Printed on: July 24, 2013

Lodgepole Fire continues to burn; road and trail closures issued


POST REGISTER

Despite aggressive firefighting tactics, the Lodgepole Fire had burned an estimated 5,035 acres Tuesday night, the U.S. Forest Service reported.

The fire was burning in lodgepole pile and Douglas fir.

"Observed fire behavior is running, torching and spotting," forest officials said.

An evacuation order for Mosquito Flat Campground and surrounding areas was issued Saturday in coordination with the Custer County Sheriff''s Office. As of Tuesday night, road guards were stationed at Forest Service Road No. 86, where Bear Creek meets with Challis Creek Road, as well as Jeff Flats Road, where it intersects with Pine Summit Road. Other road and trail closures include Forest Road No. 86, Sleeping Deer Road, Forest Trail No. 4114, and Forest Trail No. 4147.

A Type 2 Team was ordered and took over management of the fire at approximately 6 a.m. Monday.

The cause of the fire, which was detected around noon Saturday, remains under investigation. Aerial water drops in support of hand crews and engines were expected to continue. Firefighters were searching for areas where containment lines might be established.

A total of 273 personnel have been assigned to the fire, which is burning 10 miles west of Challis.

A public meeting about the fire is scheduled at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the Challis Middle School auditorium.

The Papoose Fire, also burning in the Salmon-Challis National Forest, remained active Tuesday. The fire has consumed an estimated 7,771 acres of brush, grass and timber in largely inaccessible terrain above the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. Smoke from the fire, burning about 40 air miles west of Salmon, has been drifting into the city.

A number of closures also have been issued in the fire area. For details, visit tinyurl.com/PapooseClosures.

A total of 40 personnel are assigned to the fire.

The 50-acre Bradley Fire, burning about 15 miles northwest of Stanley, was reported 10 percent contained Tuesday night. It was burning primarily in lodgepole pine fuels adjacent to the Bradley Scout Camp. The fire forced the evacuation of the Scout camp, as well as other nearby campgrounds, Saturday evening.

A total of 13 personnel are assigned to the fire. Additionally, a fire closure order went into effect Tuesday. For details on the affected area visit www.inciweb.org/incident/3536/

Idaho Fish and Game employees and local firefighters were able to fend off a wildfire in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area on Monday evening that threatened Sawtooth Fish Hatchery near Stanley.

As the fire approached the staff dormitory, hatchery crews and firefighters mobilized to protect the dormitory, using a trash pump to water down the area. The fire moved past the dormitory, burning a stand of trees between the dorm and the nearest residences, according to a news release. Brent Snider, hatchery manager, said the fire burned some informational signs and about 400 feet of fence, but no hatchery structures were damaged, the news release said.