Bitterroot Forest Danger ‘High’ – Fires Reported
The fire danger level on the Bitterroot National Forest is officially "High." Tod McKay of the Bitterroot forest said the "high" ranking means that fires will start from all causes, including escaped campfires, and will spread rapidly. He said in a news release, "In many areas, spring rains resulted in a good crop of grass that can feed a wildlife when it dries out. People need to be careful when camping, driving in the back country and cutting firewood."
Already in the Bitterroot National Forest, two wildfires, discovered Tuesday, were caused by lightning and are being attacked. The Reynolds Lake Fire was first reported at 11 acres, but gusty winds are causing that blaze to grow on the border of the Bitterroot and Salmon-Challis National Forests. More air support is coming to help fight the blaze, which is reportedly over 200 acres in size. It's about 10 miles southwest of Painted Rocks Reservoir on the West Fork Ranger District. Firefighters on the ground and helicopters are on the fire scene. Elsewhere, the Haystack Fire is a mile west of the Magruder Ranger Station near Haystack Mountain. The small fire is about a tenth of an acre and is in the Frank Church Wilderness in Idaho.
Meanwhile, in the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest, the 20 acre Blackerby Fire has been stopped at 20 acres in size. The fire is 80 percent contained, due to quick response by firefighters. Wednesday, firelines were being reinforced while mopup is happening in other areas of the blaze (see photo). Some of the areas in the Nez Perce-Clearwater are now at "Very High" fire danger.