Moose Fire burns tens of thousands of acres north of Salmon, Idaho

Both sides of the Salmon River

Moose Fire map, 9:56 p.m. July 20, 2022
Moose Fire map, 3-D, looking east at 9:56 p.m. July 20, 2022.

The Moose Fire 12 air miles northwest of Salmon, Idaho was very active Wednesday afternoon on both sides of the Salmon River, on the west, south, and east flanks. A mapping flight Wednesday night found that it had grown to more than 20,600 acres and was 2 miles west of North Fork and Highway 93.

Fire officials said the potential remains for the fire to reach the Highway 93 corridor. Additionally, the fire continues to grow to the west along the south side of the Salmon River, beyond East Boulder Creek.

Moose Fire map, 9:56 p.m. July 20, 2022
Moose Fire map, 9:56 p.m. July 20, 2022.

Fire crews are constructing direct and indirect fire line on the north side of the fire north of the Salmon River, working from Ulysses Mountain to the west and the east toward the river. On Wednesday burn out operations were completed near the mountain and crews secured and improved the line into the evening.

Moose Fire, July 17, 2022
Moose Fire, July 17, 2022. InciWeb

South of the river firefighters are expecting to use indirect line, natural features, or roads to stop the spread.

Evacuation information is available at the Lemhi County website.

Continued dry, hot, and windy conditions are expected Thursday with humidities near 10 percent and 15 mph winds out of the west gusting to 22 mph. The forecast for Friday predicts humidity in the mid-teens with stronger winds, 22 mph gusting to 31 out of the west switching to the northwest in the late afternoon. Fire growth on Thursday and Friday could be considerable, but conditions will moderate on Saturday and Sunday.

Another blaze, the Hog Trough Fire 53 air miles to the north-northeast, has burned about 350 acres 15 miles east-southeast of Grantsdale, Montana.

Moose and Hog Trough Fires
Moose and Hog Trough Fires, satellite photo at 7:16 p.m. MDT July 20, 2022. The Hog Trough Fire is the northernmost, and is smaller.

The forecast for smoke from the two fires predicts it will be moving primarily to the northeast and east Thursday afternoon and evening, possibly affecting Salmon, Butte, Bozeman, Livingston, Dillon, and points further east and southeast.

Smoke forecast 8 p.m. MDT July 21, 2022
Smoke forecast for 8 p.m. MDT July 21, 2022. NOAA.

A Type 1 Incident Management Team has been activated. Other resources assigned include 18 hand crews, 25 fire engines, and 9 helicopters for a total of 517 personnel.

Moose Fire, July 17, 2022
Moose Fire, July 17, 2022. InciWeb