Weekly Forest Service fire update
August 30, 2017
The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for the region due to increased winds, low relative humidity, and high temperatures. Additional challenges for the area include unstable weather conditions that could bring high winds and lightning.

More than 100 lightning strikes were recorded in the Coeur d’Alene dispatch area in the last 24 hours. It may take several days or longer to detect any new starts from these strikes.

With the high temperatures, Labor Day weekend and hunting season, Forest Service personnel are advising people to be especially cautious. There is still no moisture in the forecast and fire resources are limited as the wildfire season continues.

Fire danger continues to be extreme across the Idaho Panhandle and any fires that start are likely to burn intensely.

Five new fires were detected across the Coeur d’Alene Dispatch Area in the last week; three were human caused and two were caused by lightning. Firefighters’ hard work and quick response contained the new starts and limited their spread. Contained fires will be monitored until significant rainfall is received.

The North Fork Hughes Fire on the Priest Lake Ranger District is at 1,990 acres. Fire growth has been primarily to the west, crossing onto the Colville National Forest. The fire also continues to back down the east flank near Hughes Meadows. Firefighters are monitoring 3.5 miles of sprinkler line along Hughes Fork and Jackson Creeks to minimize the effect of fire activity on sensitive wildlife habitat.

The Buck Fire, St. Joe Ranger District, is now 450 acres, having grown substantially over the last few days with the changing weather conditions.

The fire is 25-percent contained.

Firefighter safety is the top priority on these fires as both are burning in steep, rugged terrain and heavy fuels. Information on these fires is updated, under their respective names, at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov. For additional information or updates on fire activity, please contact Jennifer Russell, Public Information Officer, at (208) 661-5292.

Stage 2 fire restrictions are still in effect on all state, federal, and private forestland and rangeland in Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai, Shoshone, and Latah Counties. This also includes public lands in Washington and Montana that are administered by the Idaho Panhandle National Forests. For additional information, visit http://www.idahofireinfo.com/p/fire-restrictions.html or contact a fire restriction specialist at 208-557-8813.