Ancient Northern Idaho Cedar Grove Survives Nearby Wildfires

Fire burning a half-mile from Ross Creek Cedar Grove near Troy

By Justin Franz
Mark Mason, recreation specialist for Three Rivers Ranger District, walks along the Ross Creek Cedars nature trail past the expansive trunks of large red cedar trees in a grove south of Troy. - Lido Vizzutti/Flathead Beacon

EAGLE, Idaho — An ancient cedar grove appears to have survived a wildfire that burned through northern Idaho, leaving officials optimistic about the chances a similar stand in Montana will survive.

The Spokesman-Review reports that firefighters set up a sprinkler system at the Settler’s Grove near Eagle, but crews were forced to leave before setup was complete.

An Idaho Panhandle National Forests spokeswoman says on Wednesday it looked like the low-burning fire spared the trees, which are centuries old.

In northwest Montana, fire officials say the Ross Creek Cedar Grove should also withstand the fire burning within a half-mile of the trees. Trees at the Ross Creek stand are as large as 8 feet in diameter. The site is closed to visitors due to fire activity. Bad Medicine Campground is also closed.

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