Lightning sparks 20 wildfires across Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests

Too Kush 2 Fire
Credit: IDL

KAMIAH, Idaho— Lightning sparked a series of 20 wildfires in the Nez Perce Clearwater National Forests in the past four days. 

The fires were reported between July 1-July 5 and occurred across northeastern Oregon, north-central Idaho, and southwestern Montana.

Restrictions are expected to be implemented soon if conditions do not improve within the next week.

“Even though the area remains in Very High to Extreme fire danger, very few of our total fires have been human–caused,” said Barry Ruklic, Deputy Fire Staff Officer for the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests. “That tells me people understand just how dry it is out there right now. They are doing their part to prevent human–caused wildfires, and we are very grateful for that.”

High temperatures combined with the strenuous work of firefighters could lead to heat illness. Four firefighters were removed from the Apgar fire on Saturday due to safety concerns, three of which were having heat illness and the fourth suffered a heat laceration while attempting to suppress the fire. 

The four firefighters were taken to ambulances by way of a 100-foot cable attached to a helicopter because of the difficult conditions of the fire. All four firefighters are in good condition and have returned to work.