Rain helped, but properties still threatened by wildfire near Riggins

RIGGINS - The human-caused 8,193-acre Rattlesnake Creek Fire fifteen miles southwest of Riggins is now about 40 percent contained, Payette National Forest officials said -– with area rain helping to lower the spread of the fire.

Roughly .10 to .25 inches of rain fell in the area of the fire Sunday, resulting in lower fire activity. “Firefighters were successfully flown out of the west portion of the fire due to unsafe weather conditions. Crews continued direct and indirect suppression tactics on the southern and eastern portions of the fire where it was safe to do so,” said Payette National Forest Public Information Officer Brian Harris.

Rain showers are expected to continue Monday, bringing cooler temperatures and higher humidity which could likely moderate fire behavior. 

However, a warming and drying trend is expected to begin Tuesday, which could possibly increase fire activity.

Firefighters are repairing handlines and removing fire equipment within the northern area of the fire. On the most southern part of the fire, firefighters will continue direct and indirect suppression efforts by building hand lines and using heavy equipment.   

Private property and structures in the Pollock, Pinehurst, Hillman Basin and Elk Lake areas remain threatened, as well as state and federal infrastructure (Highway 95) and natural resources.

Some 397 personnel are still battling the fire, including nine hand crews, ten engines, three dozers, seven water tenders, two masticators and three helicopters, Harris said.

In Adams County, Smokey Boulder Road to Railroad Saddle is still closed. 

Areas from mile marker 181 north to the county line are under Level 1 evacuation restrictions -- which means residents in the area needs to be get their evacuation supplies together, with the possibly of having to leave.

Hillman Basin and Boulder Creek roads are under Level 2 evacuation restrictions, which means residents need to be set to leave on a moment’s notice.

Residents should monitor https://www.facebook.com/ACSO911/ or visit https://bit.ly/2AU0C5R [bit.ly] to sign up for emergency alerts.

In Idaho County, North Elk Lake Road, Lower Ranch Drive and High Meadow Lane are under Phase 1 evacuation restrictions. 

Residents should monitor https://bit.ly/2OqK1J7 [bit.ly] or call the Sheriff’s Department at 208-983-1100 to sign up for emergency alerts. 

The Nez Perce-Clearwater and Payette National Forests have Rattlesnake Creek Fire area closures in effect, including portions of the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area. 

Forest Service Road #098 can be accessed from the south (Mud Creek Road FS #100 or from Price Valley), but not from FS #074 (the portion of Smokey Boulder Road located on Forest Service land). Boundary NFS Roads #112, #556, #101, #100 and #098 are open. 

For a fire map for hunters and anglers: https://bit.ly/2ziGO7A [bit.ly].

Temporary flight restrictions –- which also apply to drones -- are in effect around the entire fire area.

Drivers are advised to adhere to all safety signage and speed reductions. For road conditions and closures, call 511 or visit http://511.idaho.gov/ [511.idaho.gov].

For smoke and air quality information, go to: https://bit.ly/2nooV2z [bit.ly] or https://bit.ly/2tm1VG6 [bit.ly].
 

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