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Officials warn visitors of hazards in and around the Moose Fire that burned in 2022

U.S. Forest Service - Salmon-Challis National Forest

SALMON, Idaho (KIFI) - The Salmon‐Challis National Forest wants to provide maximum access and use of public lands while ensuring public safety. The Forest welcomes visitors to Know Before You Go and learn about the travel conditions in and around the Moose Fire area. 

There may be hazards associated with traveling adjacent to and entering burned areas, so use caution when entering these areas. Forest visitors must be prepared to stay longer than expected due to changing circumstances. Weather conditions such as precipitation and wind can rapidly change conditions on the ground. Wind can blow trees across roadways and precipitation can wash debris across roadways blocking access. Preparation for the unexpected is the best plan a Forest visitor can have. Items to consider include:

  • Adequate food, water, clothing, sleeping bags, and other provisions needed in case of inclement weather and extended stay is necessary in the area of travel.
  • Chainsaw and fuel, handsaw, and shovel, in case trees or other debris blocks road access.
  • Forest visitors should inform someone they know about where they are going and when they plan to be back in case an emergency arises.
  • Communications that will work in the area they plan to travel (cell phone, satellite phone or satellite emergency notification device).

Drivers should continually be on the lookout for damaged roads. The Forest encourages extra caution for travel at night and during periods of low visibility. Damaged road surfaces may not be marked and can be extremely hard to identify in the dark.

One popular route of concern is the Salmon River Road, from North Fork to Panther Creek. The Moose Fire burned along the Main Salmon River, adjacent to the Salmon River Road. This past week there was a slide blocking the Salmon River Road down river of Pine Creek. There is ongoing potential for rocks and other debris to slough down onto the roadway and into the river. Visitors should be prepared for the Salmon River Road to be temporarily closed as crews work to clear slides. Additionally, culverts could become overwhelmed and plug with increased water flow causing water and debris to flow across the road and potentially damage the road. The Forest has addressed this issue already this spring where Wallace Creek crosses the Stormy Peak Road. 

In addition to debris and blockages on Forest roadways, visitors may also encounter waterways that have a brown or black color. Visitors are more likely to see this after a weather event such as a thunderstorm.  This coloration is due to fine sediment and debris that runs off the hillsides and into the streams and rivers.

For current conditions call the Public Lands Center in Salmon at 208-756-5100 or contact local Ranger District offices.

Article Topic Follows: Idaho

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