By Lyndsie Kiebert
Fire risk remains high in North Idaho, with dry and hot conditions persisting into the near future. In Bonner County, fires continue to burn in mountains above Hope — a conflagration started by lightning July 7 now known as the Trestle Creek Complex.
As of July 14, authorities reporting on the complex shared the containment percentage for each burn, sharing that of six fires, one is 27 acres and 50% contained, four remained less than 10 acres and are 100% contained, and the largest blaze — Trestle Creek No. 6 — was sitting at 210 acres and 0% contained due to lack of accessibility.
“Efforts to contain fires and line construction mop-up continue,” authorities reported. “Scouting and planning for potential opportunities to engage in suppression actions on fire No. 6 continue.”
Five hand crews — totaling 81 personnel — are currently fighting the Trestle Creek Complex, which is being overseen by a Type 3 Incident Management Team based in Nevada. Both Trestle and Lightning Creek roads are closed to keep the public away from firefighting efforts.
“Hot dry weather combined with poor overnight recovery continues a well above average drying trend, adding to the higher risk of new fires as well as enabling the growth of current ones,” fire officials shared in a daily update July 14.
The past week also saw a fire start in Spirit Lake on July 12 in the area of 800 Clagstone Road and Huntsman Way. The blaze, dubbed the Huntsman Fire, prompted local authorities to advise residents in the area to be in the “ready” stage of Bonner County’s evacuation guidelines. The Bonner County Sheriff’s Office shared via Nixle Alert and Facebook on the morning of July 13 that the fire was 100% contained and firefighters remained on scene to perform mop up duties.
“All pre evacuation notices are lifted, roadways are open, and there is no further danger to the public at this time,” BCSO stated. “Thank you all for your cooperation and assistance, and please remain diligent in reporting any potential fire issues during this exceptionally dry fire season.”
To receive Nixle Alerts from local authorities regarding fires and other threats to public safety, text your ZIP code to 888-777.
The U.S. Forest Service, in partnership with several other state and federal agencies, enacted Stage 2 fire restrictions July 12 in the Coeur d’Alene Fire Restriction Area, which includes all state, federal and private forestland and rangeland in Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai and Shoshone counties, as well as National Forest System lands in Washington and Montana that are administered by the Idaho Panhandle National Forests.
The restrictions outlaw campfires and stove use on these lands, as well as smoking outdoors unless the area is cleared of all flammable materials. The agencies also enacted “hoot owl” guidelines, which dictates that using chainsaws, heavy equipment and the like is not allowed between 1 p.m. and 1 a.m. each day.
Learn more about Stage 2 restrictions at idahofireinfo.com.
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