North Idaho wildfire update

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Aug. 21 image shows smoke and fire detections in British Columbia, Washington, and northern Idaho. The red spots are wildfires as detected from thermal sensing equipment on the satellite. Photo source: https://worldview.earthdata.nasa.gov

There was one new fire located on the Bonners Ferry Ranger District as of Aug. 21, potentially human caused.

Stage I Fire Restrictions: http://www.idahofireinfo.com

Forest Closures: www.fs.fed.us/ipnf

Inciweb: Five wildfires burning on IPNF lands have active Inciweb pages providing detailed information: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov

Smoke Dispersion: Unhealthy air continues across north Idaho. Some improvement will be possible through Tuesday potentially allowing the air quality to oscillate between unhealthy and moderate.

The Surprise Creek Fire was active Tuesday. Crews are working on completing the line down the Bunco Road #332. Safety concerns with snags, egress/ingress and access. Additional information is available on InciWeb.

The Cougar Fire was fairly active Tuesday with the wind event. With the smoke lifting, a column may be visible today. Safety concerns with snags, egress/ingress and access. Additional information is available on InciWeb.

The Rampike Fire did experience increased fire behavior with spotting driven by Monday’s predicted winds. Crews are placing pumps into the Clinton Creek drainage for the spot fire. Indirect line was completed from Ulm Peak to the 412 road. An area closure is in place on the Idaho Panhandle and Kootenai NF. Additional information is available on InciWeb.

The Smith Creek Fire also grew because of Tuesday’s winds. It pushed to the north and into heavier fuels. The fire is creeping slowly down in Bear and Smith Creeks. A helicopter will be conducting water drops.

Priest Lake Ranger District had been managing three small wildfires: Divide, Hungry and Mush. All three are now contained and in patrol status. Resource are being diverted to the Surprise Creek and the newly discovered Wisdom fire on the St Joe Ranger District.

Fire Behavior was moderate yesterday with creeping slowly along the ground in the lower elevations and in narrow canyons. Wind impacts on the ridges.

Uncontained Wildfires by Name and (RD) and Approximate Acreage:

Rampike (Coeur d’Alene River) 2,400 acres

Surprise Creek (Coeur d’Alene River) 2,300 Acres

Snow Peak (St. Joe) 42 acres

Cougar (Sandpoint) 5,800 acres

Copper Mtn. (Bonners Ferry) 260 acres

Smith Creek (Bonners Ferry) 903 acres

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