Officials with the Payette National Forest announced Wednesday part of a prescribed fire is now a wildfire. Due to the steep terrain, limited access, dry fuel conditions and the time of year, officials chose to declare it a wildfire on May 18.
The Payette National Forest applied the fire to around 700 acres in the southern portion of the Four Mile project area along the South Fork of the Salmon River. This burn is about five miles south of the Reed Ranch Airstrip and 14 miles southwest of Yellowpine.
On May 17, a portion of the fire spread beyond the project area boundary and fire personnel have not been able to extinguish it due to burning snags in the area. Other portions of the burn unit showed a smoldering and creeping fire that may require actions to contain the potential for the prescribed fire to spread, according to the incident overview.
"This is not a wildfire typical of August and September wildfires on the Forest," said David Hogen, Krassel District Ranger. "This wildfire is smoldering and creeping, with occasional torching of Lodgepole pine. As the fire moved out of the prescribed fire boundary, our protocol is to declare it a wildfire and manage it as a suppression fire."
The fire is on National Forest land and is not threatening private property or infrastructure. There are no area or road closures in effect, but forest visitors may encounter smoke in the area of the fire.
The report says rain is forecasted in the area for the next seven days, but smoldering in the heavier concentrations of down logs is expected to continue after the rain. All actions to contain fire spread are based on risk to fire personnel, the public and natural resources.