Clearwater Complex closes forest to "human entry"
KAMIAH, Idaho -- Officials said the Clearwater Complex made an aggressive run Saturday and forced them to close the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest.
"The weather conditions that materialized today were even worse than predicted," said Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest Supervisor Cheryl Probert.
Forest officials said the move to close forest is a precautionary measure. Visitors to the forest have been asked to change their travel plans or relocate to areas outside the national forest entirely. Officials said the forest is closed with the exception of the Palouse Road.
"I am extremely concerned about the safety of the people, communities and firefighters that may be in the paths of these rapidly-spreading fires," said Probert.
Officials said the closures will be monitored on a day-by-day basis. Updates will be posted on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest website here.
Fire officials said they are still in the process of monitoring just how far the fire spread Saturday. At last count, the complex had burned through just over 81,000 acres. Officials said they expect to have a new assessment by Sunday morning.
Officials said the National forest system roads may be used for those exiting the forest.