Snake River Complex (Waha Fires) Update
Marisa Lloyd

Snake River Complex (Waha Fires) Update

Idaho Department of Lands

Snake River Complex Fire is 20 miles south of Lewiston Idaho and has burned about 77,964 acres. The fire is currently at 0% containment. 

Type 2 Northern Rockies Incident Management Team 4 is in command of the fire, and there is about 170 emergency responders at the scene. 


Current Status:

Additional fire resources continue to arrive on the Snake River Complex. The main fire merged with the Hoover Ridge fire on the south end and continues to move south to the Salmon River confluence and to the northwest within the interior drainages/slopes.

Fire resources continue to burn off the dozer line southeast of the Waha area and are moving south keeping up with the fire’s progression. Helicopters and air tankers flew yesterday to support firefighters on the ground, especially in the northern part of the fire. Night operations continue to provide structure protection in the Waha and Redbird areas, along with burning and holding along the dozer line moving south. A Forward Operating Base (FOB) has been established in the Forest Area. The FOB is an expanded spike camp to minimize the fire resources travel time and to support them with logical needs.


Planned Actions:

The north end of the fire near Waha remains the highest priority. Firefighters and heavy equipment will continue to construct indirect fire line and burn off dozer lines when conditions allow in Madden Creek moving south to protect values at risk including primary structures and infrastructure around the Waha Lake and Red Bird Road. Fire resources are completing indirect line to the north in the Craig Mountain area and continue to secure the northeast corner down to the Salmon River.

Firefighters are still using point protection strategy to burn around values at risk along with the Salmon and Snake Rivers. Hot and dry weather continues today with a northwest wind. With the dry vegetation, the fire is expected to be active in drainages and on steep slopes and could intensify if the smoke lifts.


River Recreation:

To facilitate safe air operations, please avoid the Lower Snake River between Heller Bar and Sandal Gulch. If you are on the river, it is advised to take out at Heller Bar to allow aircraft to work safely. Please do not disrupt the aircraft operation and avoid upstream jetboat travel into the area.


Evacuations and Closures:

Evacuation orders have been issued for homes along the Snake River and for residents on Zaza road north of Soldier Meadow and west of Waha road, including Redbird and Waha Lake, as well as for residents of the Deer Creek area, the community of Forest, and north of Hoover Ridge. The Red Cross has a shelter at the Echo Hills Church in Lewiston, ID. Sign up for alerts at:


Road access is restricted to residents only on Zaza Road at Deer Creek and from Redbird road South in Nez Perce County and Deer Creek road to Soldier Meadow in Lewis County. If you do not live in the evacuated areas, please keep the roadways cleared for emergency personnel and essential traffic. Current evacuation and closure information is on Lewis and Nez Perce County Sheriff’s Offices webpages.


Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR):

There is a TFR in place for air space over the Snake River Complex (1-6770) to lesson impacts to local aviation operators. Remember that temporary flight restrictions also apply to unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) or drones. If you fly, we can’t!


Cooperating Agencies: Idaho Dept of Lands, BLM, Idaho Dept of Fish & Game, Nez Perce County, Lewis County, Nez Perce Tribe, USFS, Winchester Volunteer Fire Department.

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