The North Fork Ranger District of the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests is managing the lightning-caused Shale Creek Fire to achieve resource objectives. Reported at 15:26 on August 26, the fire is located approximately 15 miles east of the Kelly Creek Work Center. The fire started within the Moose Kelly prescribed burn project area. Currently, the fire is experiencing generally minimal fire activity with little change expected for some time.
The fire does not pose a risk to communities. The only values immediately threatened by the fire are recreational activities and outfitter interests. In late August, a small crew was inserted into an area near the Junction of Kelly Creek and Bear Creek to establish and maintain a perimeter around an outfitter camp that had potential to be impacted by the fire. This work was completed and there are no longer crews directly on the fire. The trail closure on trail # 567 has been lifted.
The Shale Creek Fire will serve to reestablish wildland fire processes, moderate future fire effects, restore forest structure and encourage early seral vegetative growth.
Difficult risk management decisions are made on every wildfire. Many elements were considered in this process including: the risk of firefighter exposure and the complexity of extractions in a medical emergency, time of year, long-term forecast, topography, fuel types, and the nature and continuity of those fuels.
Shale Creek Fire Facts
· Reported: 3:26 on August 26, by Osier Lookout
· Cause: Lightning
· Location: Approximately 15 miles east of the Kelly Creek Work Center in the Shale Creek drainage just north of Kelly Creek
· Jurisdiction: US Forest Service North Fork Ranger District
· Size: 630 acres
· Fuels: Subalpine fir, Ponderosa pine, lodgepole pine, Engleman spruce, and brush
· Social Media Hashtags: #ShaleCreekFire, #NorthForkRD, #NPClwNF