The fire danger crept into the "Very High" level Friday on the Bitterroot National Forest. The forest joins other national forests in the area at "Very High" danger due to the continued hot weather and lack of any rainfall. Tod McKay of the Bitterroot Forest said at Very High, fires will start from most causes and spread rapidly with a quick increase in intensity.

Unfortunately, seven abandoned campfires were discovered on the Bitterroot National Forest last week. Fire Management Officer Mark Wilson said, "We are seeing at least two or three of these a week. Our wildland firefighters face a long fire season ahead even without having to respond to human-caused fires. We really need the public's help to stop this continuing problem."

The 1,000-acre Reynolds Lake Fire is now 70 percent contained, and Friday had four crews, two engines and two helicopters assigned to the blaze at the far south end of the Bitterroot Valley. In the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, lightning caused two small fires about 6 miles east of Paradise Campground. Smokejumpers are on the scene and
helicopter drops of water have held those fires.

Meanwhile, the Rattlesnake Creek Fire on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest north of McCall, Idaho, near Highway 95, is at 3,043 acres with over 400 people on the fire, which mostly has been spreading south. Smoke is a problem on the Highway 93 corridor near Pollock, Idaho.

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