AUGUST 12, 2010

Thunderstorms spark multiple small fires on Clearwater and Nez Perce Forests

   Thunderstorms that moved through north central Idaho Aug. 5-6 sparked 16 fires on the Clearwater and Nez Perce National Forests. All units except the North Fork Ranger District reported new starts.

   Bob Lippincott, Fire Management Officer said all fires are currently small—less than one acre. Each is being evaluated and will be staffed where appropriate.

   The Clearwater-Nez Perce fire zone recorded more than 4200 lighting strikes from the series of storms. Lippincott said most storms had some precipitation. Amounts varied from a trace in the Selway area up to .5 inch in some places on the North Fork and South Fork Clearwater Rivers.

   An air patrol is currently flying over the Forests and is expected to detect additional starts. “Holdover” fires are possible over the next few days as low intensity smoldering fires that can’t be detected become more active when conditions become warmer and drier.

   Twenty-four remote backcountry fires on the zone are being managed for multiple resource objectives, primarily to improve wildlife habitat and reduce forest fuels. Most fires are small, with the largest being the 15-acre Mallard Peak fire on the Clearwater National Forest’s North Fork Ranger District.

   All 24 fires are closely monitored and evaluated daily.