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2021 Payette Wilderness Fires

Unit Information

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

USFS Shield

Incident Contact

Payette Fire Information
Phone: 208-634-0820

Highlighted Activity

07/23/2021 Cabin Creek Airstrip Closed to General Aviation, NOTAM # I0907-141
Civilian aviators please be aware that NOTAM # I0807-141 has been issued for Closure of Cabin Creek Airstrip due proximity of the Vinegar Fire.Exception noted for incident/fire support aircraft use...
Closure - 07/23/2021
Map showing Club, Vinegar, and Rush Creek Fire perimeters and surrounding topography.Image options: [ Full Size ]

Four fires are burning in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness on the Payette National Forest. The Club, Rush Creek, and Vinegar fires were started by lightning on July 15, 2021. A Type 3 Incident Management Team took over the fires on July 19th and returned them to Forest management the week of August 2. The Long Tom Fire was started by lighting on August 1 and is being managed by a Type 4 Incident Commander. A closure order for trails has been put in place in and around the Club, Rush Creek and vinegar fires for public and firefighter safety to prevent any interference with suppression and response operations.

The Club Fire started 3 miles southwest of Root Ranch (lat/long: 45 16 48 x 115 03 18). Crews worked closely with Root Ranch personnel to complete structure protection. A separate Inciweb entry has been created and can be found at or by searching Club Fire in the incident search bar. 

The Rush Creek Fire started at the confluence of Telephone and Rush Creeks, 14 miles southwest of Taylor Ranch (lat/long: 45 59 00 x 114 59 35).  Following two days of unsuccessful initial attack suppression efforts using helicopter water drops, a point protection and monitoring strategy was adopted. Firefighters completed point protection for the University of Idaho research station at Taylor Ranch. A separate Inciweb entry has been created and can be found at or by searching Rush Creek in the incident search bar. 

The Vinegar Fire started approximately 2 miles north of the Cabin Creek Administrative Site (lat/long: 45 10 44 x 114 54 19). The Cabin Creek Airstrip has been closed to general aviation, NOTAM # I0807-141. Firefighters are working to protect the historic structures at Cabin Creek Ranch. A separate Inciweb entry has been created and can be found at or by searching Vinegar Fire in the incident search bar. 

The Long Tom Fire is on the south side of the Main Salmon River near the Vinegar Creek boat ramp, in the wilderness on the McCall Ranger District. As of August 4, the fire was reported to be 13 acres and is being managed by a Type 4 Incident Commander. A hotshot crew arrived yesterday, and a T1 helicopter is being utilized to cool and secure the fire edge. Fire is contained.
There were no mapping flights on 8/3. Rain fell across all three over the weekend, with isolated precipitation in the area due to thunderstorms last night. A crew swap will be done on the Vinegar Fire tomorrow, with 5 new firefighters staffing Cabin Creek. On the Club Fire, fire behavior on the north side facing Root Ranch combined with the completion of point protection measures warrant the departure of firefighters by aircraft. Club and Rush Creek fires will remain unstaffed unless fire activity and conditions change.  Warm and dry conditions are expected to return later this week.

Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypeWildfire
Date of OriginThursday July 15th, 2021 approx. 12:00 AM
Location50 miles E/NE of McCall
Incident CommanderBooth T4
Incident DescriptionLightning On July 15, 2021 Ignited Multiple Fires On The Payette National Forest. The Rush Creek Fire Was Detected On 7/16. The Club And Vinegar Fires Were Detected On 7/17. One Additional Fire From The July 15th Lightning Remained Small And Was Called Out On 7/18. Lightning On 7/19 Also Ignited 3 More Fires, All Of Which Have Remained Small.
Coordinates45 latitude, -115 longitude

Current Situation

Total Personnel14
Size6,030 Acres
Estimated Containment DateFriday October 01st, 2021 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels Involved

Timber (Grass, Litter and Understory)


Planned Actions

Continue to assess and protect private and historic values.

Projected Incident Activity

Moderate growth on all sides

Current Weather

Weather Concerns

The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for lightning until 11 PM MDT 7/20. Along with lightning, gusty winds and brief heavy rainfall is possible with the storms. Drier air moves into the area Thursday through the weekend for lower RHs and possible higher Haines (a measure of atmospheric instability).