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Fire threat reduced but not over

October 7, 2022

As anticipated, fire activity has picked up the last few days with warmer and drier conditions. The Kootenai River Complex is now estimated at 22,910 acres, with the Russell Mountain Fire at 22,307 acres, Long Canyon at 244 acres and the Katka Mountain Fire at 359 acres. The complex is at 85-percent completion and 86 personnel remain working the fires.

A season-ending event has not yet occurred, and fire remains on the landscape. Expect to see continued smoke until the snow falls or significant rain occurs. Still, with decreased fire behavior, the threat is significantly reduced from earlier in the season.

The Temporary Flight Restriction over the Katka Fire was removed on October 6. The TFR over the Russell Mountain Fire remains in place.

The Forest Closure Order for FS Trails 182 and 143 remains in place, as does the closure around the main Complex that runs from Long Canyon Trail No. 16 on the north down to Cascade Creek Road No. 2411 on the south.

These closures are for public and firefighter safety and will be reassessed throughout the duration of the fires and into winter and spring. Fire and post-fire hazards may remain, and the USFS will make notifications as status changes occur. View the closure order and map at https://tinyurl.com/BFClosure.

Fire personnel continue to check the fires from the air and ground. Pumps, hoses, sprinklers, and water tanks remain around properties on the west of Westside Road that could still be impacted. Crews will communicate with property owners as it becomes time to take this equipment down. Firefighters continue strengthening firelines, testing pumps and hoses still set up, and cooling the fire's edge where they can access it.

Helicopters will drop water to cool the fire's edge if necessary. Rehabilitation work has begun on some equipment lines, including reseeding, installing water bars for erosion control, and using an excavator to pull the lines back in places. Crews are working with homeowners for those who want to leave the line in place on their property.

The Long Canyon Fire has shown a slight uptick in fire behavior while the Katka Fire has shown little activity the past few days. Both fires remain unstaffed, and firefighters continue to monitor them from the air and lookout points.

Persistent high pressure will keep conditions unusually warm and dry. Through the weekend, temperatures will be in the 60s and 70s with low relative humidity in the 30s. On Friday, winds will be north to northeast at three to six miles per hour.

The following National Forest Trails and Roads remain closed: Ball Creek Road (FR 432), Trout Creek Road (FR 634), Cascade Creek Road (FS 2411), Russell Mountain (No. 12), Russell Ridge (No. 92), Ball and Pyramid Lakes (No. 43), Pyramid Pass (No. 13), Pyramid Peak (No. 7), Fisher Peak (No. 27), Trout Lake (No. 41), McGinty Ridge (No. 143), Clifty Mountain and Clifty/Burrow (No. 182), Myrtle Peak Trail (No. 286), Burton Peak Trail (No. 9), Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail (No. 221) and Long Canyon Trail (No. 16).

Questions or Comments? Send us an email!

Mike Weland, Publisher

6931 Main St.
6619 Kaniksu St., Rm 19
Bonners Ferry, ID 83805
(208) 295-1016

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