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  1. #1
    jalepenio jimenez
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    Halstead fire 19,000 acres in 24hr

    tens of thousands of acres are being burned over every day now...the "hot" moving front of the fire is burning to the south east...Upper Valley creek, Prospect creek, Hindman lake...all toast...Basin Butte lookout may have been burned over and the fire is in Basin and Little Basin creeks...eastern and more intense front is less than five miles from Yankee fork and old mining town of Bonanza, which happens to lie directly in the fires path...all moose country with lots of good riding...sigh...be safe, fire eaters
    I dig, chop, strangle, yank, stomp, annihilate, mutilate, eradicate, and FU goatheads

  2. #2
    TRAIL KUBUKI CORNDOGGER
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    Well, it has to happen sooner or later.

    Stupid Americans, and their "let burn" policy...
    Nobody cares what kind of bike you ride.

  3. #3
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    Mudflap - I was supposed to spend two weeks in Stanley/Ketchem areas riding in Sepetmber, but it looks like all of Idaho is on fire.. any ideas on where I might still be able to ride.

  4. #4
    Look out!
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    Remember, Fisher creek got burned over years ago. It changed the views and not much else. Still a great trail. This too shall pass. Lots of trail work to rehabilitate the trails and then game on.
    Ride the bike.

  5. #5
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    awood all of idaho is not on fire. normal fire season. central idaho is made to burn with its dry climate and big mountains. it is conducive to lighting.

  6. #6
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    Teton Valley not burning, although we are getting the smoke from the Stanley area fires. Need some rain.

  7. #7
    beater
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    Quote Originally Posted by tim208 View Post
    all of idaho is not on fire.
    Sometimes it seems like it here in MT. We're commonly right in the line of smoke from central ID fires. Last week was pretty thick in the valley here, and I'm glad I wasn't floating the main Salmon with my friends. 2007 was a lot worse, though.

    During fire season I check the MODIS imagery and the InciWeb site daily. So far I think we've been lucky, but there's a couple more months to go.
    "Back off, man. I'm a scientist." - Dr. Peter Venkman

    Riding in Helena? Everything you need to know, right here.

  8. #8
    jalepenio jimenez
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    no big advances with the fire today, but the potential is still big for future intense fire activity

    from the latest pics the fire has made end runs, both north and south, around the Cabin Creek peak/Knapp peak massive, which had pretty much stopped the fires advance to the east, but which has now split the fire into two fronts

    in the north it continues to burn east, bearing down on the Diamond D ranch in the Loon creek area...in the south it has advanced down Basin creek to within a couple miles of highway 75 and the Salmon river...and the south's eastern advance down the West Fork of Yankee fork towards Bonanza seems to have slowed for now.

    the possibility now exists for the two fronts to reunite into one fire on the east flanks of Knapp peak...only six miles separate the two fronts...and the fire has traveled 18+ miles so far since it began...

    awesome example of the power of wild fire...and up until now, only a ten thousand foot mountain has been able to stop it!

    all info courtesy of

    InciWeb the Incident Information System: Current Incidents
    I dig, chop, strangle, yank, stomp, annihilate, mutilate, eradicate, and FU goatheads

  9. #9
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    Is it true that wildfire doesn't burn nearly as intense in areas of trees dominated by beetle kill? That is, you don't get the catastrophic crown fires and extreme fire behavior. Is 18 miles of fire advance in two weeks that surprising? Just curious.

    We had a catastrophic fire in Flagstaff in 2010 and it ran 10 to 15 mile in 2 days and really couldn't be stopped until it ran out of fuel and hit the desert.

  10. #10
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    Hey Rockman. Hope you had some good rides while you were up here. From the photo it looks like you found some clear air. It is so socked in with smoke here now between Mustang and Halstead fires you can only see a mile or less. Been that way for a days now. Get a few hours of cleaner air once in a while when the wind shifts.

    Even in the heavy beetle kill areas there are usually a sufficient amount of green crowns to carry a crown fire, especially in a drought year like this. In the beetle kill areas, the needles also fall on the ground and are susceptable to ground fire for several years until they decompse. Also provide a good ignition source for spotting.

    Luckily we havnt had much wind so the fire spread has been slow.

    In 2000 there was a fire on the Middle Fork that spread 13 miles in one afternoon. Also in 2000 there was another fire that eventually spread to 200,000 acres and was spotting 3 miles ahead of the main fire front. Personal observations.

    Since 2000 there were several wind driven fires in Salmon River country that spread miles in one day.

    The three large forest fires burning in Central Idaho are now about 80,000 acres each. Lots of potential ignition sources if the wind should come up. 100 + years of fuel build up.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by sidehiller1 View Post
    Hey Rockman. Hope you had some good rides while you were up here. From the photo it looks like you found some clear air. It is so socked in with smoke here now between Mustang and Halstead fires you can only see a mile or less. Been that way for a days now. Get a few hours of cleaner air once in a while when the wind shifts.
    With the exception of the Castle Peak ride we avoided the Stanley Basin and camped on the Wood River valley side of Galena Pass. We had a couple of good days but then the air quality took quite a turn for the worse so pulled stakes. Rode Prairie Lakes to Miner and Curlys to Easley Hot Springs. Could barely make out the Boulder Mtns from the top of Curlys.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Halstead fire 19,000 acres in 24hr-curly1.jpg  

    Halstead fire 19,000 acres in 24hr-curly3.jpg  


  12. #12
    TRAIL KUBUKI CORNDOGGER
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    The air quality sucks beyond the pale in the Wood River Valley.

    Trinity Ridge fire was started by a rogue golf cart. Halstead Fire was started by lightening. It's the whole "nature vs. nurture" thing.

    It'll all burn and we'll just have to start all over again. I fakkin' love nature disasters. Fires are almost as bitshin as massive landslides. Which are next in the great Idaho-dee-doe scheme of things
    Nobody cares what kind of bike you ride.

  13. #13
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    I didn't say central idaho wasn't on fire, just not all of idaho.

    it does seem like central idaho burns every year. the smoke was up here also until a couple of days ago and than the wind shifted. good luck to all those involved in the fires.

  14. #14
    TRAIL KUBUKI CORNDOGGER
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    I, for one, am proud that Idaho is on fire.

    It's God's way of reminding the human race that owning a second home is only for straight-up dewshes.









    Damn proud.
    Nobody cares what kind of bike you ride.

  15. #15
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    normal fire season.
    I wouldn't go so far as "normal." Normal for an abnormally hot and dry August, sure. And given how much of our forests need a controlled burn at this point, I'm surprised it's not worse.

    This too shall pass. Sucks, though.

  16. #16
    mtbr member
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    I'm not sure i get the "cool, my state is on fire and I'm proud about"! attitude but here's a cool satellite image of Idaho courtesy of NASA. NASA - Trio of Fires in Idaho Wreak Havoc

    I was in Yellowstone making a map of the lake in 1988. That summer the place torched and I can't say anyone was really overjoyed and proud
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Halstead fire 19,000 acres in 24hr-678213main_20120820-idaho_800-600.jpg  


  17. #17
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    I'm not sure i get the "cool, my state is on fire and I'm proud about"! attitude
    I see you haven't read many of TwistedCrank's posts.

  18. #18
    jalepenio jimenez
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    bad smokey day in Boise today...but nothing like Stanley.

    the Halstead fire continues to grow...100,000 acres in 30 days now and continuing to advance on every aspect of it's perimeter.

    all of upper Basin creek, Sunday and Li'l Basin creeks have been burned over now.

    Kelly creek is in the process of being back-fired with hopes of stopping the southern advance towards highway 75, but from the looks of their fire map, it has already jumped the Kelly creek road (end of Little Basin creek ride) and is now south of Kelly creek.

    the head of Stanley creek (the start of Little Basin creek ride) is still green but going black fast. if it does, all of Little Basin creek ride will have been burned over...major bummer.

    the eastern front, until yesterday, had been dormant for the last week in it's advance down West Fork of Yankee Fork (WFYF) towards the historic mining town of Bonanza on the main Yankee Fork. yesterday it jumped the WFYF and burned north nearly two miles into the divide between the WFYF and the Lightning creek drainage, where there is a great non-motorized single track coming off the south shoulder of Mt. Jordan (10,063 ft.) and the headwaters of Jordan creek.

    jumping the WFYF is bad news. it means it is that much closer to reuniting with it's sibling to the north, split off earlier by the Knapp peak/Cabin Creek peak massif.

    so far it has just been trees that have burned. and thanks to the natural mosaic burn pattern of fires, who knows what has burned in the areas of burn-over. i'm sure there will be patches of green timber scattered throughout the burn area, but it's still a bummer when the area you are looking forward to riding is blackened from fire.

    much like it was a bummer to ride through areas of extensive bug kill the last ten years.

    bug infestation, much like fire, isn't new to the area...early 1900's saw 90,000 acreas in Stanley basin fall prey to the Pine beetle...1926 saw another infestation...early 1980's saw bug kill in the upper Salmon river tributaries...and bug kill went from 8,000 lodgepole pines killed by the beetle in 1999 to nearly 862,000 in 2003 (u.s.f.s. stats-who else counts trees?): the beginning of our present infestation.

    however even now, when you look towards the mountains and the forests covering their flanks, mostly all you still see is green forests. let's hope it still looks that way after the fires.
    I dig, chop, strangle, yank, stomp, annihilate, mutilate, eradicate, and FU goatheads

  19. #19
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    The view from Stanley and Hwy 95 today (8/25).

    The fire camp economy of rolling big this year. It's a force of nature. Boo--yah!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Halstead fire 19,000 acres in 24hr-photo0.jpg  

    Halstead fire 19,000 acres in 24hr-photo1.jpg  

    Halstead fire 19,000 acres in 24hr-photo3.jpg  

    Nobody cares what kind of bike you ride.

  20. #20
    jalepenio jimenez
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    Twisted, if I may, I'd like to add a little commentary to your pics...

    the first pic looking north from stanley store shows two distinct heavier columns of smoke...

    the one on the right is the intense burning south of Kelly creek drainage. Kelly creek flows east into Basin creek and is the exit out of Basin creek in the Tater mount'n ride. doesn't look like their back-burn in Kelly creek worked so well. in front of this column of smoke is a high timber-covered mountain with open slopes on its south side. that's the head of Joe's Gulch which comes out onto the highway a mile down stream from lower stanley.

    still from the store, the left-hand column (curtain) is the intense activity in the head of stanley creek, and the beginning of the Tater mount'n ride. oh well...maybe that re-route will be in order now.

    the highway photos look out across the Marsh creek meadowland and show intense activity on the left in Knapp creek and a second Kelly creek (#2), and to it's right, dark smoke and intense burning coming from the divide between Kelly creek #2 and Valley creek in far right of photo.

    the fire updates/maps on InciWeb pretty much describe what these photos show to be happening and is where I got my info.

    other than for the fires, it looks like a nice blue sky day in the stanley basin...thanks for the pics.
    I dig, chop, strangle, yank, stomp, annihilate, mutilate, eradicate, and FU goatheads

  21. #21
    TRAIL KUBUKI CORNDOGGER
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    BTW there is a gap in the down-wind smoke plumes from Trinity Ridge to the south and Halstead to the north that roughly coincides with the location of the Casino Creeks. For those who absolutely, positively must ride up there.
    Nobody cares what kind of bike you ride.

  22. #22
    Tree Hugger
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    I dont know the Idaho geography at all, so I'm confused about the extent and impact of these fires. A few friends and I were planning a trip to the Ketchum/Stanley area in mid September, and we hoped to ride a handful of the classic loops in the area. Are these fires a major problem for both areas, or just for Stanley? Are there plenty of trails open and relatively smoke free in the Ketchum area? Is it worth driving over from Eugene, OR with the current fires, or should we put the trip off until Spring or next fall? None of us have been to Idaho to ride before, but we keep hearing good things about it from others, so we're excited to check out the trails. We just dont want to get there and find it hard to breathe through the smoke, or find out that all the trails are burnt or closed due to fire danger.

    Thanks for any advice that locals can offer. Feel free to hit me up for questions about Oregon riding, especially Oakridge, OR.
    I love mankind - it's people I can't stand. ~Charles M. Schulz

  23. #23
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    I'd postpone. What isn't on fire is going to be very smoky. Not a fun season.

  24. #24
    TRAIL KUBUKI CORNDOGGER
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasquatch View Post
    snipsnipsnip.
    Smoke-free rides are challenging to find right now. A lot depends on wind, and as it gets cooler in the fall, the smoke tends to settle in the valleys at night making the morning rides a lung-butter good time. Both the SV corridor and Stanley basin are under air-quality alerts. It's bleak, man.
    Nobody cares what kind of bike you ride.

  25. #25
    jalepenio jimenez
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    sasquatch, check out these web cams.
    the first is looking south over the town of Stanley at the Sawtooth mountains.
    the second is 25 miles south of Stanley towards Ketchum located at Smiley creek airport. it alternates from north towards Stanley to south towards Ketchum.

    Sawtooth Camera: Live webcam from Stanley, Idaho. Views of the Sawtooth Mountain Range.


    Idaho Transportation Department - Low Bandwidth Web - Camera - Smiley Creek Airport

    and if you really want to get the latest, check out InciWeb on your 'puter.
    I dig, chop, strangle, yank, stomp, annihilate, mutilate, eradicate, and FU goatheads

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