Moose Fire is largest active wildfire in U.S. as it surpasses 95,000 acres - East Idaho News

Moose Fire is largest active wildfire in U.S. as it surpasses 95,000 acres

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A firefighter on scene at the Moose Fire 17 miles north of Salmon. | Photo and video obtained from Salmon-Challis National Forest.

SALMON – Thirty-seven days after the Moose Fire began north of Salmon, it is now the largest active wildfire in the continental U.S.

Jessica Gardetto with the National Interagency Fire Center tells while there are other fires in Alaska and New Mexico that are much bigger, firefighters have them contained so they are not currently active.

As of Tuesday morning, the Moose Fire is 95,520 acres and 37% contained. Falling debris has been a public safety concern over the last 10 days, leading to road closures in the area. Officials with the Salmon-Challis National Forest reported limited access on Salmon River Road Tuesday.

RELATED | Thunderstorm near Moose Fire causes erratic growth, uptick in falling debris

“Front-end loaders will continue to clear debris off of Salmon River Road,” fire officials say in a news release.

Intermittent closures are in place along Panther Creek Road to allow firefighters room to work safely. Those who do travel in the area are urged to be extra cautious.

The Moose Fire began Sunday, July 17 about five miles southwest of North Fork and is believed to be human-caused. The specific details are still under investigation. Two helicopter pilots were killed on the Salmon River while assisting with firefighting efforts last month. No other injuries have been reported.

RELATED | Pilots killed in Salmon River helicopter crash

Six helicopters are currently on scene, along with 48 engines and 823 firefighters. Full containment is now estimated for Oct. 31.

The latest on evacuations is available here. For information about road closures and fire restrictions, click here.

The Moose Fire is one of 11 fires in the Gem State and one of three on Salmon-Challis National Forest land. There are three fires in Payette National Forest in McCall, one in Sawtooth National Forest in Stanley and two in the Idaho Panhandle National Forests near Coeur d’Alene.