Backcountry Off Trail Hike Idaho PhaseOne Photography Rocky Mountains Sawtooths Wilderness Wildfire

Fire in the Yard: The Ross Fork

The Ross Fork Fire in the Sawtooth Wilderness and Sawtooth National Recreation Area (SNRA) is a challenging wildfire for the community.  Information about the incident is [here]

It has spread into and burned remote areas utilized by recreationists.  The Ross Fork Fire as also burned out drainages with cabins and reached into the tiny enclaves of Smiley Creek and Sawtooth City.  Two homes have been lost to the fire (to date).

I commute the 61 miles between Stanley and Ketchum on a regular basis.  The commute on State Highway 75 requires driving over Galena Summit (8,701 ft.).  Highway 75 has been closed – at times – due to the fire jumping across the road.  On some days the Air Quality Index (AQI) has ranged for Extremely Unhealthy to Hazardous for the entire route. On the days the highway has been closed, an alternate route has been utilized turning the 122 mile round trip into a 315 mile effort.  Lacking a 4 wheel drive vehicle the alternate route is 416 miles round trip.

Overlooking the Salmon River near Galena Summit. © Copyright Jeffrey H Lubeck – MESH Art LLC – all rights reserved.
The Ross Fork Fire Ignites near the Headwaters of the Salmon River.  The River Valley covered in smoke.
The Ross Fork Fire Ignites near the Headwaters of the Salmon River. The River Valley covered in smoke. © Copyright Jeffrey H Lubeck – MESH Art LLC – all rights reserved.

A video of the ignition from Galena Summit is located [HERE].

Approaching Galena Summit with Smoke as thick as can be.  The morning sun attempts to pierce the smoke layer.
Approaching Galena Summit with Smoke as thick as can be. The morning sun attempts to pierce the smoke layer. © Copyright Jeffrey H Lubeck – MESH Art LLC – all rights reserved.

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