Boundary Fire, Sept. 1

The Boundary Fire, seen here on Sept. 1, showed "running, spotting and torching" behavior this week. 

The Boundary Fire northwest of Stanley has more than tripled in size this week as gusty winds and low humidity combined to form "critical" fire conditions in the Salmon-Challis National Forest.

On Thursday, Sept. 2, the fire approached 12,000 acres, according to a spokeswoman for the Forest Service. That's up from around 3,800 on Monday, Aug. 30. Two Type II crews, three engines and a helicopter were on the fire this week--82 resources in all,  the Forest Service said. Additional crews are "arriving and on order," according to Thursday's announcement.

A lightning strike sparked the Boundary Fire east of the Middle Fork of the Salmon River on Aug. 10. Since then, it has burned through the remote evergreen hillsides of the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness around 20-25 miles from Stanley.

Given the location of the fire, crews are utilizing a "point protection" strategy to protect "values at risk"--that is, "property, structures, physical improvements, natural and cultural resources, community infrastructure, and economic, environmental, and social values such as the Middle Fork River corridor," the Forest Service said. 

Expect smoke from the fire to be visible in Stanley and throughout the Sawtooth Valley over the holiday weekend--unless it's blocked out by the smoke from other fires. Smoke continues to drift into the area from the immense blazes burning portions of California and Oregon, the Forest Service said. 

There are now 110 uncontained large fires burning across the county, the Forest Service said.

Fire danger remains high in the Salmon-Challis remains high heading into Labor Day. "Ensure your campfire is dead out," the Forest Service said in a statement. "If it is too hot to touch, it is too hot to leave! One less spark means one less wildfire."  

Click here for more information on the Boundary Fire--including the most up-to-date information on closures. For information on wildfire smoke, visit idsmoke.blogspot.com.

Email the writer: mdee@mtexpress.com

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