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Idaho Fires Cause Traffic Slowdowns

Mustang burnout
The Mustang Fire burnout along US 93 Tuesday. (USFS Photo)
The Mustang Complex of forest fires on the Salmon-Challis National Forest in Idaho, south of the Bitterroot Valley, is estimated at 298,000 acres.

The fire reached the US 93 corridor and crews did “burnouts” to rob the fire of fuel ahead of the firefront. (see photo) The massive fire has active fire burning in the higher elevations, but light activity on the low areas. The fire continues to move east toward the US 93 area between Hull and Hughes Creek in Idaho.

Hughes Creek in Montana on the Bitterroot National Forest is threatened by the north part of the Mustang fire and structure protection continues. Crews also are improving roads and trails to make a continuous fire break between this year’s Chrandal Fire and the West Fork of the Bitterroot River.

Meanwhile, on the north end of the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, the Powell SBW Complex continues to burn, now estimated at 42,200 and has been turned back to local management for the remainder of the fire season. Fire traffic is still heavy on US 12, where firefighters are extinguishing any hot spots they find, especially north of the highway.

Both US 12 and US 93 remain open through those Idaho fires, though there are delays and speed limits. The public is asked to avoid unnecessary travel on US 93 by the Mustang fire due to the large amount of firefighting equipment there.

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