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Bitterroot and Idaho Get Rain and Snow

canyon creek
October 16, fresh snow up Canyon Creek in the Bitterroot Mountains. (KLYQ Photo)
The rains came…and so did the snow.

The weather systems from the Pacific Coast finally began arriving over the weekend in Idaho and Montana, bringing rain to the valleys and snow to higher elevations. That has brought some good news to firefighters and residents, who have been struggling with fire and smoke for months.

On the Bitterroot National Forest, the Rock Creek Trail west of Lake Como up to Elk Lake has been reopened. That was near the Moe Fire, which crossed over from Idaho late in the fire season.

However, the Sawtooth Creek Trail, closed during the Sawtooth Fire, remains closed due to falling snags and rolling rocks and debris from burned areas.

In Idaho, all the evacuation alerts have been lifted from the Dixie area at the McGuire Complex. The Porcupine Fire in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness has some active spots, but the Magruder Road is open. There is a cautionary note, though. The wind that is accompanying the rain is blowing down dead and burned trees, blocking the road at times. And, the Magruder Road is always closed during the winter with snowfall. So, check with the Forest Service before heading out on that road.

The Stage 1 Fire Restrictions in Central Idaho have been lifted, as of Tuesday morning. That includes Clearwater National Forest, Idaho Department of Lands and Bureau of Land Management areas outside of incorporated towns in Nez Perce, Clearwater and Lewis Counties, and Clearwater National Forest land in Latah County.

As you might expect, the air quality at the Ravalli County Courthouse monitor is “good.”

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