North Fork Hughes Fire

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North Fork Hughes Fire


Approximate Location

48.901 latitude, -117.038 longitude

Incident Overview

The Priest Lake Ranger District has a small wildfire burning in the upper Hughes Creek drainage. The North Fork Hughes Fire is located just north of Hughes Meadows across the Washington State line and may be visible from the Priest Lake area. A lightning storm on June 28 likely sparked the fire, and it was located by firefighters on July 4. Smokejumpers were sent in to suppress the fire, but after three days, due to safety concerns, they had to disengage.

Steep, rugged terrain is challenging; presenting multiple safety concerns for firefighters. The fire is burning in a remote location within the Salmo Priest Wilderness where access is very limited. The fire is approximately 45 acres, and is burning in very large trees on a steep slope. As the fire burns, trees are falling and sliding down slope. The fire is currently creeping and backing down hill.

Fire managers are considering several variables and evaluating the fire from both air and ground. It has been determined that firefighters cannot safely engage the fire due to remoteness, rugged terrain, heavy fuels, snags, lack of helicopter landing spots, escape routes and safety zones.

Fire managers are developing a strategic action plan to manage this fire. Chandra Neils, Acting Priest Lake District Ranger, stated "The plan will give the highest priority to firefighter and public safety, with safe, efficient, and mindful management decisions.”

For more information, please contact Kary Maddox at the Priest Lake Ranger District office (208‐443-2512).

Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypeWildfire
Date of OriginWednesday June 28th, 2017 approx. 12:00 AM
Location20 miles North of Nordman, Idaho

Current Situation

Size70 Acres
Fuels Involved

heavy timber

Current Weather

Weather Concerns

Continued spread with hot and dry conditions with RH's falling below 20%. The hot and dry conditions the past 6 weeks have left the large fuels very susceptible to spread. Breezy conditions last week resulted in some growth due to isolated torching and

continued flanking and backing in the heavy fuels. On 7/19/17, 0.2" of rain fell on the fire which has reduced some spread. This week a return to warm and dry conditions is expected with temps in the 80's and lower RH's.

Unit Information

USFS Shield
Idaho Panhandle National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
3815 Schreiber Way Coeur d'Alene Idaho 83815
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83815

Incident Contact

Priest Lake Ranger Station
Phone: 208-443-2512
Hours: 7 days/week 8:00 to 5:00

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National Wildfire Coordinating Group U.S. Forest Service Bureau of Land Managemen Bureau of Indian Affairs Fish and Wildlife Service National Park Service National Association of State Foresters U.S. Fire Administration
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