More than half of hunt units 20A and 26 are now closed as the Highline Fire continues to burn within the Payette National Forest near Big Creek. For updates on this fire, including future changes to the closure area, visit: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5500/ or https://idfg.idaho.gov/fire.
With the fire still growing, Payette Forest officials have no estimate of when the area closure may be reduced or rescinded. Middle Fork B tag elk hunters who planned to hunt in either unit may wish to consider exchanging their tags for a different zone. Hunters may exchange their tags at any Fish and Game regional office prior to the first day of the hunt (Sept. 15 for Middle Fork B tag).
Recent fire activity and an unfavorable forecast led officials to expand the closure area which now encompasses both major Big Creek airstrips (Cabin Creek and Soldier Bar) as well as the entire Big Creek trail. Chamberlain Basin airstrip has been closed for several weeks, and remains closed at this time.
The closure encompasses 55 percent of unit 20A and 52 percent of unit 26. As a lightning-caused fire burning in a wilderness area, firefighting efforts are focused on protecting structures or property rather than containing the fire. The fire is largely burning in previous fire scars, and is mostly consuming dead or downed timber from previous fires.
- IDFG -