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Papoose Forest Fire Grows Larger West of Salmon Idaho

papoose fire
An early photo of the Papoose Forest Fire in Idaho. (USFS Photo)
The Papoose Fire is now estimated at 2,800 acres in stepp, rough terrain about 40 miles west of Salmon, Idaho.

The fire started during a lightning storm July 8 and a helicopter rapeller crew could not contain the fire because of steep slopes. The fire is burning in grass, brush and timber above the Salmon River.

The Papoose Fire could affect floaters on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. Heavy helicopters are now dumping water on hotspots. Those planning to recreate on the Middle Fork of the Salmon should check with forest officials as to which campsites might be closed.

The weather has been hot and dry with temperatures between 80 and 90 and humidity down in the teens – 11 to 16 percent.

The fire is being managed by the Salmon-Challis National Forest, with Incident Commander Tim Metzger’s team on the scene as of Friday, July 12.

Also in Idaho, the 650 acre Rough Creek Fire is burning in the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests. The fire was also caused by lightning and is six miles east of Riggins, Idaho, on the Salmon River Ranger District.

There is a closure of a broad area east and north of Riggins, according to Laura Smith’s news release from the forest. However, the Salmon River Road and Grangeville-Salmon Road 221 will not be affected by the fire.

Fire engines are in place to protect buildings along Allison Creek. A Type 2 Northern Rockies Incident Management Team took over the fire Monday morning.

And in Montana, the West Mullan Fire two miles northwest of Superior spread uphill from Interstate 90 and is now at least 150 acres in size. Boyd Hartwig of the Lolo National Forest reported a single engine air tanker will be joined by two more tankers and two helicopters Monday, July 15. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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