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Tumbledown Post-Fire BAER

Unit Information

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

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Persisting hazards necessitate continued closures on the Tumbledown Fire

Tumbledown Post-Fire BAER Burned Area Emergency Response
News – 9/23/2021

Avery, Idaho, September 23, 2021Although the Idaho Panhandle has seen a shift toward fall weather, with cooler temperatures and scattered precipitation that has considerably decreased fire behavior, the Tumbledown Fire has not yet been fully contained.  Where feasible across the Idaho Panhandle National Forests, wildfire area closures have been greatly reduced or lifted altogether.  The area closure associated with the Tumbledown Fire on the St. Joe Ranger District was reduced a block around the fire perimeter on 8/31/2021, and that closure remains in place.  All other areas previously closed for public safety during the fire suppression efforts on the St. Joe Ranger District have reopened. 

Uncontained wildfires still have some danger of expanding, the Forest Service still urges visitors to use caution when entering fire affected areas; fire suppression and suppression repair work continues. Recreationists should be prepared to meet heavy equipment and other fire traffic on roads until winter snow closes Highway 50 (St. Joe River Road) for the winter as it typically does on or before December 1st at the town of Avery (mm 47).  The portion of Highway 50 within the area closure (mm 61-75) remains closed under County authority due to hazardous conditions.  The results of the BAER (Burned Area Emergency Response) assessment have identified emergency treatments needed to mitigate threats to critical values that include public safety, bridges, roads, and other resources.  Areas surrounding Highway 50 and the St. Joe River experienced moderate to high soil burn severity on shallow, over-steepened slopes, resulting in a high risk of falling trees, debris flows, and rock fall.  This was demonstrated after an August 21 precipitation event which triggered several debris flows that prohibited passage on Highway 50.  If the area experiences ample precipitation, similar debris flow events are likely to occur again until the burned area recovers and revegetates. 

Specific closure area location information for the Idaho Panhandle National Forests, including maps, are posted on the IPNF Alerts & Notices web page (https://www.fs.usdalgov/alerts/ipnf/alerts-notices); statewide closure information is provided on the Idaho Department of Fish and Game’s Fire Map web page ( 

Unless specifically exempted, the public is asked to stay away from closed areas.  Violation of a closure order can put the safety of the public or firefighters at risk and is punishable by $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, or imprisonment for not more than six months, or both.  


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