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Comet Fire 35% Contained; 7-29-16

Roaring Fire to be Managed in Wilderness

The Comet Fire, which was started by lightning on Tuesday, July 26, is now 35% contained at 357 acres. Two heavy helicopters continued dropping water on the fire, assisted by a light helicopter which will also be used for supply missions for firefighters camped out along the fireline. One hundred twenty-nine firefighters are working on the fire, including a hotshot crew and a wildland fire module, in addition to smokejumpers, heli-rappellers, and engine crews. Today was the first day that conditions were considered safe enough for crews to “go direct” on the fire, digging fireline along the open perimeter where the fire continues to burn. This tactic was made feasible by the hard work of firefighters earlier in the week, as well as the arrival of additional crews.

Weekend drivers and rafters between the town of Salmon and the North Fork area are advised to use caution and steer clear of helicopter operations. The Idaho Highway Patrol will be reminding drivers not to stop at pull-outs in this area. For the safety of firefighters and the public, helicopters cannot dip from spots where cars are parked too close, or where rafters are lingering in the river. An emergency area closure is in effect for the area surrounding and north of the fire, but all the main roads in the area remain open. The complete area closure can be viewed on InciWeb, under the Comet Fire.

With continuing hot, dry weather conditions making vegetation more prone to burn, the Salmon-Challis National Forest and the Salmon and Challis Field Offices of the BLM are moving to very high fire danger beginning at 6 a.m. on Saturday, July 30.

Roaring Fire- The Roaring Fire, also started on Tuesday, July 26 by the same storm passage as the Comet Fire, is burning in a remote part of the Frank Church-River of No Return wilderness on the ridge between Roaring and Goat Creeks above the confluence of the Middle Fork Salmon and Salmon Rivers. This fire is located adjacent to the 2014 Goat Fire and is being managed to allow fire play its natural role in wilderness. It is anticipated that this fire will contribute to smoke in both the Main and Middle Fork of the Salmon Rivers depending on wind and weather conditions. At this time, this fire is not impacting river use or camps.

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