KAMIAH— Fire season is officially underway on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest. The hillsides around North-central Idaho’s river canyons are beginning to take on their annual brown and gold hues as summer winds and warmer weather begin to extract the moisture from the abundant grass that our spring rains helped produce.
“We are expecting fire activity to pick up now, especially in the lower elevations where the grasses are curing out” stated Kevin Pfister, Fire Staff Officer for the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests. “It is still wetter and greener than average at our higher elevations, but normal summer drying will lead to a slow and steady increase of fire potential in those areas as well”
Most areas on the Nez Perce-Clearwater are currently sitting at a fire danger rating of MODERATE, but that will most likely continue to trend towards the upper end of the spectrum from now until Fall.
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A small fire was detected by Pilot Knob Lookout on the Red River Ranger District yesterday afternoon after recent lightning activity. The Morgan fire is currently about 3 acres in size and located in the Gospel Hump Wilderness approximately 8 miles west of the community of Orogrande. Local fire managers are employing a full suppression strategy due to the potential long-term impacts to the community of Orogrande and safety considerations for firefighting personnel.
Twelve smokejumpers from the Grangeville Air Center and a compliment of ariel firefighting resources fully engaged in initial attack of the Morgan Fire yesterday afternoon and will continue suppression operations today. There are currently no flight or area restrictions in place, but please be aware of and stay clear of all firefighting operations both on the ground and in the air.
Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests fire information is available online at https://bit.ly/NPCFireInfo, on social media at www.facebook.com/NPClwNFs and www.twitter.com/NPClwNFs, on the forest’s official mobile app (search “Nez Perce Clearwater” in your app store), or by calling your local ranger station. Report all wildfires to the Grangeville Interagency Dispatch Center (208-983-6800) or call 911.