Fires continue to cause issues during the hot, dry summer months in Idaho in September. Here are the details about the latest fire and red flag warning information for the states as of September 9, 2020. Read on for the latest details 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, so it’s no longer as great of a source as it was several years ago.
The good news is that Idaho now provides a different Idaho Fire Map here. This map is updated in real time.
Individual Idaho Fires
Next are details on the individual fires updated for September 9, 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 719 acres and started by lightning on August 21. It’s 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. Northern Rockies Team 6, a Type 2 Incident Management Team, is managing the fire.”
An update fo September 9 notes: “The fire has burned to the 368 road. Helicopters worked the westside of thefire yesterday. Fire poses a threat to cross Road 368 in several locations. Crews are positioned to keep the firefrom crossing he road. Hgh pressure continues to build. Warming and drying can be expected each day.Expect active surface fire with small group-tree torching and short range spotting. Modest growth in fireperimeter anticipated… Crews continue to brush and open existing road system to create a fuel break from Round Top Remote Automated Weather Station (RAWS) site to the West and South to tie into the 368 Rd. Scout and possibly create a second fuel break. Nighttime operations using log trucks and loaders are being used to remove log decks which could provide fuel for fire spread.”
This fire is 188 acres in size and the cause is under investigation.
Inciweb noted: “The Bernard Fire was detected on 7 September, 2020. It is burning in steep timber from Echo Bay up to Bernard Peak. Red flag conditions, that included very high northerly winds, created wind-driven fire behavior into the evening. Resources on scene include three engines, two initial attack modules, an air attack plane, a lead plane, two large air tankers, a heavy helicopter and two light helicopters. There are no evacuation orders associated with this fire.”
This fire is 4,441 acres and 6% contained, according to Inciweb on Sept. 9. It was caused by lightning on August 26, about 30 miles northeast of Cascade, Idaho.
The fire is burning in standing dead and down timber and sub-alpine fir with short-range spotting south and east toward the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. Fire officials are coordinating with the Salmon-Challis National Forest which has management responsibility of the wilderness area. Crews completed all indirect fire preparations on NFS road 413.
On Wednesday, September 9, Nevada Type 3, Team 1 will be briefed by the current team and shadow them throughout the burn period. Nevada Team 1 will assume command of the Buck fire on September 10.
Cub Lake Fire
This fire is only two acres and caused by lightning, as of Inciweb’s last update on August 20. Inciweb wrote: “As of August 20, 2020, officials report no new activity on the Cub Lake fire, having seen no smoke or other fire activity in the area for several days. This will be the final update on this fire unless or until more fire activity is observed.”
This fire is 5,700 acres as of September 9 and it started September 6 35 miles north-northeast of Glenns Ferry, Inciweb reported.
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.
Grouse Fire has grown to 5700 acres. The fire crossed into the Sawtooth National Forest and both forests are coordinating on the management of the fire. All visitors are being moved out of the closure area due to safety concerns…
Fire officials will be putting an area closure in place which would including a number of trails and roads. A bulldozer continues to put in line where possible with ground crews cutting line where the dozer is not able. Aircraft will continue to support ground efforts as needed. Fire crews are working along NFS road 166 to reduce fire activity to the west if the fire progression changes…
For public health and safety, a multi-forest closure is in place for the entire fire area.
Hunter 2 Fire
This fire is 700 acres as of September 8. Inciweb noted: “The fire is 1/2 mile northeast of Blanchard near the junction of Hunter Road and Highway 41. The fire has grown to approximately 600 acres. It has crossed Highway 41 to the Stoneridge Golf Course area.”
On September 9, Inciweb noted in the Beaver listing about this fire: “Expect limited surface fire activity with tree torching and short range spotting Low rate of spread and little growth in fire perimeter anticipated. Crews will monitor for and extinguish any new spots east of Sneakfoot Meadows…”
This fire is 220 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 5,768 acres as of September 7, the latest Inciweb update. It was caused by lightning.
Inciweb noted on September 7:
The Porphyry fire is located in the Frank Church Wilderness of No Return, on the McCall Ranger District. Porphyry Creek drainage; 20 miles north of Yellow Pine and 5 miles east of Hettinger Ranch. The fire was started by lightening in the Porphyry Creek drainage, 2 miles SW of the bridge on August 25, 2020.
An infrared flight occurred last night and has mapped the fire at 5,768 acres. There is extremely limited safe access at this time for fire personnel. Yesterday, a local Type One Fire Use Module was able to gain access to the fire and began structure preparation to the Porphyry Bridge. The fire is burning actively in all directions under dry and windy conditions. The fire has moved over the ridgeline and has impacts to multiple trails including Porphyry trail, trail #003 near Mosquito Ridge, the Rattlesnake trail and the South Fork trail. The public is asked to stay cognizant of the fire and remain clear of the area.
A Closure Order will go into effect 11:00 am – September 7, 2020.
The closure map is below:
This fire is 3,780 acres and 21% contained, according to Inciweb on September 9. It started August 17 and is southeast of Elk City, Idaho about two miles south of Red River Hot Springs.
On September 7, Inciweb noted: “Yesterday, the western edge of the Shissler fire near Elk City reached the 505 Trail, where fire crews have been working to hold the fire at established fire lines. Burn-out operations yesterday were very successful and allowed fire crews to strategically remove wildfire fuels along the established fire line to hold the wildfire at that location. Today, fire crews will continue to hold the line as the fire continues to progress both south and north along the 505 Trail. Acreage of the Shissler Fire remains at approximately 2,800 acres. Closures remain in place for public safety during this fire; see Closures tab for more info.”
Sunnyside Complex Fire (Clover Fire & MM 49 Fire)
Inciweb noted on September 9:
Mike Almas’ Type 2 Northern Rockies Incident Management Team assumed command of the Sunnyside Complex on Tuesday, September 8, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. The Sunnyside Complex includes the Clover Fire and the MM 49 Fire…
The wind event on Monday, September 7 caused fast and significant fire spread of both the Clover Fire and the MM49 Fire. The Clover Fire’s rapid fire spread lead to the loss of numerous residences, outbuildings, and vehicles during its first night of growth on September 7…
Today, crews at the Clover Fire are still actively engaged in both mop up and patrolling for hotspots near structures, as well as continuing to strengthen and defend containment lines (especially along the fire’s western and northern flanks where the fire is most active). On the MM49 Fire, firefighters will continue point and structure protection efforts and direct line construction along the fires western flank. Fire managers scouted for the most effective place to try to corral the MM49 Fire, and equipment operators are beginning indirect line construction along a ridge south and east of the fire front, working east and northeast towards Highway 12 and the Clearwater River corridor. As available, air support from helicopter water drops and retardant drops for single engine air tankers (SEATs) and large air tankers will help cool hot spots and reduce spread potential. …”
Inciweb also listed the following evacuation information on September 9:
On September 7, ninety-six residences were evacuated adjacent to the Clover Fire and thirty-six residences were evacuated or set to evacuate adjacent to the MM49 Fire. Although some residents have been allowed to return to their homes, many residents remain evacuated. The Clearwater County Sheriff asks that if you have been evacuated but have not yet been in contact with their office to please call the Clearwater County Dispatch at 208-476-4521. Sheriff’s department officers are escorting evacuees to their property to retrieve essential items or pets, if that property is in an area deemed safe to enter by fire managers.
You can also get updates on the Sunnyside Complex Fires Facebook page.
This fire is 26,883 acres as of September 9, according to Inciweb. The cause is unknown. It started September 7 northwest of Cambridge.
On September 9, Inciweb noted:
The Woodhead fire is located on the Council Ranger District – northwest of Cambridge, ID. The Woodhead Fire started on September 7, 2020 north of State Highway 71 near milepost 6. A cold front bringing strong sustained winds fanned the flames and it quickly grew to approximately 26,883 acres within first 48 hours. Low visibility, high winds and powerlines hindered aerial firefighting efforts and precluded the use of airtankers.
Calmer winds have aided fire suppression activities, but the fire is still 0% contained and evacuations and highway closures remain in effect. Communities near West Pine Rd, Mill Creek Rd, Cemetery Rd, Rush Creek, Goodrich, Pine Creek, Seid Creek and Advent Gulch are under an evacuation order managed by Washington County Sheriff’s Office. State Highway 71 is closed by ITD from the Oregon border to 4th Street in Cambridge.
As of this morning there are 75 personnel assigned the Woodhead fire. Resources include 1 hotshot crew, 1 type one helicopter, 7 engines and 2 dozers. Additional aircraft assigned to the fire include: 2 type three helicopters, 1 – type one helicopter, 2 fire bosses, 2 single engine airtankers and an air attack. Firefighters are focusing efforts on the south side of the fire and working off Horse Flat Road. A burnout operation was implemented last night off the Rush Creek Road to stop the fires progression towards the community of Cambridge. A task force of engines is focusing on holding this fireline. Yesterday the fire crossed over Hwy 71 from milepost 19 up to milepost 25.5. On the north end of the fire near Grade Creek there area of heat, but is not imminently threatening fire spread to the North.
The fire has caused some local evacuations.