Two range fires burning west of Craig Mountain in north-central Idaho have merged into one fire, now more than 40,000 acres - or 63 square miles - in size.
The Craig Mountain Complex includes the Corral Creek and Powerline fires. They both started on July 15, and lightning is believed to be the cause. The Corral Creek fire is located between Corral Creek and China Garden Creek drainages, with the Snake River on the southern perimeter. The Powerline Fire is located between Wapshilla Creek and Deer Creek, south and southwest of Winchester.
The Idaho Department of Lands said Saturday that the two fires merged due to successful burnout operations, which were helped by Friday’s cooler temperatures, northerly winds, and increased humidity.
611 personnel are assigned to the Craig Mountain Complex. They include five Hot Shot crews and 14 Type 2 hand crews. Aircraft assigned to the fire include three Type 1 helicopters, two Type 2 helicopters, and two Type 3 helicopters.
No structures have been lost, but there is a potential threat to 12 residences and cabins near an Idaho Department of Fish and Game work station. Structure protection crews have worked to secure those buildings.
Recreationists accessing the Snake and Salmon rivers will see active fire above and near beaches. Possible hazards include rocks and rolling debris, as well as helicopters dipping from river drainages.
- Craig Mountain Wildlife Management area, which is 30 miles south of Lewiston
- Eagle Creek Road from Zaza Road to the Salmon River
- Recreationists floating the Salmon River will not be able to exit at Eagle Creek; Heller Bar is the next take-out location
- The Lewis Co. Sheriff’s Office will be closing public access to the fire area at Deer Creek and Zaza roads. Residents and landowners will be allowed access from both closures.
- A temporary flight restriction is in place. Firefighters remind everyone that when drones fly over or near wildfires, they can’t.
Incident information, including updated fire maps, can be found here.