A small shift in weather was expected Tuesday that would bring slightly lower temperatures and higher relative humidity across the area with wind speeds slightly lower than Monday. Strong thermal belts will continue to allow active fire behavior with lower relative humidity. Resources across the area continue to be limited and significant coordination and sharing of resources is ongoing. Smoke from neighboring fires continues to impact the area.
The Northern Rockies Area remains at planning level 5, which is the highest level indicating significant fire activity and shortage of resources.
There were 10 new fires reported and 25 uncontained large fires yesterday. There are currently nine Incident Management Teams committed within the Northern Rockies Area.
The Dixie Fire increased by 1,875 acres yesterday. Crews continued burnout operations on the east side of Dixie to strengthen control lines around the town. These operations will continue moving north today as crews complete their work further south. Heavy equipment is again being utilized to continue building contingency lines on the west side of Dixie to protect the town should fire wrap around or move east from the Jumbo Fire. As these lines are completed, the heavy equipment will continue moving north of the fire to establish and strength control lines in that area.
Crews with additional equipment continue to make their way up the Salmon River conducting structure protection operations. Air operations were largely limited yesterday due to heavy smoke in the area. However, some bucket drops were able to be completed and several reconnaissance flights were conducted to gather updated information on the location and behavior of the fire. The incident management team’s objectives remain to provide for the safety of the public and firefighting resources, and to protect private property, infrastructure, and lands.
Based on current fire activity and the potential for additional fires across the region, land management agencies and fire managers in the Grangeville Fire Restrictions Area have decided to implement STAGE 2 FIRE RESTRICTIONS starting at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, July 16. See Inciweb for more information: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/7608/60737/.
On July 6, the Idaho County Sheriff’s Office issued evacuation orders for the Dixie and Comstock area. For evacuation information and updates, please call 208-983-1100 or follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Idaho-County-Sheriffs-Office-178393728844032.
A portion of the Red River Ranger District, and portions of several other ranger districts of the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests are under a closure. Copies of the official closure orders and maps of the closed area are available online at https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/nezperceclearwater/alerts-notices under “Public Notices.”