With strong westerly winds Sunday, August 21, thick smoke from forest fires in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness poured into the Bitterroot Valley.

Much of the smoke came through Blodgett and Mill Canyons. Fire officials believe most of the smoke originated from the Cedar, Moose and Elk Ridge Fires, which are all at least 11 air miles west of the valley.

The Cedar fire, NOT to be confused with the Cedar Fire in California, started by lightning in July 11 miles south of the Powell Ranger Station and has been monitored since then by the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests. New acreage estimates are expected Monday on the wilderness fires.

A "red flag" warning of high winds and low humidity is active again for the area. The Incident Command of the Roaring Lion Fire south of Hamilton is expecting active burning on Ward Mountain in a bowl area near the top of the mountain, away from homes. Aircraft will again be dropping water and retardant on some of the hot spots. That fire has burned 8,469 acres as of Monday morning and will continue to burn until the end of fire season, officials say.

Roaring Lion area closures include Camas Creek, Caoyote Coulee, roaring Lion, Sawtooth and Ward Mountain trailheads and trail 59 up the North Fork of Lost Horse Creek. Lost Horse Observation Road is closed.

Smoke from the wilderness overpowers the small plumes from the Roaring Lion Fire (along the mountain to the left) Mike Daniels, Townsquare Media)