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U.S. Forest Service: Moose fire was 'human caused'

The specific cause and the events around the fire are still under investigation, but investigators say information will be released as the investigation unfolds.

SALMON, Idaho — U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement and Investigations have determined the Moose Fire north of Salmon was human-caused.

The fire was first spotted July 17. As of August 1, it had burned more than 56,000 acres -- or 87.6 square miles -- an area larger than the Boise city limits.

The specific cause and the events around the fire are still under investigation, but investigators say information will be released as the investigation unfolds.

A virtual community meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, August 1, on the Salmon-Challis Facebook Page and on Microsoft Teams.

The Moose Fire was about 23% contained as of July 31. It is burning on the Salmon-Challis National Forest in Lemhi County. Fire officials say there is still potential for the fire to reach the Highway 93 corridor north of Salmon, but operations have been successful so far in keeping the fire from reaching and crossing the highway.

The Lemhi County Sheriff set Zone 2, both sides of Highway 93 from Tower Creek to North Fork, into "GO" evacuation status. Zones 7 and 8, Squaw Creek to Pine Creek on the Salmon River Rd, and Zone 1, Tower Creek to Carmen, west of Salmon River, are still at a "SET" status. All other zones are in a "Ready" status.

The Salmon‐Challis National Forest is reminding visitors to be extra careful with all potential sources of wildfire ignition while the weather conditions are hot and dry. 

Visitors should also be mindful of parking vehicles near flammable vegetation and make sure all cigarettes are disposed of properly.

Any items being hauled in trailers or truck beds including chains and other metal objects, need to be secured. 

Campfires should always be thoroughly drenched and stirred before visitors leave to ensure it is put out, in areas where allowed during Stage 1 Fire Restrictions.

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