Mel Brooks had that right.
A cold front moving in out of the northwest brought steady winds, stoking the fires in the Idaho mountains. Morning updates are posted at inciweb.org for the Trinity Ridge, Halstead and Mustang Complex blazes, and are often updated as field reports allow. Level Three evacuations have been ordered for houses along the Highway 93 corridor north of Gibbonsville. The Mustang has grown to 200,000 acres and is threatening to cross the highway. Emergency services may not be available in Level Three evacuation areas.
The Halstead fire has made some very aggressive runs in the last couple of days, and the highway between Clayton and Stanley has been closed above Lower Stanley. Travelers going to the Salmon/Clayton area should use the alternate route from Mackay along Highway 93. The power supply to Stanley is in the path of the fire. Stanley is open, but some services may be interrupted–it is good to plan ahead. The fire crews are planning on doing some aerial ignitions in the Sunbeam area to reduce fuels ahead of the fire, if conditions allow.
North of the Trinity Ridge fire, another small fire, the Zumwalt fire, has bloomed north of Grandjean, crews are fighting to control that blaze before it grows to threaten structures or Highway 21. The Trinity continues to throw a lot of smoke in our direction, and air quality alerts remain in place.
The Salmon River Mountain Press has been maintaining blog and twitter reports from the burn areas near Stanley and Clayton. There are some excellent photos of the recent fire activity on Springs and Halstead online, and the Salmon Challis National Forest has a number of close-up photos hosted at Flickr. The SalmonRiverIdaho blog has provided excellent updates, including meteorological data and photos on their Halstead page.
The Government Security News Magazine online reported that the 2,000,000th gallon of fire retardant was dropped on the Halstead fire on August 24th from the joint Department of Defense/Forest Service MAFF C-130 air tankers. To date this fire season, they have made more than 900 drops over 10 states.