FISHING -- Long Lake, a fly-fishing-only water in Ferry County south of Republic, reportedly is among the casualties of the huge North Star Fire.
"The Colville National Forest ranger station confirmed that the area around the lake burned in the North Star Complex fire," says a Spokane fly fisherman. "They tried to wrap the outbuildings and facilities in fire retardant material when they knew the fire was coming but they had not been able to get back in there to determine what was left at the time I spoke with them."
No report was available on the extent of the burn or the impacts to nearby Swan and Ferry lakes. The lakes popular with anglers and campers and has supported one of the state's few nesting pairs of common loons.
The North Star fire perimeter is approximately 194 miles, which is longer than the distance from Omak, Wash., to Coeur d'Alene, fire managers note.
National Forest Lands east of Tonasket and south of Highway 20 on the Tonasket Ranger District are closed. The Colville Indian Reservation forest and recreational areas are closed. Colville National Forest lands in that area also are closed.
- See map above showing Colville Forest closures as of Sept. 4, 2015.
On Monday, Sept. 7, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell will travel to the active North Star Fire, which has threatened towns of Nespelem and Republic.
The North Star Fire has burned more than 205,000 acres, primarily on the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, and evacuations are in effect for approximately 3,000 single residences. More than 1,000 personnel, including state and federal firefighters, are working to contain the fire.