Cougar Fire area closure rescinded

By Ben Olson
Reader Staff

More than two months after it was first detected, the Cougar Fire is finally just a memory.

The Idaho Panhandle National Forests announced Wednesday it was rescinding the roads, trails and area closure for the Cougar Fire on the Sandpoint Ranger District. The fire, which was first reported July 27, was started by lightning, according to InciWeb.

A USFS map of the Cougar Fire near Hope from Aug. 29. Courtesy USFS.

The construction closure is still in place for Lightning Creek Road #419 from milepost 9.0, north of the East Forst bridge, to milepost 14.0 north of Rattle Creek bridge, and Auxor Road #489 to milepost .04 at the junction with the #419, on the west side of Wellington Bridge.

The Wellington and Rattle Creek bridges have been repaired and replaced, according to the USFS. The contractor is finishing up the running surface at Rattle Creek and the guard rail at Wellington. Additional work includes repairing box culverts, hauling aggregate for surfacing and grading and shaping the road. USFS estimates the repairs will be complete by Oct. 24.

“Although the Cougar Fire area is now open to the public, there are always potential hazards in burned areas and visitors are advised to be very careful,” the USFS wrote in a statement. “Visitors traveling in this area are reminded that heavy equipment may be encountered.”

For additional information, please contact the Sandpoint Ranger Station at (208) 263-5111.

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