Northern Blaine County was lucky to wake up to blue skies this morning, after many days and weeks of smoke overlay. The current air rating in Ketchum is moderate (the monitoring station is right across the street from the library, at the Ketchum Ranger Station.) However, the Stage One Air Quality Alert from the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) may go up at any time. Red flag warnings are up for the Halstead, Trinity Ridge and Mustang Complex fires as a northern cold front sweeps through, complete with gusting and changeable winds. The smokes may return at any time, and precautions should remain in effect for all individuals with sensitivities to air particulates.
Stanley remains open! Currently, Highways 21 and 75 are open out of Stanley, and the Salmon Festival is still scheduled for this Saturday. Lonesome Larry promises to be on hand. However, plan for wind shifts and fire weather changes. The Halstead is burning close to power lines that feed the Stanley area. Most campgrounds are open, but pay attention to closures closer to the fire to the north, northeast and northwest of Stanley.
The Trinity Ridge fire passed 100,000 acres burned last night, including Forest Service burnout operations designed to protect Featherville residents. Our best wishes and luck to the firefighters and the people of Featherville. There are some concerns on the northern edge of the fire as well, as fire lines were challenged yesterday. Two Type 1 fire teams are now working the northern and southern fronts of the fire. Inciweb has some photos of the progress of the fire.
If the air changes for the worse today, or any time in the next few weeks, the Community Library can provide a haven during our open hours. The air quality has been much worse down south–the Fairfield air monitoring station reports very unhealthy air conditions on 8/24.
There is a ban on open burning throughout the national forests and on Blaine County lands.
Campers, DO be careful out there.