Big Cougar, Telephone and Upper Mica Wildfires Continue to Grow

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The Big Cougar Fire, which has now scorched more than 35,000 acres between the Snake River and the Wapshilla Ridge, continues to keep a number of residents in North-Central Idaho away from their homes.

The Nez Perce County sheriff issued a Stage 3 evacuation order south of Lewiston due to the blaze, and they're asking boaters, rafters and other recreationists to stay clear of the area.  A Stage 3 evacuation means threat to life and property is imminent and people should leave immediately.

More than 300 firefighters are on the scene, including nine crews, four helicopters, four engines and three dozers. Helicopters are continuing to dip out of the Snake and Salmon rivers.

Meanwhile, firefighters in the Weiser Ranger District are focusing on the Telephone Fire, about two miles north of Sturgill Peak and 12 miles west of the town of Cambridge. The fire is about 25 acres and firefighters said they're making good progress in containing that blaze.

Other Gem State wildfires include the lightning-sparked Upper Mica Complex, which has burned 281 acres 20 miles southeast of St. Maries in the Idaho Panhandle National Forest, and the Goat Fire, which has burned 366 acres in the North Fork Ranger District of the Salmon-Challis National Forest.

In the Boise National Forest, the largest fire is the East Mountain Fire, about 15-20 acres in size eight miles southeast of Cascade. Two fire crews, along with three engines and two helicopters are on the scene.

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