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Idaho Wilderness Fire Gets Larger and Smokier

fern fire
Fern Forest Fire on Sunday Aug. 5. (Mike Goicoecha Photo)
The Powell SBW East Complex forest fire contains the Fern and Hidden Fires in the Selway Bitterroot Wilderness (SBW).

The fire started in the lightning storms the weekend of July 29th and has grown this past weekend to over 650 acres.

The forest fire is inside the wilderness boundary and is being monitored on a daily basis. A nearby pack bridge – the Colt Killed pack bridge – has been wrapped in protective material in case the fire advances that far. So far that’s the only structure threatened.

The fire put up a column of smoke Saturday and Sunday, visible from throughout the Bitterroot Valley as the hot and dry conditions caused the fire to grow.

Meanwhile, on the Bitterroot National Forest, the Chrandal Fire is still not completely contained, but it is not expected to grow. Some interior burning is expected, and the fire, south of Painted Rocks Reservior, is 90 percent contained.

The Salamander Fire in the Selway Bitterroot Wilderness, about 2 miles from Salmon Mountain Lookout, is now over 340 acres because of the hot, dry conditions. It is being monitored daily.

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