Goat Fire forces closure of Horse Heaven trail

Officials with the Salmon‐Challis National Forest today announced the closure of the Horse Heaven Wilderness Trail on the North Fork Ranger District.

The closure was prompted by the 430-acre Goat Fire, which was burning about two miles from the mouth of the Middle Fork of the Salmon River this afternoon. A news release described the lightning-caused fire’s growth as “minimal” during the last two days — expanding by approximately 64 acres in that time. The fire was detected Aug. 1.

“Weather conditions have been somewhat favorable in limiting fire growth. Though limited precipitation has occurred over the fire area, cloud cover and higher humidity has helped to moderate fire behavior and growth,” the release said.

Officials reported that smoke and flames may be visible from the lower end of the Middle Fork and along the Main Salmon River. Salmon‐Challis National Forest fire managers expect the fire to continue to burn throughout the summer or until a significant weather event occurs.

Earlier today, closure signs were posted on the Horse Heaven trail.

“These closures are necessary to provide forest visitors protection from the current safety hazards associated with the Goat Fire. More closures may be necessary based on fire activity and firefighting operations,” the release said.

Closure of Horse Heaven (Forest Trail No. 6172) begins at the junction with Forest Trail No. 6021 near Dome Mountain and heads northwest to the end of the trail

near Horse Heaven VAMB (No. 8086) and continues on undesignated trail north to the Salmon River.

For closure maps, fire updates and photos, visit inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4056/