Friday, August 22, 2014

Craig Mountain wildlife management area open for business again after wildfire

A firefighter works near the riverbank during the Big Cougar Fire outside of Lewiston.  

Over the last few weeks, Craig Mountain enthusiasts have experienced road closures on the main Zaza road due to the 67,200 acre Big Cougar Fire outside of Lewiston. Access and roadways on Craig Mountain re-opened to pre-fire status Aug. 23.

Idaho Fish and Game and firefighter staff will be traveling around the Wildlife Management Area to address issues associated with the fire, so please drive carefully.

In addition, there are many potential hazards associated with post-wildfire areas such as the following:

Trees and snags. Burned or compromised trees have a high potential of falling, but unburned trees may be more susceptible to falling if they’ve lost the shelter and support from neighboring trees. Be very cautious during windy conditions.

Rocks. The dislodging and falling of rocks is another significant risk, especially in steep sloped areas such as the breaks and grasslands of Craig Mountain.

Unstable ground. Soils will be more unstable after a wildfire when they’ve lost the stability from plants and trees. This may result in less stable hiking conditions or even may lead to landslides, especially during or after a heavy rain event.

Rock wells. After a wildfire has burned through a forested or shrubby area, sometimes the root system of shrubs and trees are also burned out leaving a void that may still be covered by ash and debris.

All the county, state, and federal agencies sincerely appreciate your patience through this fire and the associated closure period.

Contact the regional office (208) 799-5010 or visit us on Facebook at Idaho Fish and Game Clearwater Region for a more information concerning the Big Cougar Fire.

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