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Cougar Fire

Unit Information

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

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Incident Contacts

Cougar Fire Information
Phone: 208-264-0571
Hours: Daily 8a-8p

Idaho Panhandle National Forests
Phone: 208-557-8813
Hours: M-S 8-5p

Highlighted Activity

08/16/2018 Aug 16 update
August 16, 2018 Public Information: 208-264-0571 Fire: Cougar Fire Cause: Lightning July 27, 2018 Acres: 4,493 acres Location: N. Idaho. Nearby towns include Hope and Clark Fork, ID The.
News - 08/16/2018
map showing fire location in red polygon and road closure area with yellow lineImage options: [ Full Size ]

Cougar Fire: Located south of Jost Creek and north of Porcupine Lake, approximately 5 miles east of Hope, Idaho, this fire is burning in steep rugged terrain. The Northern Rockies Fire Management Team under the command of Joe Sampson and Tom Ledbetter (IC trainee) assumed command of the fire at 6 am on Sunday August 5.
The fire began from a lightning strike on July 27; smokejumpers were dispatched on Monday, the 28th, however they disengaged because of safety concerns with falling trees and steep terrain. Fire managers are suppressing the fire using the confine and contain tactics; fuelbreaks are being built. Fire fighting resources are very limited due to fires in the West and steep rugged terrain is limiting direct suppression.

Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypeWildfire
Date of OriginSaturday July 28th, 2018 approx. 03:00 AM
Location5 Miles east of East Hope ID
Incident CommanderJoe Sampson, IC2
Incident DescriptionWildfire
Coordinates48.266 latitude, -116.172 longitude

Current Situation

Total Personnel130
Size5,000 Acres
Estimated Containment DateFriday November 30th, 2018 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels Involved

Timber litter and understory; 2 foot brush

Significant Events

Active fire behavior with uphill runs, flanking, and single-tree, and group torching with rollouts and short-range spotting.


Planned Actions

Take necessary holding actions as fire approaches the established fuel break along the Porcupine Trail and Wellington Creek. Fire managers will use air resources as necessary to slow fire advancement toward the Forest SNOTEL site and the containment lines in Willington Creek. Crews will also conduct structure protection measures on the Keeler warming hut, and maintain area, road, and trail closures.

Projected Incident Activity

Fire behavior will moderate as nightfall overtakes the area. Areas within the thermal belts will continue to moderately burn. However, overnight predicted thunderstorms could change the situation as any outflow or inflow winds can spread the fire in multiple directions. Moderate to active fire behavior is expected with single and group tree torching along with head, flanking and backing fire spread from rollouts and short range spotting. The fire east of Lightning Creek is expected to spread to the west and northeast into Rattle Creek, and across Silvertip Creek into Trapper Creek to the south and Mud and possibly Mink Creek to the north.


30% of the objectives have been completed.

Current Weather

Weather Concerns

There is a Red Flag Warning for lightning on 8/17/18 through 5pm. Weather over the fire included low humidity, temperatures in the 80s, and terrain driven winds. Similar weather is expected for 8/17/18, but with stronger west winds gusting around 15mph.