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Kootenai River Complex

Unit Information

Idaho Panhandle National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
3232 West Nursery Road
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83815

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Incident Contacts

Kootenai River Complex Fire Information Line
Phone: 208-202-5021
Hours: Monday - Sunday 7am to 9pm

IPNF Fire Information Line
Phone: 208-557-8813

Highlighted Activity

10/01/2022 Driving on Westside Road
Be aware there is still extensive fire traffic and activity on Westside Road. If possible, please avoid unnecessary travel in this area. If you do drive this road, please go slow and watch for...
News - 10/01/2022
Water bar across a dozer line, a diagonal mound of sand and gravel built to divert water runoff and erosion downslope.Image options: [ Full Size ]

As of 5 pm PDT, on September 2, 2022, the Eneas Peak, Katka, Russell Mountain, Scotch Creek, and Trout Fires have officially been grouped into the Kootenai River Complex. 

The Eneas Peak Fire, confirmed on August 13th, was started by lightning and is visible from the Kootenai River Valley and most of the Bonners Ferry area.  The fire is located approximately 15 miles north-northwest of Bonners Ferry, on the south aspect below Eneas Peak and above Fisher Creek. The terrain is steep and inaccessible (60%-80% slopes), with numerous dead and downed trees. These conditions prevent the use of firefighter direct attack tactics where fireline is built directly next to the fire. Fire managers are assessing the area by air and ground for potential confinement lines.

In the afternoon of August 21, 2022, the Trout Fire was detected during district fire patrol. The Trout Fire is located within the Selkirk Mountain Range on the Bonners Ferry Ranger District of the Idaho Panhandle National Forests. It is approximately 10 miles southwest of Copeland Idaho near Trout Creek and it was determined to be caused by lightning. Due to the fire being situated in an old burn scar, snags and heavy downed-fuels is the chief safety concern for firefighters working on the ground. Fire Managers are strategizing methods for fire suppression and no structures are at risk.

The Russell Mountain Fire was reported early afternoon on August 24, 2022. It is located within the Selkirk Mountain Range on the Bonners Ferry Ranger District of the Idaho Panhandle National Forests. It is approximately 10 miles southwest of Copeland Idaho, near the Ball Creek drainage and burning on a southern aspect. There are currently no values at risk and its current strategy management is confine and contain.

The Scotch Fire was confirmed September 1, 2022. It is located in the Selkirk Mountain Range on the Bonner's Ferry District in the Idaho Panhandle National Forests.  The fire is roughly 10 miles northwest of downtown Bonners Ferry, Idaho.

The Katka Fire was confirmed on September 1, 2022. It is located within the Cabinet Mountain Range on the Bonners Ferry Ranger District of the Idaho Panhandle National Forests. It is approximately 5 miles west from the Idaho/Montana border and 8 miles southeast of Bonner's Ferry burning in steep areas 1/2 mile from Katka Peak. 

Residents of Boundary County, ID, can visit https://www.nixle.com, text their home zip code to 888777 to sign up for emergency alerts, or call the Boundary County Emergency Line available at 208-696-2626.   

Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypeWildfire
CauseLightning
Date of OriginFriday September 02nd, 2022 approx. 02:30 PM
Location7 miles NW of Bonners Ferry, ID
Incident CommanderBonners Ferry Ranger District Type 3, Brian Hicks/Mitch Prophet(t), ICs
Incident DescriptionComplex
Coordinates48.783 latitude, -116.467 longitude

Current Situation

Total Personnel90
Size22,559 Acres
Estimated Containment DateSaturday October 15th, 2022 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels Involved

Timber fuels with a mix of sup-alpine fire, lodgepole, larch, and cedar. Mixed shrub understory with huckleberry. Heavy dead and down combined with standing dead trees and steep topography pose a hazard to firefighters.

Significant Events

Fire activity is becoming more isolated, smoldering in heavy fuels, with significantly less perimeter heat on the east side of Russell Mountain and north side of Katka Fire. Long Canyon Fire holds isolated heat throughout the interior and on perimeter but has shown limited growth in 48 hours. Dead and down heavy fuels will maintain heat as conditions transition to warmer and drier burn periods. Limited fire spread, downslope where heavy fuels connect and in litter/duff that was protected by canopy. Majority of heat and smoldering is in fire areas to the north side of the complex that received less rain in prior days.

Outlook

Planned Actions

Continue point protection strategy, strengthening hand and mechanical fire lines along Westside Road, and monitoring and maintaining existing hose lays as required. Continue structure triage and prep, maintaining sprinkler systems to protect threatened structures along Westside Road, and mopping up where the fire has reached the road and primary control lines. Due to poor access in steep, rugged terrain, alternative strategies are being assessed for Katka. Monitor the Katka and Long Canyon fires utilizing air resources.

Projected Incident Activity

12 hours: Warming and drying trend will increase smoldering and support limited fire growth. Variable winds following moisture on burned roots and on drought-stressed trees may increase snag hazard.

24 hours: Warming and drying trend will increase smoldering and support limited fire growth. Variable winds following moisture on burned roots and on drought-stressed trees may increase snag hazard.

Remarks

The Kootenai River Complex is characterized as a complex type wildfire where multiple fires are combined into one managed incident. Work on the perimeter will be measured by a total percentage of completion and not containment. The Kootenai River Complex is 85% completed and the total percentage of perimeter that will be completed is 20%.

Infrared imagery was captured 9/30/2022. Russell Mountain fire(22,006 acres) now includes the merged Trout(4,785 acres), Scotch Creek(2,844 acres) and Eneas Peak fires (2,298 acres). The Katka Fire is now 351 acres and the Long Canyon Fire is now 201 acres; for total Complex area of 22,559 acres.

Current Weather

Weather Concerns

Warming and drying trend will increase smoldering and support limited fire growth. Variable winds following moisture on burned roots and on drought-stressed trees may increase snag hazard.