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The Comet Fire, which was started by lightning on Tuesday, July 26, is now 40%contained. Yesterday, firefighters made excellent progress digging fireline along the burning perimeter and held the fire for a second day at 357 acres. Helicopters continued water drops on smokes inside the perimeter until high winds came up after 2 p.m.

At approximately 8:30 this morning, aircraft operations on the fire were interrupted by a privately owned drone flying from one of the pull-outs along the river in the fire area. Drones, also called “unmanned aerial systems,” are a hazard to firefighting aircraft. If drones fly, firefighters can’t. Do not fly drones in the fire area.

Weekend drivers and rafters between the town of Salmon and the North Fork area are advised to use caution and steer clear of areas where helicopters are dipping water from 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.

Roaring Fire- The Roaring Fire, currently estimated at 150 acres, was also started on Tuesday, July 26 by the same storm passage as the Comet Fire. The Roaring 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 adjacent to the 2014 Goat Fire and is being managed to allow fire to 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.

Hospital Bar Fire- A new fire was discovered today burning on both sides of the Middle Fork of the Salmon River at Hospital Bar. A helicopter and several firefighters were dispatched to suppress it. The fire is estimated at 15 acres.

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