Here's an overview of wildfires that may affect hunters. This post will be periodically updated, but wildfires are dynamic and situations can constantly change. We will do our best to keep hunters informed about what fires are affecting early season hunts. This is for general information on a large-scale basis. Please follow links for more details.
F&G has more detailed information on links on its Fire Information Page.
Here's a statewide map and overview of fires and hunting units.
Updated Sept. 13 (See below for a map of regions and hunting units)
Light fire activity. The Buck Fire is burning in Unit 7. According to the Forest Service, the fire is located on the St. Joe Ranger District, approximately 17 miles southeast of Avery, Idaho and is burning in steep terrain and heavy fuels along Buck Creek. Here's more information about the Buck Creek Fire.
Major fire activity in Units 12, 14, 17, 16A, 19 and 20, as well as fires in 8A and 18. People heading to the Clearwater area, especially the Lochsa/Selway areas, should check for fires and fire closures at the Nez-Perce/Clearwater National Forest. The Hanover Fire is also burning south of Grangeville and north of the Salmon River.
The Hanover fire is 26,342 acres and is 88 percent contained. The fire remains heavily patrolled and containment lines actively monitored.
Stage 1 fire restrictions are in effect in the Grangeville Fire Restrictions Area, Riverbreaks, Hells Canyon National Recreation Area, and Uplands. The restrictions do not include wilderness areas. Here's information on fire restrictions across the state.
Fire managers with the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests are lifting some area closures because of cooler, wetter weather.
Two area closures around the Pronghorn (Unit 16A) and Rattlesnake fires, both located on the Red River Ranger District were lifted Sept. 13, area closure associated with the Strychnine fire, located on the Palouse Ranger District, is expected to be lifted September 14.
The Highline Fire is burning in Unit 20A and there is a large fire closure area that includes portions of Unit 26.
A revised order reopens the south and southeast corner of the fire area that had been closed on September 4, which reopens the Big Creek Trail #196 and everything south of the trail as well as adjusting the east boundary to the west to open the airstrips at Cold Meadows, Cabin Creek and Soldier Bar.
A large fire and closure area in Unit 34 and a large closure areas around Deadwood Reservoir area caused by the Bearskin Fire Complex.
The Bearskin Fire area closure includes the Deadwood Reservoir area and all the campgrounds and trails in the vicinity. NFS Road 582 through Bear Valley remains open except between the junctions of NFS Roads 545 and 515 which is closed for construction. Work is expected to last into October.
There's also fire rehabilitation from last year's Pioneer fire that affects a small portion of 33 and 39, adjacent to Idaho 21. Popular campgrounds are affected include Whoop Em Up, Edna Creek, Willow Creek.
Magic Valley Region
Little fire activity in the region except the 1,500 acre Piney Fire on the Nevada border in Unit 54 that is 99 percent contained. Also, the 400-acre Meadow Creek Fire in Unit 56 is 60 percent contained.
Currently no wildfires in the region.
Upper Snake Region
Currently no fires in the region.
A fire and closure area are in Unit 27 in the backcountry west of Challis caused by the Ibex Fire.
Fish and Game's policy on hunts that are affected by fires
Hunters have the option of exchanging tags at any Fish and Game regional office, but they must do so before their hunt starts.
All hunters should consider that fire conditions can change quickly with favorable weather and forests can reopen. Fire season tends to taper off by late September and is usually over by mid-October when most any-weapon hunts start.
Fish and Game's standard policy is to not change hunts or rules due to fire closures because entire hunting units are rarely closed, and fire restriction rarely last through the entire hunting season, however, in rare cases rain checks are issued if an entire hunt unit is closed and will likely be closed throughout the season.