MCCALL – The U.S. Forest Service Nez Perce-Clearwater and Payette National Forests have reported the Elkhorn Fire is currently at 25,961 acres and is 36% contained. A weak cold front swept through Central Idaho today bringing a slight increase in cloud cover with winds out of the northwest in the Salmon River corridor. Temperatures are forecasted to increase with lower relative humidity (RH). This will cause the fire to burn more readily where there are heat signatures on the landscape.
Wildland firefighters will continue containment efforts along the southwest flank of the fire in the Whitewater Wilderness Ranch area and will continue to protect the inholdings along the Salmon River corridor. Crews are also working near Mallard Creek, Cook Ranch, and the community of Dixie, building an indirect line along the 9550A road through Trapper’s Creek up to where the road turns into the 9560 road, continuing north to Magruder Road.
Two Heavy Equipment task forces on the north side of the fire continue to construct fuel breaks from the 9505 road to Magruder Road, where the indirect line will then follow the 505 UTV trail, tying into the Shissler fire scar from 2020.
With the forecasted rise in temperatures and drop in RH, rafters can expect to see an increase in smoke in the Salmon River basin. The daily air quality reports will be available through the Elkhorn Fire information page at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident-information/idpaf-elkhorn-fire.
The U.S. Forest Service Nez Perce-Clearwater and Payette National Forests issued the Elkhorn fire area, roads, and trails closure order #01-17-05-23-003, https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/nezperceclearwater/alerts-notices/?aid=82169. The closure area spans both sides of the Salmon River but excludes the Salmon River Wild and Scenic Corridor below the high-water line.
Boaters are required to stop at Hancock Campsite at river mile 26.1 to receive further instruction from either a Forest Service representative or the posted information board regarding passing through and camping in the area of the Elkhorn fire. Camping, recreating (i.e., picnic, bathroom breaks, and beach walking), and stopping through the area of fire activity is allowed. Upon leaving Hancock Camp there will be no stopping until boaters pass Magpie Creek Camp. After passing Magpie Creek Camp, boaters will be allowed to camp and recreate on a First Come, First Served basis everywhere except Upper Allison, Allison, Lower Allison, Whitewater Camp, Campbell’s Ferry, and China Bar. Upon leaving China Bar, there are no camping restrictions connected to the Elkhorn Fire. For additional information on rafting, contact the river desk at 208-756-5587 or 208-481-2625.
A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is in place. All aircraft (including drones) not assigned to the fire are required to remain out of the TFR area.