Gold Pan Fire is Over 11,000 Acres – Moose Meadows is over 2,200
The Gold Pan forest fire, on the West Fork Ranger District of the Bitterroot National Forest, was estimated at over 11,628 acres Monday morning.
The Magruder Road is closed from Nez Perce Pass to Observation Pass in Idaho.
The fire in the Frank Church Wilderness moved onto Pasture Ridge east of the historic Magruder Ranger Station and to Horsejaw Mountain, burning in extremely steep terrain, according to Public Information Officer Glenda Scott.
The fire has moved toward Deep Creek and is expected to continue moving north and northeast. A helicopter has been assigned to drop water where it’s needed.
With the potential for the fire to move east out of the wilderness, a Type 1 Management Team will take over operations on Wednesday.
Meanhwile, east of the Bitterroot Valley, the Moose Meadows Fire is now estimated at over 2,200 acres and the fire grew to the east, because of prevailing wind.
Evacuations were ordered for the area south of the junction of Forest Service Road 5130 and the Middle Fork Road southeast of Philipsburg. There are over 400 people at the Moose Meadows Fire and fireline construction has been mainly on the northwest and southwest sections.
Smoke in the Bitterroot Valley has been coming from the Gold Pan Fire and, in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, the California Point Fire. It started in a large portion of beetle-killed timber and has grown to over 4,000 acres, according to officials on the Nez Perce National Forest. It has remained well within the wildnerness boundaries and is the only major fire pumping smoke into the valley in that general area.