Mother Nature brought wind and lightning to the Idaho Panhandle late last week. A number of new fire starts resulted, such as the Scotchman Peak, Whitetail, and Upper Priest fires.

We also saw significant growth in the Parker Ridge and Marble Creek fires. In fact, the Parker Ridge Fire jumped the Kootenai River, threatening the town of Porthill on the US-Canada Border.

The increase in fire activity prompted a number of mandatory closures on the Idaho Panhandle National Forests.

In addition, the Forest Service has asked the public to voluntarily refrain from recreating on the entire forest. A mandatory forest-wide closure is not out of the question, so stay tuned.

In response, the Idaho Conservation League is canceling the remaining hikes in our North Idaho Adventure Series. We apologize to anyone who was interested in signing up for our remaining hikes, but the current danger is too high. It is also critical that we give firefighters the room they need to work.