Fires continue to grow in Idaho in September. Here are the details about the latest fire and red flag warning information for the states as of September 14, 2020. Read on for the latest updates about the wildfires’ locations, containment, evacuations. Remember to also check your local news sources, as fire details can change quickly and with little warning.
Interactive Fire Maps for Idaho
One of the best interactive maps available right now is Inciweb’s map. You can see the full map here. Inciweb is “an interagency all-risk incident information management system.” There’s an embeddable Google Map that includes Inciweb fires, which you can see below and also here. Depending on your browser, you may need to zoom into the map below using the + button within the map or go to the “Layers” dropdown box and turn off everything but Wildfire Preparedness and Inciweb Wildfire Information.
You can see a fully interactive map of the fires in Idaho here, as provided by Idaho Fire Info. Unfortunately, that map may require an ArcGIS account to view. Idaho now provides a different Idaho Fire Map here that is updated in real time.
Individual Idaho Fires
Next are details on the individual fires updated for September 14, 2020, in alphabetical order. Some fires that are 100% contained may not be included, and this list is focusing mostly on major fires in the region.
Please note that evacuation details can change rapidly, so stay tuned to your local news for the latest on evacuations. Local city and Sheriff’s office Facebook and Twitter pages are also good sources for local evacuation updates in Idaho. Note that nearby fires in Montana are not included.
This fire is 1,464 acres as of September 13 and started by lightning on August 21 about 5 miles east of Powell Ranger Station on Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest.
Inciweb noted: “The Beaver fire was first detected on 8/21/2020 and was determined to be caused from a the lightning event of 8/19/2020. This fire is located on the Lochsa-Powell Ranger District of the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests near Powell.”
This fire is 660 acres in size and 20% contained as of September 14. It was caused by human activity.
Inciweb noted on September 13: “Discovered on Labor Day, the Bernard Fire is burning in steep terrain near Bernard Point, overlooking Echo Bay on the south shore of Lake Pend Oreille. Current size is estimated at 660 acres. It was determined to be human caused and remains under investigation. The North Idaho Type 3 Incident Management Team will be taking command of the fire tomorrow at 0600, with Rod Weeks as Incident Commander. With resources spread thin across the west, the team is coming in directly from the Hunter 2 Fire in Blanchard.
The east flank was showing active fire behavior yesterday in timber and heavy dead and down trees until it reached the 1996 burn scar, where firefighters observed lower fire intensity. On the south side of the fire, in the West Gold Creek drainage, there are previously harvested areas and prescribed burn units off the 2707 road. These areas of reduced fuel loading provide better opportunities for fireline construction and suppression activities. Rock faces and other natural barriers have checked growth to the west. The “fire triangle” is a simple model for understanding the necessary ingredients for most fires: heat, fuel, and oxygen. While thick smoke across the region certainly has numerous negative impacts, it is actually reducing the rate of fire spread by shading the fire. By blocking heat from the sun, and limiting oxygen for convective burning, heavy smoke disrupts the fire triangle and reduces fire behavior. Humidity is also increasing across the area, with better humidity recovery at night. Terrain, smoke, visibility, and inability to get an infrared flight have created mapping and acreage estimating challenges for fire managers, but maps will continue to be published as available…
Photos, closure map, and more can be found on https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7160/.
This fire is 12,049 acres and 6% contained, according to Inciweb on September 14 at 4:26 p.m. It was caused by lightning on August 26, about 30 miles northeast of Cascade, Idaho.
The Buck Fire burned actively under the smoky skies and became significantly more active once the inversion lifted late yesterday afternoon. Most growth occurred to the north and through the old Cascade Complex scar toward Riordan Lake. Aircraft were used for water drops to cool the western edge and ridges above the Johnson Creek corridor. Fire managers have plans and protection measures in place around the structures nearest to the fire and other contingency plans in the event the fire were to progress beyond the Trapper Creek, Buck Creek and Bear Creek drainages.
With recent fire activity, the Incident Management Team will be hosting a community meeting in Yellow Pine, Tuesday evening, Sept. 15 at 6 p.m. at the Yellow Pine Community Center…
A temporary area closure is in place for firefighter and public safety during wildfire suppression activities through Oct. 1, unless rescinded earlier. For specific details visit. https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/boise/alerts-notices or the interactive story map: https://usfs.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapSeries/index.html?appid=1b9f2d8115374ad3a943d95decd3835d
This fire is 3,686 acres as of September 14 at 1:43 p.m. and 5% contained. It started September 6 about 35 miles north-northeast of Glenns Ferry, Inciweb reported. The fire’s cause isn’t yet known.
Inciweb noted on September 13:
The Grouse Fire started Sept. 6, 2020, about 7:30 p.m. The fire’s ignition location was along the boundary of the Boise and Sawtooth National Forests about 6 miles northeast of Pine, Idaho, in the area of National Forest System (NFS) roads 166 and 166e. Campers were evacuated from the area of the closure…
Crews are holding the fire east of National Forest System road 166 and have completed and/or improved line along the Northwest and Northeast edges of the fire. Firefighters will continue to secure the line and mop up in these areas. Additional resources will move down the western flank of the fire, building indirect line and going direct where safe to do so…
For public health and safety, a multi-forest closure is in place for the entire fire area. The Incident Commander and all firefighting personnel appreciate the public’s cooperation in staying out of the forest closure area and the Incident Command Post. Public entry into the closures only hampers firefighting efforts and can be a safety hazard for fire personnel and the public.
This fire is 378 acres and was started on August 19 by lightning, about 5.5 miles south of the Powell Ranger Station on Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest.
This fire is 9,570 acres as of September 14 at 1:17 p.m., according to the latest Inciweb update. It was caused by lightning and is 0% contained.
The Porphyry fire will continue to have hot, dry and windy conditions today through Tuesday. With elevated temperatures and winds you can expect to have some fire growth. The fire is across the north fork of Porphyry ridge and is established at the top of Porphyry draining and Mosquito ridge. The fire continues to burn in the north Fork of Wolf Fang creek, the west Fork of Beaver Creek, Coin Creek, Hand Creek and it has spotted into Boulder Creek. Fire resources are implementing structure protection on the Werdenhoff mine in Smith Creek Drainage and collecting information for future suppression strategies.
This Order is in effect through October 30, 2020, at 00:01 AM, unless rescinded earlier by the Forest Supervisor. The Porphyry Fire Area is closed to all public entry.
A closure map is below:
This fire is 6,000 acres, according to Inciweb on September 14 at 10:45 a.m. It started August 17 and is southeast of Elk City, Idaho about two miles south of Red River Hot Springs. It was caused by lightning.
On September 13, Inciweb noted: “Low humidity and high temperatures in the area yesterday caused the Shissler fire to burn actively in the Butter Creek and Cabin Creek drainages. The fire is currently estimated at 6,000 acres; future reconnaissance flights, when possible, will provide a closer estimate. With the increase in fire activity and consistent west wind in the Cabin Creek drainage, the fire moved within half a mile of Green Mountain Lookout. Ground crews were able to prepare the structures at Green Mountain in anticipation that the fire will encroach the lookout and nearby Forest Service Road #285.
Forest Service Road #285, aka Green Mountain Road, has been closed for public safety due to the Shissler fire moving into the area. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (PDT) daily, the road will be open with Forest Service escort only. For more information, contact the Red River Ranger District at (208) 842-2245. See closure information under the Closures tab and view a map of the closure area under the Maps tab.”
Sunnyside Complex Fire (Clover Fire & MM 49 Fire & Iron Gate Fire)
This complex fire is 3,957 acres and 55% contained as of September 13 at 8:05 p.m., according to Inciweb. Inciweb noted:
Mike Almas’ Northern Rockies Team 3 began managing the Sunnyside Complex on Tuesday, September 8. The Sunnyside Complex is currently comprised of three fires: the Clover Fire and MM49 Fire (along the Highway 12 corridor between Lenore and Kamiah) and the Iron Gate Fire (located approximately eight miles southeast of Clarkia.) … The Clover Fire is estimated at 1,632 acres and is approximately 90% contained. … The MM49 Fire is estimated at 2,661 acres and is approximately 50% contained. Yesterday, fire crews completed the burnout operation down to Highway 12 to secure the indirect containment lines southeast of the fire while minimizing the impact to any values at risk… The (Iron Gate) fire is approximately 95 acres in size due to more accurate mapping and is approximately 15% contained. The fire is located on steep, private industrial timber land and is burning in timber slash. Yesterday, firefighters were able to get hand line and hose lay along the western fire perimeter and a portion of the eastern perimeter, and crews constructed a dozer line on the northern border.”
The map below is for the Iron Gate fire:
Here is the Clover Fire:
You can also get updates on the Sunnyside Complex Fires Facebook page.
This fire is 48,477 acres and 40% contained as of September 14 at 11:25 a.m., according to Inciweb. The cause is unknown. It started September 7 northwest of Cambridge.
You can find an interactive map of the fire below:
#WoodheadFire Idaho has exploded to the north. Caution – Satellite hotspot data is *always* several hours old, locations are approximate and some of this data *might* be ‘false positives’. See 2 links upper left corner. #IDwx
— Joseph Elfelt (@MappingSupport) September 14, 2020
On September 14, Inciweb noted that: “Full evacuations are now occurring for residents above Upper Dale, including Paradise Flat, North Hornet, and West Mill Creek. Please follow direction from Adams County Sheriff’s Office. … Due to the increase in fire activity overnight, additional closures and evacuations are being put in place by Adams County Sheriff’s Office. The fire is burning in the Crooked River drainage. The Council-Cuprum Road is closed at Council to the public.”
Get alerts about evacuations here.