Sand Mountain Fire In North Latah County Holding At 1,500 Acres-Johnson Creek Fire Near Elk River Continues To Grow

The Sand Mountain Fire in North Latah County is holding at around 1,500 acres.

A new management team on the fire has reassessed the containment estimate on the blaze.  Those officials report that the fire is zero percent contained.  The previous management team recently called the fire 5% contained.

heavy equipment is being used to clear access roads from Big Sand Creek Road West toward Mica Mountain.  Firefighters are laying hose lines in preparation for mop up duty on the West and North flanks.  There are over 200 personnel assigned to the Sand Mountain Fire which is burning in heavy timber outside Harvard near Laird Park.  The blaze was sparked by lightning on July 7th.  The upper Palouse portion of the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests remains closed.

A new larger Type 2 management team has taken over the Johnson Creek Fire North of Elk River.  The new team has more operational and logistical capabilities to lead firefighters battling the blaze.

The Johnson Creek fire has grown to nearly 900 acres.  The fire was last reported at about 800 acres.  The blaze in heavy timber is zero percent contained.  Heavy equipment is being used to build line along the South and East sides of the fire from Windy Point Road.

There will be a public meeting at the Elk River Community Center tonight at 6:00 to update residents about the fire.

The blaze has shut down nearby roads in the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests.  The fire was started by lightning on July 7th.

Two additional fire camps are being set up for these blazes.  One is being constructed outside Deary and the other near Elk River.  The new camps will reduce fire traffic through those communities.