Salmon Idaho Airport History
The airstrip was originally constructed in 1930 by a private business entity. The FAA activated the Lemhi County Airport in April 1940. The City and County gained control of the airport in 1943 and co-owned and co-operated the facility until 1976, when the County gained full proprietorship. The airport is currently home to 63 based aircraft.
The United States Forest Service (USFS) has been and continues to be a significant stakeholder at the airport. In 1958, the Forest Service established a fire retardant facility on property that it leased from the airport until 1976; the Forest Service could no longer operate the fire retardant base at this airport when the design needs of larger twin-engine aircraft outstripped the airport’s designed capacity.
Currently Lemhi County Airport is recognized as an Idaho General Aviation (GA) airport and serves as an important USFS airbase for wild land firefighting activities during fire season with occasional operations by single engine and similar twin engine firefighting aircraft. The airport facilitates incoming and outgoing mail and parcel service for this area, including the only means of communicating with remote areas in the wilderness, via the backcountry Idaho Airmail Route.
The below video shows early use of the Salmon Idaho Airport during a 1961 fire near Salmon Idaho