek Ranger District
· Pine Knob – Near Lodge Point off FS Road 286
o 0.1 acre. Fire managers are employing a full suppression strategy. Fire is currently staffed.
Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests fire information is available online at https://bit.ly/NPCFireInfo, on social media at www.facebook.com/NPClwNFs and www.twitter.com/NPClwNFs, on the forest’s official mobile app (search “Nez Perce Clearwater” in your app store), or by calling your local ranger station. Report all wildfires to the Grangeville Interagency Dispatch Center (208-983-6800) or call 911.