Skip to main content

Woodhead Fire

Unit Information

Payette National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
500 N Mission St
McCall, ID 83638

USFS Shield

Incident Contact

Fire Information
Phone: 208-207-7417
Hours: 7 AM - 9 PM

Highlighted Activity

10/01/2020 10/01/20 Updated Woodhead Fire Cloasure Order, Payette NF
Closure - 10/01/2020
Dozer fireline repair workImage options: [ Full Size ]

The Woodhead fire is located on the Weiser Ranger District – northwest of Cambridge, ID. The Woodhead Fire started on September 7, 2020, north of State Highway 71 near milepost 6. A cold front bringing strong sustained winds fanned the flames and it quickly grew to approximately 26,883 acres to the southeast within first 48 hours.  

High winds, high temperatures, and low relative humidity caused the fire to grow an additional 20,000 acres to the northeast on September 13, prompting additional evacuations and updated Forest Area Closure.  Since then, the fire grew mainly been to the north towards Wildhorse River and east towards Council-Cuprum Road.   

The closure on Highway 71 was lifted September 14th to through traffic. All roads off Highway 71 are open, but the fire area itself is closed for public safety. The Council-Cuprum Road opened to through traffic on September 23rd but a closure on the Payette National Forest remains in effect.  The Idaho Department of Lands asks that everyone stay out of the endowment lands west of Council for their safety until further notice.

The fire has burned on lands managed by the Payette National Forest, Idaho Department of Lands, Boise District Bureau of Land Management, and private landowners.  

Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypeWildfire
CauseUnknown, Under Investigation
Date of OriginMonday September 07th, 2020 approx. 02:30 PM
Location20 miles northwest of Cambridge, ID
Incident CommanderEli Grooms
Coordinates44.756 latitude, -116.877 longitude

Current Situation

Total Personnel248
Size96,478 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained60%
Estimated Containment DateSaturday October 31st, 2020 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels Involved

Valley bottom dominated by short grass and brush, with sagebrush and pockets of mountain mahogany. The upper elevations and side drainages are dominated by pine and fire with grass and brush in understory, especially on the cooler north slopes.

Significant Events

Minimal backing, creeping and smoldering


Planned Actions

1) Patrol and suppression repair on the west and south flanks.

2) Continue constructing direct and indirect line on the northwest flank.

3) Hold and secure the north flank and chip slash along Ditch Creek Rd.

4) Continue to hold the indirect line and go direct where possible on the east flank.

Projected Incident Activity

12 hours:

Overnight cool temperatures and high RH will keep fire behavior to a minimum. Heavy fuels will continue to consume, expect no surface spread.

24 hours:

Slight warming trend develops with temperatures in the upper 60s to low 70s with poor relative humidity recovery. Heavy dead and down fuels will continue to burn but would expect little to no surface spread over the fire area.


Type 3 Team is now in command.

Resources assigned include: 5 helicopters, 17 engines, 4 crews, 4 dozers, 4 water tenders, and 1 masticator.

Current Weather

Weather Concerns

Warming and drying with light wind is expected to continue through Friday, with humidity getting below 20 percent for most locations. No precipitation threat exists through Sunday, 04 October.