The forest fires in the area keep growing as the fire season drags on here late in September.

The two lightning caused fires in the Selway Bitterroot Wilderness, according to Tod McKay of the Bitterroot National Forest, are being allowed to burn in order to restore the role of fire in the wilderness.

Crews burned an area ahead of the 3,319 acre Elevator Fire to reinforce the north fireline. And the 1,468 acre Raven Fire was active during the last few days on the east side of the Selway River, near Nick Wynn Mountain and Wynn Creek (see photo). Four other fires are each less than 10 acres in size.

Crews continue to patrol Paradise Road for falling rocks and snags. The road is open, but you are asked to not camp along the road between Beaver Point and Indian Creek. The Beaver Point, Raven Creek and Indian Creek campgrounds are closed.

Crews have wrapped the Gardiner Peak Lookout and have protected buildings at Shearer Guard Station and many nearby wilderness campgrounds.

Farther west on the Moose Creek Ranger District of the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest, the Johnson Bar Fire has now burned over 12,100 acres and the warm weather has increased the fire activity and smoke. Smoke could cause delays for motorists on US 12 south and west of Lowell, Idaho. The fire is 55% contained.

And, in Oregon and California, very large forest fires have continued to send smoke west in the prevailing winds.