Printed on: July 26, 2013

Fire activity reported as 'limited' Thursday


Activity on the Papoose Fire was limited Thursday, with an estimated gain of about 200 acres, U.S. Forest Service officials reported.

The 9,200-acre fire is burning grass, brush and small stands of timber above the Middle Fork Salmon River in the Salmon-Challis National Forest, about 40 air miles west of Salmon.

Isolated thunderstorms swept over the fire area Thursday but brought little rain. That same weather pattern, accompanied by gusty winds, was expected to continue today, according to a Forest Service news release.

Activity on the Lodgepole Fire, located about 10 miles west of Challis, also was limited. That fire has burned an estimated 5,920 acres.

"Observed fire behavior included active surface fire with crown runs, spotting and group tree torching," a Forest Service news release said. "Crews were able to make valuable progress prepping contingency lines. Burnout operations were initiated Wednesday."

Water drops by helicopters once again were expected to be employed Thursday in support of firefighters and engine crews on the ground.

With traffic increasing on Challis Creek Road, Garden Creek Road and Clinic Road, as well as throughout the community of Challis, because of fire suppression efforts, Forest Service officials asked motorists to use caution when traveling through the area. A total of 560 personnel were assigned to the fire as of Thursday night.

Finally, access to Redfish Lake and Redfish Lake Lodge, as well as the Redfish campgrounds and day-use areas, was reopened Thursday.

All were closed after the 210 Road Fire was detected Monday. The fire, burning 5 miles south of Stanley along Highway 75 near Redfish Lake Road, was reported 95 percent contained. It had burned an estimated 230 acres.

Firefighters remain on scene, however, and authorities asked visitors to exercise caution when entering the Redfish complex.