Ross Fork Fire Closure Area Reduced
SMILEY CREEK, Idaho (KLIX)-The closure area surrounding the Ross Fork Fire in the Sawtooth Recreation Area north of Ketchum has been reduced in size as containment nears 50 percent. According to the U.S. Forest Service-Sawtooth National Forest, on Saturday public lands to the east of State Highway 75 were opened up to the public as well as areas north of Cabin Creek including Pettit Lake. Access to Alturas Lake is still off limits. All areas, including trails and roads, within the new closure area are closed to the public. The Forest Service warned visitors to stay away from areas that have burned because they pose a serious threat.
The lightning caused fire is 41 percent contained as of Saturday and has burned nearly 38,000 acres of timber and grass. Much of the fire activity is within the fire perimeter in Jake's Gulch, Vienna Creek, West Fork of the Big Smokey Creek, Frenchman Creek and around the headwaters of the Salmon River. Recent moisture has helped dampen grasses and pine needles, but larger trees and logs can still smolder and ignite a larger blaze if conditions dry out enough. The Blaine County Sheriff's Office has placed all areas around the fire under a "READY" evacuation notice asking everyone to be ready to evacuate if need be. Stage 1 fire restrictions remain in effect for Sawtooth North Zone. Around 500 firefighters and personnel worked on the Ross Fork Fire, many of which will be departing Monday and Tuesday.