Sawtooths / Halstead fire

Sawtooths / Halstead fire

Joined: March 9th, 2012, 5:43 am

August 11th, 2012, 7:00 pm #1

Has anyone been in Stanley or the Sawtooths since the Halstead fire has been burning. How smokey is it up there around the Sawtooth lake - Redfishlake - Thompson peak areas? The web cam looks really bad sometimes.

Tom
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splattski
splattski

August 11th, 2012, 8:00 pm #2

I just flew in from back east and got a good look.

The Sawtooth valley, Sawtooths, and White Clouds didn't look bad. But the smoke plumes from the Halstead looked a lot closer to Stanley than I expected.
We flew over the southern end, so looking out the right (north) window could see Alturas, Petit, and even Redfish Lake. WE could se all the higher peaks pretty clearly. Northern White Clouds all looked pretty clear: Castle, Caulkens, etc.

Perhaps a bigger issue is the fire right near the summit of Steel Mtn. With the right conditions, the smoke from the Trinities fire is lined up pretty well to engulf the Sawtooths.

All depends on what the wind does, I suppose (and that is why the web cam looks so discouraging in the AM with the smoke settling into the bottom of the valleys).
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Joined: March 9th, 2012, 5:43 am

August 11th, 2012, 8:40 pm #3

Thanks!

I've heard several different accounts of the conditions up there ranging from good to bad to worse. I'm leaving tomorrow for a 4 day trip and will be camping at Redfish with hopes of Alpine and Thompson peaks, and have been formulating my back up plans to hit the southern part of the range, if need be, to avoid the smoke and the wonderful bronchitis that would probably follow. Good call on the Trinity fire - I didn't think about that one, as it is not far from the 'Tooths.

The next thing on my mind is the intermittent closures of Banks - Lowman road and Hwy 21.

Perfect timing for a family get away at Redfish!


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7C
Joined: July 1st, 2009, 7:45 pm

August 13th, 2012, 3:41 am #4

yeah, Splattski is correct. Just depends upon the wind. Typically, the wind blows to the west or northwest, so most of the smoke from the Haestead fire will be headed toward Challis/Twin Peaks rather than Stanley. Just in time for the Braun Brother Reunion. However, that puts you pretty much directly in the crosshairs of the Trinity Ridge Fire. Even at that, you get the inversions where, even if the wind is blowing the 'right' way, you can still get smoked in pretty easily if you are down in the valleys.

Sounds like they have a decent handle on the Bench Fire, so hopefully they will be able to keep 21 open for you. Keep your fingers crossed on this one, though. If that one gets over the Bench Creek Ridge and into Swamp Creek, this could spell very bad news for the entire Sawtooth front.

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Joined: December 1st, 2008, 3:32 am

August 13th, 2012, 4:29 am #5

Has anyone been in Stanley or the Sawtooths since the Halstead fire has been burning. How smokey is it up there around the Sawtooth lake - Redfishlake - Thompson peak areas? The web cam looks really bad sometimes.

Tom
Stayed the weekend at Grandjean. Friday was so smoky you could hardly breathe. Visibility was about .5 mile. I would hate to be hiking that day, your lungs would have been in bad shape. But Saturday was much nicer. Like others said I'd check the wind report and rely on that.
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Wes
Wes

August 13th, 2012, 4:48 pm #6

Has anyone been in Stanley or the Sawtooths since the Halstead fire has been burning. How smokey is it up there around the Sawtooth lake - Redfishlake - Thompson peak areas? The web cam looks really bad sometimes.

Tom
http://activefiremaps.fs.fed.us/imagery.php

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Dan
Dan

August 13th, 2012, 5:06 pm #7

Cool site! Based on those map, the cause of the smoke over all of southern Idaho is the fire in south central Oregon.
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splattski
splattski

August 13th, 2012, 5:19 pm #8

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RDC
RDC

August 13th, 2012, 10:17 pm #9

Has anyone been in Stanley or the Sawtooths since the Halstead fire has been burning. How smokey is it up there around the Sawtooth lake - Redfishlake - Thompson peak areas? The web cam looks really bad sometimes.

Tom
We packed into Born Lakes from 4th of July TH last week. Smoke was heavy with red sunrises and sunsets. Pretty hazy every day. Hiked in Sunday the 6th and came out Thursday. Certainly wind dependent, but Tues was the worst.
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Dan
Dan

August 13th, 2012, 11:01 pm #10

This site lists all the current fires:
http://inciweb.org/state/13/
nifc.gov used to be the "go to" for fire news, but inciweb is MUCH more up-to-date! Thanks for the link.
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