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Old 08-31-2015   #21
Rojo's Avatar
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 1985
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Posts: 184
Several pictures found.

SATURDAY: stranded rafters escorted down from French Creek | Idaho County Free Press

There was a similar river closure on 9/10/12 due to the Sheep Fire, between Riggins and White Bird and my folks where stopped at "Lake Lucille area, and only allowed to row through because the inversion/smoke was so bad the river-dipper choppers could not fly. They are on the Snake now, but plan to launch on the Main next week and again run through to Hammer Bar.

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Old 08-31-2015   #22
lhowemt's Avatar
at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
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Granted I am quite a bit east of there, but we get their weather pattern, just delayed and tempered. Last night was COLD! It was wonderful. Snow on the bitterroots. Today is cool and quite calm. I am optimistic things are going to slow down quite a bit.

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 08-31-2015   #23
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On The River, Idaho
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Looks like it's still going pretty big, almost 80,000 acres now! It's ripped up the other side of the river and headed into some really thick timber in that Gospel hump area.

InciWeb the Incident Information System: Tepee Springs
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Old 09-02-2015   #24
Eugene, Oregon
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 4
We have a permit to launch next Monday (9/7) and I am trying to get a sense of how long the shuttle road from Vinegar for taking off the Main Salmon might be closed (and therefore the river closed for us at least - we aren't going to get a jet back (if that is even possible at these flows) or charter a private flight out).

I have call the ranger station and they said everyday they hope it is the next day. Based on the info I've pull from different places online this seems more like wishful thinking than an analysis of the actual situation.

Is there anyone who might have additional info and who would be willing to share their thoughts on a realistic date that the road/river might open?

We have a Plan B and I would just like to get a sense of how likely it is that we will need to go with it.
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Old 09-02-2015   #25
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Seattle, Washington
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 365
Aren't boat launches currently suspended at Corn Creek? Independent of the takeout road closure?

I'd think that would be the biggest issue. Do you know that you can launch on Monday?

If you need to float out to Riggins, I'd think an extra river day would be fine, but who knows where safe camps are at the moment.

The permit page currently says: "Boaters who have the ability or have made prior arrangements to get off the River before Shepp Ranch may be allowed to launch provided that they have proof of such plans to do so."

hope you pull off a great trip.
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Old 09-02-2015   #26
Eugene, Oregon
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 4
Yes, boat launches are suspended at Corn Creek. The only exception I'm told is they are letting boaters launch if they can show that they have made arrangements to take out at Shepp Creek. I don't know the river well, this would have my first time floating it, but I understand to take out at Shepp would involve either a jet back or a private plane out.

Since we won't make arrangements to take out at Shepp we can't launch unless the road opens. The road opening seems unlikely to me, but I'm curious if others have any info on the road status.
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Old 09-02-2015   #27
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Sandy, Utah
Paddling Since: 1997
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We are in a similar position, with a 9/10 launch permit. The river is much too low to do a jet back. A plane flight arrangement from Shepp Ranch or Mackay Bar would be the only option that I can think of at the moment. I may be wrong, but I believe they have been stopping all boaters at the Vinegar ramp since Friday's closure and doing a sheriff escort through the fire area back down the river road to Riggins. I would guess that floating through to Riggins is not an option??? From the InciWeb maps & reports it appears that the active fire is about 3 miles from Riggins and 4 miles from the Carey Creek ramp. From todays update, they are expecting to get the last of the rafters off the river and out today. Opening the river up to launches again all depends on whether they can provide safe exit off the river at either Vinegar or Carey Creek. When that will happens is anyone's guess right now. I'm sure they would rather focus their resources towards containment of the fire and not have to worry about the safety of the rafters coming downstream in the next 6-7 days. We are cautiously optimistic. Having a backup plan seems prudent. I know someone else mentioned switching up their plans to a Deso trip.
"We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love....and then we return home."
Australian Aboriginal Proverb
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Old 09-02-2015   #28
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Missoula, Montana
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 59
You can drive a car down to the airstrip above Mackay bar. However, that road maybe closed, I'm not sure. Plus the shuttle would be insane. My group was one of the first evacuated on Aug.28. We were headed out French crk when they closed the road and we waited for a car to come from Spring Bar and say the main road was clear. We were escorted by a squad of fish and game cops to Spring bar. The whole thing was pretty crazy, fire on both sides, burning like crazy down by Partridge creek ranch. If the weather doesn't change it doesn't look good. But hey the lower salmon or deso isn't a bad backup at all. I'm just glad we got to clean out our groover.
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Old 09-02-2015   #29
Newman Lake, Washington
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Dec 2014
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Salmon River now open to rafters, with restrictions
Nina Culver
The Spokesman-Review

The Bureau of Land Management has re-opened the Salmon River to rafters, but several restrictions are in place because of the Tepee Springs Fire burning in the area and delays should be expected.

Rafters can resume launching at the Corn Creek site at 6 a.m. Thursday. The main Salmon River Road will remain closed, which includes the normal take-out sites of Carey Creek and Vinegar Creek. Rafters can float through the burned area and take out at the Shorts Bar Recreation Site just east of Riggins, which is more than 20 miles from Carey Creek.

Only the boat launch and parking lot at the Shorts Bar site will be open. The campground and day use areas will remain closed. The Spring Bar Recreation site is also closed and the restrooms cannot be used.

A river guard will be stationed at the Shepp Ranch on the Salmon River. All rafters must stop and get fire safety information from the river guard before continuing downstream.
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Old 09-03-2015   #30
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Sandy, Utah
Paddling Since: 1997
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Posts: 3,121
Great news! we are now a week away from launch, and another week from take-out, so we should be good to go. I'm hoping that by that time, the normal take-outs will be reopened and the road safe to travel. If not, then we'll run on down to Shorts Bar.

"We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love....and then we return home."
Australian Aboriginal Proverb
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