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Dry Conditions Continue to Fuel Midnight Fire

Release from Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest Salmon River Ranger District

The lightning-caused Midnight Fire, which started July 10, continues to burn near Forest Service Road (FSR) #284 (Elk City Wagon Road) 1 mile east of China Point, 3 miles Northwest of Pilot Knob near Mountain House Site. It is estimated to have consumed at least 179 acres and is approximately 25% contained. 

Dry conditions continue over the fire area. The Midnight Fire is being managed using a two-prong approach with some of the resources continuing to expand the existing holding lines while other resources are working on a contingency plan.

Two crews and an engine will continue to construct direct fire line to hold and secure the fire within its existing footprint.  The remaining fire personnel will continue to improve contingency lines which include enhancing existing roads and trails. A variety of factors are considered when determining appropriate tactics and strategies, such as providing for firefighter and public safety, weather, fire behavior models, availability of resources, and more. There are currently 187 personnel, two engines, one helicopter, four water tenders, and three crews working the fire.

Today’s weather is expected to be like yesterday’s. Winds will increase in the late morning and afternoon hours. Due to the higher temperatures and low relative humidity, live fuel moistures are lower than average for this time of year the potential for fire activity will continue to increase into the future.

 Air quality information: AirNow Interactive Map (


There are currently no closures in place, but firefighting traffic is expected to be heavy along FSR # 244 (Lighting Creek Road) and FSR# 284 (Elk City Wagon Road) between China Point and Lytle Cow Camp. Forests users are encouraged to slow down and use extra caution while with heavy fire traffic and dust on roads.  Fire Management Officials urge the traveling public to please avoid this area both on the ground and in the air. There is a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) in place over the Midnight Fire area for the safety of the aviation resources on scene. We still have a long fire season ahead, please recreate responsibly.