Ross Fork Fire evacuations downgraded to “Ready” status

Ross Fork Fire evacuations downgraded to

The Ross Fork Fire has engulfed nearly 38,000 acres in the Sawtooths, near Alturas Lake or Smiley Creek.

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BLAINE COUNTY, Idaho — Some good news in the fight against the Ross Fork FireThat fire started in the Sawtooths in late August. Although winds picked up in this area, no new fire growth was observed over the weekend. Sawtooth National Forest officials announced Monday, Sept. 19.

The fire is burning near Smiley Creek, Alturas Lake northwest Ketchum. 44% of the fire’s containment was achieved. The fire is estimated to have burned 37,795 acres. Firefighters continue to patrol, hazard mitigation, and mop up the fire area.

The fire area is expected to experience dry, cool weather Monday and Tuesday. There will be winds gusting up at 40 mph in some places, and temperatures dropping over the course the week. There is a chance for measurable rain on Wednesday and Thursday.

According to fire officials, the fire won’t be extinguished. fully containedUntil Oct. 31 The area was flooded Friday by scattered rain showers, making it less likely to burn fuel. Despite the recent rain, the forest has seen a record low moisture level.

Conditions that become dry could lead to smoldering fuels reigniting and making it dangerous. People who wish to visit the forest should avoid locations that have been burnt over. Also, be aware of hidden stump holes, weakened trees, and loose rocks.

Concerning road closures or evacuations, the Blaine County Sheriff’s OfficeFriday morning announcement that all areas of Ross Fork Fire are now in “READY”Status — also known as level 1, means residents should be aware and ready to evacuate if conditions change.

As of Monday, Sept. 19, 462 personnel had been assigned to the fire. Sierra Nevada Team 3 will assume command of firefighting operations on Tuesday, Great Basin Team 3

Officials with the Firefighting Department warn against flying drones near wildfire areas after two recent drone incursions at the Ross Fork Fire. Officials with Sawtooth National ForestTuesday, September 13, 2013, it was reported that a drone flew very close to a helicopter during flight. Firefighting helicopters typically fly only a few hundred feet above the ground, approximately the same altitude as recreational drones that are flown by the general population.

According to firefighting agencies, it is summarized as follows: “If you fly, we can’t.”Drone incidents can delay airborne fire response and pose a danger to firefighters on ground, residents, and property. They also allow wildfires grow larger. A temporary flight restrictionRoss Fork Fire area has a ban on any non-firefighting plane.

Stage 1 fire restrictionsFor the Sawtooth National Forest section of the Sawtooth North Zone, the new regulations are in effect.

Cooper Dean, a Smiley Creek resident, has had to move everything from his parents’ home in the area. 

Dean’s yard and two neighboring houses were already destroyed by the fire. He stated that the community is home to around 100 homes and 30 permanent residents. 

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“It’s really tragic,”Dean said. “I mean, we’re good friends with all our neighbors there.”

Blaine County Commissioners approved in an emergency meeting two declarations about the Ross Fork Fire. 

The commissioners unanimously approved a declaring of disaster and a declaration of spending authorization up until $100,000 with weekly spending updates.

Federal funding via FEMA has been authorized to support firefighting efforts in response to Idaho’s request for a federal Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG). This FMAG was the second to be established in 2022 to fight wildfires in Idaho.The other grant was approved in August for the Four Corners Fire west Cascade.

With the FMAG funds approved, FEMA will support funding: field camps, firefighter mobilization and demobilization activities, tools, materials, and supplies. However, the funding does not provide assistance to individual homes, business owners, or other infrastructure damage caused by the fire.

For the most recent road closure information, CLICK HERE.

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