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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  Outdoors

Popular campgrounds along North Fork of Clearwater River closed because of fire

Aug. 6, 2021 Updated Fri., Aug. 6, 2021 at 9:07 a.m.

By Eric Barker The Lewiston Tribune

Two popular campgrounds along the North Fork of the Clearwater River are closed because of the 450-acre Swanson fire.

The blaze is  burning on both sides of the river and the 247 Road. Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest Supervisor Cheryl Probert closed the road between Skull Creek and Bungalow to give firefighters room to work and ensure public safety. The closure cuts off access to Washington Creek Campground. An earlier area closure shuttered Aquarius Campground and access to Smith Ridge and the Mallard-Larkins Pioneer Area, where the Larkins fire has burned more than 3,150 acres.

Probert said Monday that storms over the weekend delivered varying degrees of rain, with just a few drops in some places and decent accumulation in others. The associated cloud cover and high humidity levels enabled firefighters to deploy more aggressive suppression tactics.

But the storms also brought new lighting strikes that has firefighters on their toes.

“We are bracing for a rash of holdover fires to pop up this week and next,” she said.

A majority of the dozens of fires burning on the forest and surrounding areas were started by lightning storms in early July. Many of them were not detected for several days.

Probert said many of the closed areas near fires are expected to remain in place for the time being.

“With fire danger in the ‘high’ to ‘extreme’ and a midweek heat watch in effect for much of the area, we’re taking a wait-and-see approach,” she said.

More information about closures and fires in the forest is available at bit.ly/3kVP7As.

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