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Ross Fork

Unit Information

Sawtooth National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
370 American Ave.
Jerome, ID 83338

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Incident Contact

Fire Information Line
Email: 2022.RossFork@firenet.gov
Phone: 208-329-6044
Hours: 8 a.m-8-p.m daily

Highlighted Activity

09/23/2022 23 September Update
 Ross Fork Fire Daily Update  September 23, 2022 Fire Information: Email: 2022.rossfork@firenet.gov  Phone: 208-329-6044 daily from 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.  Sawtooth National Forest...
News - 09/23/2022
A Type III helicopter takes off from the Stanley helibase.Image options: [ Full Size ]

The Ross Fork Fire started by lightning on August 12, 2022 and first discovered on August 14th. The fire has been burning in remote and rugged areas of the Sawtooth National Forest and National Recreation Area and along the Highway 75 corridor south of Stanley.

A high wind event over Labor Day weekend caused extreme fire behavior and growth. The fire moved west towards the North Fork of Ross Creek, and north towards Jake’s Gulch and Alturas Lake Creek. The southwest winds aligned and established fire well into Beaver Creek and threatened the community of Smiley Creek prompting the evacuations of that area and Alturas Lake. On Tuesday, September 6, the fire crossed to the east side of Highway 75. Firefighters and aircraft were able to limit growth to approximately 800 acres on the east side of Highway 75. Rain has fallen intermittently since the 12th, moderating fire behavior significantly.

Evacuations:
Effective September 16, all evacuation areas have been reduced to "READY" status but a forest closure remains in effect around the area, including roads leading into the forest. Firefighters continue to work along many of these roads, falling hazard trees and working along the fire line. For your own safety and for the safety of fire personnel, please do not enter closed roads.

CLOSURES AND RESTRICTIONS: The latest closure order issued on September 13 by the Sawtooth National Forest for the areas surrounding the Ross Fork Fire on the Sawtooth National Recreation Area and Fairfield Ranger District can be read here:https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/photos/IDSTF/2022-09-01-2259-Ross-Fork/related_files/pict20220815-132338-0.pdf 
A map of the closure area can be viewed in the map section of inciweb or by clicking here: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/map/8375/0/137570The order is in place to protect public safety and natural resources on roads and trails.

Temporary Flight Restriction:  The Federal Aviation Administration has a Temporary Flight Restriction in place for the Ross Fork Fire.Ross Fork Fire Temporary Flight Restriction There have been two drone incursions on the Ross Fork Fire. Flying a drone near a wildfire results in the incident grounding firefighting aircraft to avoid collisions. If you see a drone flying in the area of the Ross Fork Fire, please report it immediately to the Blaine County Sherriff Department and the FAA District Office in Boise at (208) 387-4000.

Road Closures: Highway 75 remains open. Visit the Idaho Transportation Department website and Blaine County Sheriff’s Department Facebook page for road conditions.

Additional information can be found on the Sawtooth National Forest Facebook page,and numerous links to websites at the bottom of this page. The Ross Fork Fire YouTube page contains daily operational briefing update videos and can be reached by clicking here.

If viewing this site from a phone, the following items can be accessed by clicking on the word.

Announcements         Closures          News          Photographs          Videos         Maps 

Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypeWildfire
CauseLightning/natural
Date of OriginSunday August 14th, 2022 approx. 02:45 PM
Location2 miles west of Smiley Creek, 1 mile south of Alturas Lake
Incident CommanderAndy Bertelson
Incident DescriptionUtilize a combination of full suppression, confine/contain and point protection strategies.
Coordinates43.811 latitude, -114.98 longitude

Current Situation

Total Personnel143
Size37,836 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained64%
Estimated Containment DateMonday October 31st, 2022 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels Involved

Timber (Grass and Understory)

Brush (2 feet)

Short Grass (1 foot)

Dense pockets of Douglas fir and sub-alpine fir of 10-100 acres in size are present mostly on north facing slopes. Adjacent fuels consist of grass and short brush. The creek/river bottoms of the Salmon River and Smiley Creek have a mix of tall grass/sage transitioning to montane shrubs and sagebrush on slopes below the conifer. Non-forest areas have single and small groups of trees. Moderately steep, south slopes consist of low density Douglas fir with 5-10% canopy cover. Drainage bottoms have densely populated stands of Douglas fir and lodgepole pine, much of which is dead and or fallen. Beetle killed conifers occur in the Smiley Creek drainage with mortality estimates in the range of 30-50 percent.

Significant Events

Minimal

Creeping

Smoldering

Current fire behavior is very minimal and only prominent for a few hours in the middle of the day. Primarily creeping and smoldering in unburned green islands well interior of the control lines.

Outlook

Planned Actions

Repair work will remain the priority until completed, with the desire to have it completed before snow resides in the area for long durations. Some minimal fire activity remains in Division E near Alturas Lake. Crews will utilize helicopter water drops to help reduce any fire spread potential. Repair work will continue in Division O. Resources will perform limited mop-up due to snags and high winds. Patrolling of all staffed divisions and contained fire perimeter will be done during the high/gusty wind events for the operational period. Continue to use bucket work as needed by the S/X break while keeping that area unstaffed.

Projected Incident Activity

12 hours:

With the passing of an established low pressure system moving across the fire. There will be an increase in winds bringing a chance of thunderstorms and light precipitation to the area.

24 hours:

Cooler temps and increased RH's will be present across the fire area with the passing of an established low pressure system. There will be an increase in winds along with thunderstorms and light precipitation to the area. This will yield low fire behavior within the interior of the fire where there are still pockets of heat present.

48 hours:

Cooler temps and increased RH's will be present across the fire area with the passing of an established low pressure system. There will be an increase in winds along with thunderstorms and light precipitation to the area. This will yield mild fire behavior within the interior of the fire where there are still pockets of heat present.

72 hours:

As the low pressure system moves east, temps will return to above normal with light winds and lower RH values. This pattern will set up a drying period for the next few days.

Remarks

75% of the full suppression line is considered black line. 25% of the confine/contain line is considered

black line.

Current Weather

Weather Concerns

Increased winds and chance of thunderstorms are likely with the low pressure that is moving across the fire area for the next two days.