Skip to Content

Moose Fire rages on

SALMON, Idaho (KIFI) - The human caused Moose Fire burning west and south of North Fork has burned 125,059 acres and is 35% contained.

A virtual public meeting has been set for Friday at 6:00 p.m. at this LINK.

After Wednesday night’s 15,000 acre fire growth and evacuation of two Zones near Salmon, crews reengaged the fire and began preparing new contingency lines along west edge of Salmon. Several water pumps, five log decks and some portable water storage tanks (nicknamed pumpkins because of their shape and color) were lost during the inferno. No firefighters were injured, and no accidents occurred. Napias Creek at the geographic center of Thursday's fire front continues to hold heat.

The fire has encroached approximately 489 acres into the Salmon Municipal Watershed. The affected area is the northernmost tip of the Watershed and a large spot fire south of the powerline which feeds Panther Creek and three mines.

The Contingency Group was reassigned to structure protection and will now be referred to as the Structure Group. The Structure Group is coordinating with local resources to plan & protect structures north and west of the town of Salmon. A dozer line was constructed as a contingency line along the foothills from Diamond Line to Stormy Peak Road.

Cooler temperatures, higher relative humidity, and thick smoke contributed to minimal fire behavior across the fire’s footprint yesterday. All heavy equipment in the Fuels Removal Group w as walked off the hill via Stormy Peak Road. Many areas were systematically assessed, and spots extinguished. Other completed activities include snagging and mopping up, opening the 197 Road for access, and prepping the 096 Road to reduce accumulated fuels. Damaged pumps and sprinklers were replaced, plumbed, and are up and running. Fallen trees across the 300 Road near Leesburg were removed to gain access.

Friday’s plan is to hold fire west of Diamond Creek Road, north of the Salmon Municipal Watershed, north of 300 Road near Arnett Creek, continue to protect values at risk, patrol and extinguish spot fires and hot spots, clear roads for access, and continue the constructed fire line from Stormy Peak towards Pollard Acres and the Williams Creek Road.

Now the fire is within three miles of Salmon, Pastor Mike Palmer who helping with evacuations says they're prepared.

"Currently we have places to house like the livestock. That would be beyond what any expectation is of what the fire would do and even where we are here. We're not expected to be in in harm's way because we're across the river, across the highway, not expected to be in harm's way. So this at the moment is a pretty safe place for the shelter," Palmer said.


The Beartrack Mine and Leesburg area were evacuated on Sept. 6. On Sept. 7, Zones 1 and 11 were placed in ‘GO” status and evacuated using the CodeRED system. Zones 12, and 13 are in “SET” status, as determined by the Lemhi County Sheriff’s Office. Additional details are at:


A Salmon-Challis National Forest closure order was updated on September 8 certain roads, trails, and a defined geographic area around the fire. Moose Fire Emergency Area, Road, and Trail Closure, Order #04-13-22-509. This closure applies to hunting access, firewood cutting and gathering, fishing, hiking, camping, and other recreational activities. Firewood permits and additional details are available at Salmon-Challis NF offices.

Air Quality

Fire activity and smoke production are expected to continue today. Overnight smoke production and regional transport have combined to form a dense smoke layer overhead. That smoke
will begin to mix down before NE Winds attempt to bring in cleaner air from Montana this afternoon. Carmen, Salmon, and the Lemhi Valley should see some slight improvement this afternoon but will likely
spend most of the day in the Unhealthy range.

Fire Restrictions

Stage 1 Fire restrictions are in effect on the Salmon-Challis National Forest, BLM, and State of Idaho lands in Custer and LemhiCounties, excluding wilderness areas. Stage 1 restrictions limit outdoor fires to only propane cook stoves, or fully enclosed metal wood stoves, or wood fires in established fire rings in specific developed recreation sites, or in specific metal fire pans in areas near the Salmon River.

Article Topic Follows: Idaho

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

Seth Ratliff

Seth is a reporter for Local News 8 and Eyewitness News 3.


KIFI Local News 8 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content