Muldoon Canyon Fire Inciweb

The Muldoon Fire burned stands of pine and fir near the Star Hope Campground on Monday night.

Nearly 100 firefighters continued to combat a blaze in the Salmon-Challis National Forest on Tuesday as the Forest Service throws more resources at the Muldoon Fire near Copper Basin.

As of Tuesday morning, the fire had consumed 366 acres and was 20 percent contained, according to InciWeb, the federal interagency management tracking site.

The cause of the fire, first reported on Sunday afternoon, is under investigation. Currently, it is burning near the Star Hope Campground in Custer County, about 8 miles below the East Fork of the Big Lost River.

Bolstered by four helicopters and four engines, a local Type III team of 97 firefighters “made good progress” despite an active fire on Monday, according Salmon-Challis spokeswoman Amy Baumer.

That progress will be tested by unkind conditions, though. A Red Flag warning indicating extreme fire danger was in effect over the fire area Tuesday morning, prompted by high temperatures and winds gusting near 50 miles per hour.

The fire hasn’t prompted any closures, though aircraft are drawing water from the Mackay Reservoir. Recreators are urged to steer clear.

“If you are recreating near an ongoing wildfire suppression operation, please keep your distance—do not congregate in the area and allow the firefighters to do their job safely and efficiently,” Baumer said in a statement.

Currently, there are no fire restrictions in place within the Salmon-Challis National Forest, despite “very high” fire danger in the area, according to the InciWeb report. Stage 1 fire restrictions are due to kick in across much of south-central Idaho one minute after midnight on Friday, Aug. 21.

Though the cause of the fire remains under investigation, Baumer urged those maintaining campfires to use extra caution.

“Don’t forget it is your responsibility to maintain and extinguish your campfire to prevent wildfires,” she said. “Remember, if it is too hot to touch, it is too hot to leave; pour water and add dirt to your campfire until it is cold. One spark is all it takes to start a wildfire.”

Email the writer: mdee@mtexpress.com

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