Wildfires burning in Idaho Panhandle National Forests

There were two new wildfires detected across the Coeur d’Alene Dispatch zone since last week.  They were was quickly contained and will be monitored.  Even with the cooler temperatures and possible precipitation, fuel moistures are still very dry and fire danger remains extreme.  Forest visitors are reminded to be careful while recreating and hunting. 

The North Fork Hughes Fire (Priest Lake Ranger District) is at 3,931 acres.  The fire is still backing south near Hughes Meadows. Fire behavior is low to moderate with isolated single tree and group torching.  Firefighters are staffing the 3.5 miles of sprinkler line along Hughes Fork and Jackson Creek.  Trail and area closures remain in effect.

The Buck Fire (St. Joe Ranger District) is 1,808 acres and is 15% contained.  The fire crossed a section of Forest Service Road #201.  Firefighters constructed line around that section and are mopping it up.  Crews completed burnout operations along Forest Service Road #201.  Firefighters are working hard to minimize fire spread on to private industrial timber ground. 

Both the North Fork Hughes and Buck Fires are burning in extremely steep, rugged terrain with heavy fuels and snag hazards.  Fire managers continue to employ full suppression tactics as they look for opportunities to engage the fires safely.  With the continued hot, dry weather and challenging terrain, public and firefighter safety is the top priority. 

Stage 2 fire restrictions remain in effect on all state, federal, and private forestland and rangeland in Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai, Shoshone, and Latah Counties.  This also includes public lands in Washington and Montana that are administered by the Idaho Panhandle National Forests.  

For additional information, visit http://www.idahofireinfo.com/p/fire-restrictions.html.  

For air quality information for Idaho, please visit http://www.deq.idaho.gov/air-quality/burning/current-wildfire-smoke-info/.  

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