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Old 08-14-2012   #11
Meridian, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 6
Here is some info I just got in an email, posting it in case anyone else is wondering.

I just spoke with the N. Fk Ranger Station. At this point they are
expecting to have the road open by tomorrow for a Corn Creek launch.
The Mallard fire as of last night was 85% CONTAINED. She stated
depending on conditions, they may or may not utilize a pilot car to
get us through. If we launch from Cove Creek, we’ll have to stop at
Cache Bar (M. Fk take out) for equipment check and Corn Creek for camp
She requested that I call her Wednesday evening, and again Thursday
morning prior to leaving. I’ll keep you updated as I know more.

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Old 08-14-2012   #12
Seattle, Washington
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 2
Thanks for the info. We're supposed to launch August 20. Reconsidering if smoke is going to be with us all the way to Carey Creek. Advice?

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Old 08-14-2012   #13
Helena, Montana
Paddling Since: 1976
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 65
I've done main in smoke many times. Bees, bears and little respite from smoke. One trick for bees/wasps/hornets is to put mostly empty coke cans around camp so they go in and drown
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Old 08-14-2012   #14
Boise, Idaho
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 505
Originally Posted by Blue Cadillac View Post
Has anyone gotten off the Main Salmon in the last few days? Need input on the river conditions and smoke/ash situation. Supposed to launch Friday August 17.
Hey, sorry I misread you earlier. My brother got off the Middle Fork 3 days ago, not the Main.

I would think that once you get past the Mallard fire the first day or so the rest of the trip would be fine???

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Old 08-14-2012   #15
Meridian, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 6

Thanks for the update! I hope it does clear up when the canyon widens. Figured it's smokey here in Boise/Meridian and if I'm going to breathe smoke anyway rather be on
the river!
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Old 08-14-2012   #16
idaho falls, Idaho
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 42
Yesterday everything downstream of the mustang complex was about the same; it didn't really get any better the farther you went. Upstream of the complex it was pretty bad. I wouldn't cancel the trip. There was smoke but is wasn't that bad. Salmon, Challis and Stanley were all worse than the conditions in the canyon downstream of the fires. If the wind changes and moves the smoke west then all bets are off.
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Old 08-14-2012   #17
lhowemt's Avatar
at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,345
It looks pretty good west of the confluence, although some smoke may be coming over from a huge fire in Oregon.
I am a river, babe - I've got plenty of time, I don't know where I'm going, I'm just following the lines..... - "We are water" by Shaye
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Old 08-14-2012   #18
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1979
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 7
We took off the Main last Friday. At that time you could see lots of smoke, even taste it in the canyon, but the boating was still fine. The weather was extremely hot, and thus the temps did not drop a lot during the night. If you can stand the smoke, launching from Cove just adds another day to your adventure.
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Old 08-14-2012   #19
cataraftgirl's Avatar
Sandy, Utah
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,120
Originally Posted by montana_field View Post
I've done main in smoke many times. Bees, bears and little respite from smoke. One trick for bees/wasps/hornets is to put mostly empty coke cans around camp so they go in and drown
+1 on the crazy yellow jackets. We floated during the fires in 2007 and just about everyone in our group got stung. Those suckers go nuts in the smoke. We also saw a lot more rattlesnakes on that trip. The trip itself was awesome. The smoke wasn't too bad and we had the river to ourselves pretty much. We were a small group, but they let us have any camp we wanted which was nice. One night we sat in camp watching the opposite hillside go up in flames. It was a powerful sight to see. We had no safety issues with the fire. Attaching a few pics from that trip. The fiery sunshine was too cool.
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Old 08-14-2012   #20
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1975
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 535
from a mass email + attachment this morning, a few bits of info in there anyway....

"Dear Middle Fork boaters,

Please read the attached information about the Mustang complex fire.

Yesterday afternoon, the Salmon River Road was closed from Cove Creek down to Corn Creek and remains closed until the road can be cleared.

The Middle Fork remains open at this time; however, there is a lot of fire activity happening and boaters need to be prepared for smoky conditions and possible delays. You may want to take extra food, just in case.

You are also encouraged to follow the fire activity on the forest at: InciWeb the Incident Information System: Salmon - Challis National Forest Incidents , especially the Mustang Fire. Fire activity maps and information is being posted as quickly as possible on this site.


Donna Leuzinger
Admin (River Clerk)
Salmon-Challis National Forest
Middle Fork Ranger District
HC 63 Box 1669, Challis, ID 83226
208-879-4101 * Fax: 208-879-4198

From: Dunlap, Karen E -FS
Sent: Tuesday, August 14, 2012 9:52 AM
To: FS-pdl r4 s-c
Subject: August 14. 2012 Mustang Complex update. Salmon River Closed at Cove Creek.

It is anticipated that the Salmon River Road will be closed throughout today (August 14) due to debris and rocks blocking the road. A road grader will be working on the road today and the road will be opened as soon as it is safe for travel. For more information, call Karen Dunlap at 208-756-5192.

Karen E. Dunlap
Forest Environmental Coordinator
Forest Climate Change Coordinator
Salmon-Challis National Forest
1206 S. Challis Street
Salmon, Idaho 83467
208-756-5192 (phone)
208-756-5555 (fax)
Planning on the FSWeb"
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