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Montana and Idaho Forest Fires – Updated Wednesday Morning July 17

helicopter at Rough Creek Fire
A helicopter dropping water on the edge of the Rough Creek Fire in Idaho. (USFS Photo)
The weather is playing a big role in Idaho forest fires this week. thunderstorms rolled through the area Tuesday and are predicted again Wednesday.

On the 4,700-acre Papoose fire above the Middle Fork of the Salmon River, rolling rocks and logs down toward the river are a concern, along with some flash flooding in areas of the Salmon-Challis National Forest that were burned in last year’s massive fire season.

If you are heading up the Salmon River, please check in with forest service personnel to make sure your favorite campground or pullout area along the river is open.

The Rough Creek Fire, over by Riggins, Idaho, is now 60 percent contained and is over 2,600 acres in size. About 250 people are on the firelines there and structure protection is in place for 5 homes and a commercial property.

There were a number of lightning-caused fires throughout the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests that were all less than 10 acres in size, according to a Tuesday Clear/Nez Fire Zone news release.

In Montana, the West Mullan Fire has caused evacuations of 30 homes, but good progress has been reported on fire lines on the south and western sides of the 1,800 acre forest fire.

A portion of the Clark Fork River has been closed to let helicopters dip their water buckets in the river. The portion closed is between Big Eddy Fishing Access and Dry Creek Fishing Access.

Remember, that Ravalli County and Missoula County no longer allow open burning of slash, land clearing or debris for the rest of the fire season.

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