July 28, 2021—“Where is all the smoke coming from?” and “When will the smoke go away?” are two common questions being asked by concerned citizens.
“The answers are complicated,” said Deputy Forest Supervisor Martin Mitzkus. “On any given day the smoke can be from local fires or it can come from as far away as California, Oregon, Washington, or British Columbia. There is usually no one single source—it is cumulative.”
Mitzkus said it doesn’t appear there will be any relief from the smoke soon. “We are in this for the long haul. There will be good days and bad days depending upon fire activity and wind patterns. In all likelihood the smoke likely won’t subside until there is significant change in the weather.”
Individuals interested in smoke and smoke patterns can visit the State’s website www.deq.idaho.gov/air-quality/smoke-and-burning/wildfire-smoke/ for daily smoke reports. It includes satellite imagery that displays the movement of smoke throughout the western United States.
Individuals with respiratory issues may want to visit websites for the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (www.healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/health-wellness/environmental-health/wildfire-smoke) and/or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov/air/wildfire-smoke/default.htm) for helpful information about ways individuals can protect themselves from smoke.
Meanwhile, firefighters continue to stand ready for initial attack. No new fires were detected yesterday. The Forest is managing 38 active fires; six are contained, 22 are in extended attack and ten are being evaluated for further action.
The Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests issued trail closures for the Lochsa-Powell Ranger District, Order # 01-17-55-21-015. The Rock Creek Trail #2210, Greenside Butte Trail #222 and Surprise Peak Trail #219 are closed due to their proximity to the Greenside Butte Fire. The purpose of the trail closure is to provide for public and firefighter safety. Forest road, trail and area closures can be found on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests website.
The Storm Creek Fire is located nine miles southeast of Powell, Idaho. The Storm Creek Fire was last measured at 9,596 acres. No acreage update is available because of no new infrared. Fire mangers are looking for opportunities to build a handline near a Whitebark Pine Plantation along Beaver Ridge, near the intersection of Forest Roads 368 and 369. The fire is approximately four miles west of the Bitterroot National Forest and reconnaissance is occurring to identify where firefighters can engage, keeping the Storm Creek Fire from crossing the Bitterroot Crest. Currently, 50 percent of the fire continues to burn through old burn scars.
Smoke from the Storm Creek Fire is combining with smoke from other area fires and is visible in the Bitterroot Valley.
The Bar Creek Fire located east of North Fork Road (Forest Road 247) and north of Bar Creek was 808 acres at last report on July 24, 2021. Yesterday, thick smoke in drainages made it difficult to see the fire. Personnel plan to hike to the fire today to gather information about the fire’s progress. The Lonesome Fire located south of Forest Road 500 is last measured at 284 acres on July 24, 2021. No new information is available about the 23 Backcountry Fires today. Updates will be shared as soon as they become available.
For more information about the Storm Theatre Complex:
• Fire Information Phone Number: 208-494-1661
• Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Inciweb Page: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7724
The Lynx Fire is estimated at 650 acres and located 23 miles east of Elk City, Idaho. The fire area received a localized, light trace of precipitation yesterday. Firefighters continue to ensure installed structure protection equipment is operational should it be needed.
A Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests Type 3 Incident Management Team is managing the Dixie and the Jumbo Fires. The fires are located approximately 40 miles southeast of Grangeville and 15 miles south of Elk City, Idaho, near the communities of Comstock and Dixie. For more information about the Dixie-Jumbo Fire:
• Fire Information Phone Number: 208-207-7417
• Email Address: email@example.com
• InciWeb Page: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7608
• Facebook Page: @DixieJumboFire
Closure Orders #01-17-05-21-002 and #01-17-05-21-003 are in effect for fires on the Red River Ranger District.
The Snow Creek Fire is managed by a Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests Type 3 Incident Management Team. The fire is located 15 miles east-northeast of Kamiah, Idaho, and estimated at 900 acres. Firefighters continue to hold and improve containment lines on the west and south sides of the fire, as well as working to improve containment lines on the north, while holding strategic firing operations. Good progress is being made on all containment lines and fire managers anticipate a potential transition down to a local Type 4 organization by the end of the week.
Closure Orders #01-17-55-21-003, #01-17-55-21-005, #01-17-55-21-008, and #01-17-55-21-011 are in effect for fires on the Lochsa Ranger District.
The Storm Creek Fire is being managed under the Storm Theatre Complex, please see above for information.
The Saddle Camp Fire is approximately 155 acres and is located 20 miles west of Powell, Idaho. Acreage has been adjusted to reflect more accurate mapping. Ground resources are scouting roads for potential containment opportunities as well as any point protection needs.
The Army Mule (2,500 acres) and Prophyry Fires (100 acres) are burning in wilderness areas. These fires are being evaluated for further action and are unstaffed due to resources being assigned to fires where there are higher values at risk.
The BM Hill, Shotgun, and Boulder Creek Fires are managed under the Granite Pass Complex. For more information on the Granite Pass Complex:
• Fire Information Phone: 406-624-9176
• Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• InciWeb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7653/
• Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GranitePassComplex
Closure Orders #01-17-55-21-007, #01-17-55-21-013, and #01-17-55-21-014 are in effect for the Powell Ranger District.
The Independence 1 Fire is approximately 18 acres and located 30 miles southwest of Superior, Montana. Local firefighters continue to secure containment lines and mop-up the perimeter.
The Owl (290 acres) and Washington Creek 1 & 2 (4 acres) fires are being managed under a local Type 4 organization. Resources are currently engaged in operations to improve existing containment lines and minimize impacts to Forest Road 246.
The Butte Creek and Benton Ridge Fires located on Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests lands are part of the Cougar Rock Complex. As of this morning at 6 a.m., a Great Basin Type 2 (Team 3) assumed command from the Northern Rockies Type 2 (Team 6). Previous reports identified the Thompson Point and Thompson Creek Fires, which is no longer accurate due to several fires in the area merging together. For more fire information associated with the Cougar Rock Complex:
• Phone: 208-494-1943
• Email: 2021.CougarRock@firenet.gov
• InciWeb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7640/
• YouTube: https://rb.gy/f85ppo
Closure Order #01-17-53-21-002 is in effect for fires on the North Fork Ranger District.
The Leland Complex includes the Sand Mountain, Johnson Creek, Pine Creek and Bonami Fires. The complex is currently being managed by the Eastern Area (Gold) Type 2 Interagency Management Team. The Gold team will be transitioning command to the North Idaho Type 3 Team (McManus) on July 29.
For more information on the Leland Complex:
• Phone: 208-510-8551
• Email: email@example.com
• InciWeb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7644/
• Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IdahoDepartmentofLands/
Closure Order #01-17-52-21-001, #01-17-52-21-002, #01-17-52-21-003, and #01-17-52-21-004 are in effect for fires on the Palouse Ranger District.
The Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests Fire Information hotline is 208-494-1661. This line will be staffed from 8:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. daily for general forest closure questions and general fire information questions. More specific question on fires managed by the incident management teams will be directed to call that specific fire’s information number. The public may also call their local district ranger’s office for closure information.
Official forest closure orders are in effect for multiple fires. Please refer to the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests’ website for the Stage II Fire Restrictions and official closure orders: http://www.fs.gov/alerts/nezperceclearwater/alerts-notices.
Temporary flight restrictions are in place over fire areas for the safety of the public and aerial firefighting resources. These restrictions also apply to unmanned aircraft systems (drones). Remember; “if you fly, we can’t.”
Please continue to check for updated information on emerging fires on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests website (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.