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Jakes Gulch Fire Makes Way Towards Alturas Lake
Thursday, September 9, 2021


Recreational areas around Alturas Lake remain closed as firefighters continue to battle the Jakes Gulch Fire.

The Sawtooth National Forest issued a closure order on Wednesday for an area that includes campgrounds at Alturas Inlet, Smokey Bear and such organizational camps as Camp Perkins, which sits on Lake Perkins.

Violation of the closure is punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, or imprisonment for not more than six months or both.

The fire, which started Sunday near the Johnson Creek Trail near the old mining town of Vienna, grew 70 acres on the southwest perimeter on Tuesday and early Wednesday. It continues to back down towards the Alturas Lake Creek Trail 034, fueled by heavy dead and down fuel.

The Boise Hotshots removed vegetation from the trail on Wednesday, anticipating the fire’s arrival. Smokejumpers are working the ridgetop and northern perimeter, said BLM Fire Information Officer Ryan Berlin. Fire personnel are accessing how they might provide structure protection for cabins and homes in the area as a precautionary measure.

As of Wednesday, there were 97 personnel, five helicopters, one engine and two water tenders assigned to the fire.

The fire, 23 miles south of Stanley, is 2 percent contained and burning in grass, brush, lodgepole pine and Douglas fir. It was assessed at about 330 acres by the time firefighters arrived on the scene.

There have been no storms in the area for at least a week. One hiker posted a picture on Facebook that showed orange flames more than a dozen feet high below him. He said he had run to a ridgetop to get enough bars on his cellphone to call in the fire before it spread too fast.

“To the idiots on Johnson Creek Trail that not only had a campfire during a BURN BAN but didn’t put it out all the way before leaving….Please stay home if you’re going to be careless like this,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Boundary Fire in the Salmon-Challis National Forest has expanded from about 28,000 to 29,771 acres with temperatures reaching the upper 80s and low humidity. The fire, which surrounds the launching pad for Middle Fork of the Salmon River raft trips and Dagger Falls, is 30 percent contained.

The fire has been active with wind-driven runs towards Blue Bunch Mountain up Dagger Creek and torching and spotting.



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