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‘Don’t stop!’ Johnson Bar Fire Officials Warn Highway 12 Motorists

johnson bar smoke
Smoke from the Johnson Bar Fire. (USFS Photo)
Highway 12 between Montana and Idaho passes near the Johnson Bar forest fire, and motorists are stopping on the shoulder to take photos – against the firefighters’ wishes.

Fire officials are reminding motorists that while the highway remains open to travel, drivers should keep moving through the area and not stop. The Idaho Department of Transportation is trying to keep the highway clear for firefighter traffic and possible evacuation traffic.

There is a stage 2 evacuation notice for residents along Highway 12 from Syringa to five miles east of Lowell. The Selway River road is closed at the intersection with Highway 12 and a number of campgrounds and forest roads along the highway are closed until further notice. That includes the Johnson Bar, Wild Goose and O’Hara campgrounds.

The 7,000 acre Johnson Bar Fire started by a lightning strike and about 650 people are fighting the fire.

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