Smoke and Flames – Forest Fire Update – Friday July 19
The largest forest fire in the area is on the Salmon-challis National Forest - the Papoose Fire (see photo). It is over 5,000 acres and is burning in steep, rocky, inaccessible areas along the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. Those who plan to float the Salmon River need to check with Forest Service officials to make sure take-out areas and camping spots are still open along the Middle fork.
The Bitterroot Valley is receiving smoke from a new lightning-caused fire in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness near California Lake and Fish Lake. The 150 acre California Point Fire is burning in beetle-killed pine.
Meanwhile, the West Mullan Fire near Superior, MT, is now over 4,500 acres and evacuations are in affect on Keystone and LaVista roads, West Mullan road, East Mullan road Pardee Road, East Pardee Road and Flat Creek Road. The Clark Fork River is closed to floaters from Big Eddy Fishing Access to Sloway Fishing Access.
The Gold Creek Fire, 16 miles northeast of Missoula, is 170 acres and has been burning both day and night. Over 200 people are assigned to that fire.
With the current hot, dry weather continuing for another week, at the minimum, these fires will continue to burn. Folks who are using campfires in the woods need to make sure those fires are completely out before they leave the site.