Payette National Forest fires stretch resources thin

Maria Decaney

Smoke jumper at the Thunder City Fire Photo: Image by

Payette National Forest fires stretch resources thin

CREATED Aug. 21, 2013

A Red Flag Warning will be in effect from noon Thursday through noon on Friday for forecasted lightning and outflow winds up to 40 miles per hour.

An area closure is in effect for the Thunder City Fire. Trail closures are in effect for the Howard Fire. For specific information on closures, visit the Thunder City Fire and Howard Fire pages on Inciweb. Stage 1 Fire Restrictions remain in effect.

In the Payette National Forest two high priority fires and several other fires are stretching resources thin.

The Howard Fire, eleven miles east of Riggins and three miles south of the main Salmon River, on the New Meadows Ranger District is 172 acres and 25% contained, but has the potential to grow into a large fire based on its location.

The fire is actively burning in steep terrain on the Salmon River breaks. Firefighters are working to contain the fire and are focused on the north side of the fire to provide an anchor point. It grew an estimated 250 acres on Monday night.

The Coin Fire, 5 miles south of, and 2.5 miles west of Big Creek on Coin Mountain, is holding at 5 acres and estimated at 60% contained. Due to potential large fire growth the Coin Fire is a high priority.

Firefighters and aerial resources are aggressively working to suppress the fire. The report of an additional fire east of Big Creek was reported Monday morning; however, the fire was not found and the area is being monitored.

The Thunder City Fire started 4 miles northeast of the Stibnite Mining District, and is now burning in Fall Creek and the West Fork of Monument Creek within the Frank Church Wilderness. Because of the threat of spread, an Area Closure is in effect. Thunder Mountain Road and trails throughout the fire area are closed. The #005 Trail is closed from the Monumental trailhead north to the junction at the #064 Trail.

Trail closures for Broken Leg Trail and Lava Butte (both motorized trails) are expected as a result of the Howard Fire as well.

Stage 1 Fire Restrictions are in effect in most of southwest and central Idaho. For a detailed map and more information, visit:

Members of the public interested in receiving fire information updates are asked to send an e-mail request to

Follow the Payette National Forest on Twitter at @PayetteForest.

For information about smoke and health concerns, please visit: