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Bitterroot National Forest

Bitterroot National Forest

fire
Photo courtesy of Forest Service - Northern Region/Flickr
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2,500 Lightning Strikes Help Spark Five New Fires in the Bitterroot National Forest

Despite all of the rain and humidity, a lightning storm on September 4 has kept fire crews busy in the Bitterroot National Forest.

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Gold Pan Complex plume
A plume of smoke from the Gold Pan Complex this past weekend. (USFS/Air Patrol)
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Gold Pan Fire at 42,000 Acres

The Gold Pan complex of fires in the south end of the Bitterroot Valley grew over 1,000 acres this past weekend.

The growth was mainly north and east as the fire, which started in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, moved farther into the Blue Joint drainage near McGregor Creek and Nez Perce Pass, with some spotting across Jack the Ripper Creek

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selway mudslide
The rocks, trees and mud overwhelmed the road. (Stephen Hardin Photo)
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Mudslide Closes Selway Road

The Magruder Corridor is open four hours a day, but the nearby Selway Road is blocked by a mudslide.

According to Tod McKay of the Bitterroot National Forest, work will begin late this week to clear 60 feet of mud, trees and rocks that slid down a hillside and across the road Thursday August 29

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wilderness sign
A sign along the Magruder Corridor. (USFS Photo)
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Magruder Road is Open for Four Hours a Day

The Magruder Road Corridor between Montana's Nez Perce Pass and Elk City, Idaho, has re-opened to the public between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. daily, according to a new release from the Gold Pan Complex firefighters

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Clearing snags at Gold Pan Fire
Clearing snags from the roadway at the Gold Pan Complex. (USFS Photo)
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Gold Pan Complex of Forest Fires Continues Slow Growth

The Gold Pan Complex of fires in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness is an estimated 35,000 acres in size, with the two major fires being the Gold Pan at 34,000 and Nez Peak at about 1,000 acres

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Gold Pan map detail August 22
The Nez Peak Fire of the Gold Pan Complex has come into the Blue Joint drainage. This map is from August 22. (USFS map)
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Gold Pan Complex Forest Fire Invades Montana

The Gold Pan Complex of fires includes the Gold Pan fire, the Thirteen fire, the Goat fire and the Nez Peak fire.

The Gold Pan Complex has burned down into the upper Blue Joint drainage in Montana in the West Fork Ranger District of the Bitterroot National Forest (see photo)

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craig glazier
Craig Glazier speaks at the Friday public meeting on the Gold Pan Complex. (Tod McKay Photo)
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Gold Pan Fire is Still in the Wilderness, but Larger – August 19 Update

After some wind and continued hot temperatures this weekend, the Gold Pan Complex of forest fires is now listed at about 27,034 acres in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness.

The Northern Rockies Type 1 team, led by Doug Turman, assumed command Monday

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forest fire smoke
A satellite view of a smoke plume Friday afternoon, August 16. (NCAR/NOAA/GOES)
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Wind Blows Smoke into Bitterroot Valley

As predicted, forest fire smoke is being brought to the valley by afternoon winds.

Friday afternoon, the south end of the Bitterroot Valley was invaded by a huge volume of smoke from wilderness forest fires, including the Gold Pan Complex

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nez perce peak
The Nez Peak Fire August 14. (USFS Photo)
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Nez Perce Peak Forest Fire Added to the Gold Pan Complex

The Gold Pan forest fire Complex in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness now consists of four named fires - Gold Pan, Goat, Thirteen and Nez Peak. All together, the fires have burned over 18,000 acres on the West Fork Ranger District of the Bitterroot National Forest

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moon
The Moon. (KLYQ File Photo)
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Bitterroot Moon Walk is the Bark Beetle Moon Saturday

The Saturday, August 17, Bitterroot National Forest Moon Walk will be the Bark Beetle Moon.

The presentation on the Mountain Pine Beetle will start about 7 p.m. at Willoughby Environmental Education Area south of Stevensville

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