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Big Elk

Unit Information

Nez Perce - Clearwater National Forests
U.S. Forest Service
903 3rd Street
Kamiah, ID 83536

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Incident Contact

Fire Information
Phone: 208-820-1965

Management of the Big Elk fire has been returned to the Red River Ranger District under a type 4 incident commander. No further updates will occur unless there is a significant change in fire behavior or increase in acreage.

The Big Elk fire started by lightning on September 8, 2017 just northeast of the Elk City township in the Big Elk Creek area on the Red River Ranger District of the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests. The fire quickly grew to 75 acres and fire crews immediately responded with all available resources including engines, smokejumpers, bulldozers, and a hotshot crew. It is currently estimated at 80 acres. Firefighters and aircraft will continue attacking the fire directly to prevent spread.

Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypeWildfire
Date of OriginFriday September 08th, 2017 approx. 01:00 PM
LocationBig Elk Creek
Incident CommanderChris Young, Type 3 IC
Coordinates45.9 latitude, -115.528 longitude

Current Situation

Total Personnel62
Size80 Acres
Fuels Involved

Timber (Grass and Understory)

Timber (Litter and Understory)

Brush (2 feet)

Significant Events

Moderate, creeping, backing, isolated interior torching


Planned Actions

Use type 1 crew and all available aircraft to help stop the spread to the structures and to Elk City.

Projected Incident Activity

The fire is established in pine, with spots in lighter fuel to the south and heating up in pocket.

Current Weather

Weather Concerns

Starting on Thursday, the overall

weather pattern will be changing. A significant cold airmass will settle

over the region by Friday, but the best chance for a wetting rain will

be limited to the higher terrain along the Montana/Idaho border. A

transitory ridge moves over the area this weekend causing some warming

and drying. Then another substantial system will impact the region by

the middle part of next week. This system appears to have a better

chance for a widespread precipitation event.