Forest Fires Grow in Hot Weather
The Bitterroot National Forest is monitoring the Salamander forest fire, in the Selway Bitterroot Wilderness.
The fire, in the West Fork Ranger District, has gained more acreage with the hot, dry weather and is now estimated to be 370 acres.
The fire is not threatening structures, and officials believe that fire scars from 1998, 2000 and 2009 blazes will limit how far the fire will spread.
The fire is about a one and a quarter miles from the Magruder Road Corridor. That road remains open. The fire is predicted to move to the south along Salamander Ridge and trail 27. The fire is also moving downhill to the north.
Good news for the firefighters at the Chrandal Creek Fire. It is considered 100 percent contained and more personnel will be released from the firelines. Its total acreage is 2,562 acres.
The fire camp at the West Fork Ranger Station will be dismantled this week and all trail and road closures are lifted. The fire will be monitored daily by air patrol.
To the west of the Bitterroot Valley, the Powell Selway-Bitterroot-Wilderness East Complex has now burned at least 657 acres, mainly by the Fern Fire. The other fire in the complex is the small Hidden Fire.
Both fires are in the wilderness about 37 miles southwest of Lolo. Smoke has been coming into the valley from the blazes.
There are three partial trail closures in the area in Idaho – Trails 70, 903 and 50. Road 359 is closed from the junction with Savage Pass Road 360 to Colt Killed Trailhead.
According to a release from the Clear/Nez Fire Zone, the fire is expected to grow with humidities below 20 percent.