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Gold Pan Fire Moves Closer to Magruder Road in Wilderness

Gold Pan Fire
The Gold Pan Fire smoke plume from Hells Half Acre Lookout. (USFS Photo)
The Gold Pan wilderness fire is now over 3,000 acres in size and is only a quarter mile from the Magruder Corridor road between the Frank Church and the Selway Bitterroot Wilderness areas.

Tod McKay of the Bitterroot National Forest said the lightning-caused fire in the West Fork Ranger District has grown on the southwest corner and on the east side in lower Gold Pan Creek and Landon Gulch.

The fire has caused an outfitter to move stock and some equipment from a nearby base camp, and fire crews have installed sprinklers around Kim Creek Saddle to slow the fire as it moves toward the Magruder road.

The Magruder Road will be closed at times this week, while crews replace culverts in the Salmon Mountain Base Camp area. Future delays and closures are possible, due to the fire.

Meanwhile, the fire danger on the Bitterroot National Forest has been raised from “High” to “Very High,” according to McKay. Officials are again reminding forest users to be very careful with fire and make sure campfires are completely out before leaving a campsite.

Elsewhere, the 6,300 acre West Mullan Fire near Superior is 60 percent contained. On the Salmon-Challis National Forest, the Papoose fire is over 7,500 acres and the Lodge Pole Fire near Challis is at 5,000 acres. Heavy smoke is becoming a problem in the Salmon and Challis areas.

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