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Reduction of Fire Closure Aids Hunters

Meeting in a telephone conference call September 7, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission reviewed the potential impact of the Snowshoe Fire on hunters in Unit 27. As the Forest Service has now reduced its closure to only the immediate fire area, no such action is warranted this year. Commissioners were pleased that refunds or rainchecks would not be needed this year. The meeting was scheduled while the Snowshoe Fire east of Landmark appeared to have the potential to burn a significant area in game management Unit 27. The fire was slowed by precipitation starting September 5. As much as eight inches of snow fell at the fire camp that sits just west of the fire at about 8,000 feet. The fire had grown by 775 acres since Monday and reached 22,275 acres. Forest Service crews, aided by the new moisture, are working aggressively to counter the potential for fire runs in the Thirty-eight Mile Creek area on the west side of the fire. The Salmon-Challis National Forest has reduced the size of its area closure to only the west side of the Middle Fork Salmon River. An area from Elk Horn Creek to Pistol Creek north of the Salmon River, which takes in the immediate fire area, remains closed. Forest land south and east of the river was reopened to public use. When fire burned over more than 200,000 acres in Unit 28 last year and the entire unit was closed to all public use, the Fish and Game Commission allowed hunters to take a raincheck or given refunds. Hunters may still exchange elk tags through September 14, under the established rules.