Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Local wildfires dying out

The Western News | October 12, 2021 7:00 AM

After nearly four months of battling the Burnt Peak Fire, U.S. Forest Service officials have lifted a closure order for the Keeler Creek area.

The termination, which went into effect Oct. 2, allows travel along North Fork Keeler Creek and Keeler/Rattle Creek roads. The land inside the former boundary of the fire is open to the public.

The notice came a few weeks after Forest Service Officials terminated a closure order for roads and land in the South Yaak Fire area. As of Sept. 20, the public has had access to Kilbrennan Lake Road, Eastside Road and a portion of the Forest Service jurisdiction NFSR 471.

At the time the order was lifted, officials warned residents that firefighters were still working in the Arbo and North Fork of the O’Brien areas.

The South Yaak termination also opened up the Skyline, Prospect/Gunsight, Hemlock Ridge, Feeder Creek, Arbo Creek/Wee Lake, Kedzie Creek, Feeder Mountain, Quartz and Skyline trails.

The Burnt Peak Fire started after a storm cell passed over the Keeler Rattle area. Less than a week later, lightning sparked the South Yaak Fire four miles north of Troy.

By the time county officials lifted a wildfire declaration of emergency early last month, the Burnt Peak Fire had nudged just over 4,000 acres. The South Yaak Fire had nearly reached 12,500 acres as of the latest Forest Service update on Sept. 8.