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Investigators have determined what caused the Moose Fire. Now they need your help.

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The following is a news release from the U.S. Forest Service.

SALMON — Investigators with the U.S. Forest Service have determined the Moose Fire was caused by an unextinguished and unattended campfire, which spread to adjacent vegetation on the afternoon of July 17.

A wildland fire investigation team comprised of U.S. Forest Service Special Agents and Law Enforcement Officers, aided by local law enforcement, conducted numerous interviews along with forensic processing of the origin area.

The incident occurred during a period of high temperatures, low humidity, and winds estimated around 30 miles per hour. The fire began on a small flat commonly used as a dispersed camping area, across from the Moose Creek drainage, between Salmon River Road and the Main Salmon River, approximately 5.6 miles west of North Fork, Idaho.

The incident took place over a busy weekend on the river corridor and numerous members of the public have provided helpful information to the investigation. Investigators believe the fire may have been left smoldering in a rock fire ring from the previous night. They’re asking for the public’s help in identifying anyone who may have been present at the camping area from the afternoon of Saturday, July 16, to the morning of Sunday, July 17.

If you believe you have information pertinent to the start of the fire, please send an email to SM.FS.2022MooseTip@usda.gov. Please include detailed information and contact details if you’re willing to speak with an investigator.

The 2022 fire season in central Idaho has seen numerous large wildland fires, which continue to burn into late-September. The Salmon-Challis National Forest would like to remind forest visitors to be careful with all potential sources of wildfire ignition during this period as conditions are predicted to be warm and dry over the extended forecast period.

Be mindful of parking vehicles in flammable vegetation and use and disposal of cigarettes.

Take care to secure items on trailers and truck beds, including chains and other metal objects.

Always ensure to drown and thoroughly stir campfires prior to departure.

The U.S. Forest Service, Idaho Department of Lands, and Bureau of Land Management in east-central Idaho are in Stage 1 fire restrictions. Stage 1 fire restrictions apply to federal, state, state endowment, private forestland, and rangelands within the designated area. With everyone’s cooperation, we can get through the remainder of this challenging season without further incident.

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