Thread: Idaho 2005

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    Post Idaho 2005

    By JOHN MILLER
    Associated Press Writer
    BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Federal officials say southern Idaho's
    wildfire season has officially begun, as more than 60 Bureau of
    Land Management and local firefighters battled - and subdued - at
    least nine blazes so far this week that were caused by dry
    lightning and motor vehicles.
    The largest fire, called the North Ham because of its location 3
    miles north of the 200-resident burg of Hammett along the Snake
    River, was controlled Wednesday evening after it burned about 2,000
    acres of sagebrush and grass, BLM officials said.
    Most of the fires started Tuesday evening when a storm with dry
    lightning moved through southcentral Idaho, igniting dry grass that
    has flourished this year because of an unseasonably wet spring. On
    Wednesday, National Interagency Fire Center Officials in Boise
    increased their fire-danger rating to Level 2 from Level 1,
    indicating wildland fire activity is occurring, and there is a
    potential for larger fires.
    "We've had a lot of rain this spring; that makes the grass grow
    high really quickly," said Jessica Gardetto, a spokeswoman for the
    Boise Interagency Logistics Center, which helps coordinate efforts
    to put out fires in southern Idaho. "A fellow firefighter was out
    at Grasmere and she said the grass was waist-high. That's not
    normal."
    Across the United States, approximately 150,000 acres were
    burning Thursday, including three large fires in Alaska, three in
    Arizona and two in New Mexico. That brings total fires this year to
    745,959 acres, compared to about 790,000 acres at this time a year
    ago, the National Interagency Fire Center said.
    The first major wildfire of the summer in California raced
    across more than 6,200 acres of desert brush near Morongo Valley,
    destroying at least six homes, threatening hundreds of others and
    forcing residents of the sparsely populated Mojave Desert community
    to flee.
    Another wildfire in Arizona swept across 30,000 acres of brush
    and grass by early Thursday and prompted the evacuation of about
    250 homes. At least 10 structures had been lost, but a
    firefighters' spokesman said it wasn't clear how many of those were
    homes.
    In the Boise area, it hasn't been quite so dramatic: 14,450
    acres of BLM land have burned so far in 2005, on thousands of
    square miles stretching from the Oregon and Nevada borders into
    central Idaho. According to U.S. Geological Survey maps, the only
    Idaho region hit by significant wildfires this week was the
    southcentral portion of the state.
    In one of the largest fires this year in Idaho, a 9,100-acre
    blaze near the 470-foot mountains of sand in the Bruneau Dunes
    State Park south of Mountain Home was controlled by BLM crews on
    June 14.
    In some instances, firefighters opt to manage fires that don't
    threaten human life or structures, rather than immediately put them
    out, because of the role that such blazes can play in cleansing
    areas choked with old, dead vegetation.
    On Wednesday, firefighters controlled the East Horse fire,
    located about 11 miles south of Bruneau, after it had burned 1,390
    acres of sage and grass. They also suppressed several fires from
    lightning strikes elsewhere near Interstate 84.
    Some fires in southern Idaho weren't caused by lightning.
    A car pulling a trailer with a flat tire sent sparks into
    roadside grass and brush, causing a 34-acre fire at Milepost 97 on
    Interstate 84 that was controlled Wednesday evening.
    Fire officials cautioned drivers to be especially careful around
    areas where nonnative cheat grass, a noxious weed, is becoming
    tinder dry.
    "Vegetation like cheat grass is quickly drying out," said Bob
    Narus, wildland fire mitigation specialist for the BLM in Boise.
    "This can lead to fast moving fires, which we definitely
    witnessed."

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    Post July 19th

    CASTLEFORD, Idaho (AP) - A fire that has burned 180,000 acres of
    Idaho rangeland was 50 percent contained Tuesday, federal Bureau of
    Land Management fire officials said.
    The Clover fire, which has scorched a wheatfield and one
    agricultural shed but hasn't burned any homes, should be controlled
    by late Wednesday, the BLM has estimated.
    More than 200 firefighters from the BLM as well as state and
    local agencies, and at least three helicopters with buckets have
    battled the wildfire.
    Beth Lund, deputy incident commander with Southern Idaho
    Incident Management, said the fire could burn up to 250,000 acres
    of mostly sage and grass by the time it's doused.
    Wild horses that live in this remote region of Owyhee County
    have escaped the flames by moving north of the fire line dug by
    crews, said Mary Christensen, a BLM spokeswoman, adding that the
    fire burned through several power lines.
    The fire started Friday on the U.S. Air Force's Saylor Creek
    bombing range by a storm with dry lightning that moved through
    southern Idaho, igniting dry grass that has thrived during this
    year's unseasonably wet spring.

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    Post July 20th

    Monroe Creek Fire burning near Wieser

    MCCALL, Idaho (AP) - Fire crews are battling a six-square mile
    fire north of Weiser in southwest Idaho.
    The blaze apparently started when two power lines arced,
    possibly when material from a bird nest touched both lines at once.
    The fire is on both private and federal land, and about 120
    workers from both the Payette National Forest and the Weiser Rural
    Fire Protection District are fighting the flames.
    But it's not easy. The fire is burning in grass three to four
    feet high, and several buildings are at risk.
    Gary Brown with the Payette National Forest says normally a rock
    scree in the area would stop the fire, but the grass is so high
    it's burning right over the rocks.
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    Post July 21st

    By CHRISTOPHER SMITH
    Associated Press Writer
    BOISE, Idaho (AP) - After containing a wildfire that scorched
    more than 300 square miles in southwestern Idaho, crews were
    working up and down the state Thursday on four other fires, the
    largest of which was at 4,000 acres.
    None immediately threatened residences, but the North Hill fire
    near Bonners Ferry in the northern Idaho Panhandle forced the
    evacuation of 25 people late Wednesday as crews surrounded four
    luxury homes on a ridge while flames advanced up the slope through
    a stand of Ponderosa pines and Douglas fir.
    "The crews that fought that fire did a fantastic job in
    stopping it prior to damaging any of those homes," Boundary County
    Disaster Services Coordinator Bob Graham said Thursday. The fire
    was 50 percent contained Thursday afternoon after burning 108 acres
    of pine forest.
    The Monroe Creek fire on the Payette National Forest was
    expected to be contained late Thursday after burning 4,000 acres of
    tall grass north of Weiser in southwestern Idaho.
    The Falls Creek fire 25 miles east of Challis in central Idaho
    had burned at least 125 acres in an area that was inaccessible to
    ground crews. And the Star Lake fire north of Eden in southern
    Idaho had been contained Thursday after burning 350 acres.
    The increase in fires came as temperatures climbed into the
    triple digits across much of the state.
    The National Weather Service issued a "Red Flag Warning" for a
    combination of dry lightning, gusty winds and low relative humidity
    that "will create explosive fire growth potential" across
    northeastern Nevada, southwestern Idaho, eastern Oregon,
    southeastern Washington and southwestern Montana through Friday
    morning.
    Idaho Bureau of Land Management Director K. Lynn Bennett said
    the southern tier of the state is blanketed with tall grass and
    other fine fuels that grew heavily during a wet spring and have now
    dried out - a possible accelerant for wildfires.
    "Southern Idaho, like many areas throughout the Great Basin, is
    experiencing growth of grasses and brushy vegetation on a scale
    that many of us, and even some like me who have been around awhile,
    have never seen in our careers," Bennett said in a statement.
    The state's largest fire this year, the Clover fire in Owyhee
    County, demonstrated the effect of the heavy loads of "flashy"
    fuels now covering rangelands.
    At times, the fire that began Friday evening advanced across the
    sagebrush and range at speeds of 5 to 7 mph, burning 500 acres an
    hour. It was contained Wednesday after crews created 150 miles of
    fire line. The last firefighters were leaving the scene Thursday
    evening.
    "If you were to drive the blackened area from the western end
    to the eastern end you would go 35 miles and if you went north to
    south you would drive 10 miles," said Sky Buffat of the BLM in
    Twin Falls. "It's hard to fathom."
    A cause has not been determined for the Clover fire or the Falls
    Creek fire. The North Hill fire is believed to have been started by
    a passing train, the Star Lake fire is suspected as human-caused
    and the Monroe Creek fire began when part of a bird's nest touched
    two power lines.
    Salmon-Challis National Forest fire managers were monitoring the
    Falls Creek fire as it burned in the steep terrain of the
    Pahsimeroi Valley late Thursday. A helicopter dropped water on the
    head of the fire as it advanced, but the terrain was too
    treacherous to send in ground crews.
    "It's not doing much right now," said Gail Baer of the U.S.
    Forest Service in Salmon. "If we can find a place where people
    will be safe on the ground and the weather is favorable, we are
    making a plan to take advantage of that opening, but at this time
    it's not posing any threat."

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    Post Aug 1st

    BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Wildfires burning in southwestern and
    central Idaho scorched thousands of acres of grass, sage and pine,
    as near 100-degree heat helped the flames spread over the weekend.
    Still, officials said hundreds of firefighters had made
    significant progress in containing the blazes.
    The National Fire Information Center in Boise reported Monday
    that just two large fires - the 2-square-mile Falls Creek on the
    Salmon-Challis National Forest and the 29-square-mile Snake One
    fire near Weiser at the Oregon border - were burning in the state.
    So far, Idaho's fire season has been relatively mild. While
    lightning-caused blazes have torched more than 350 square miles,
    including the 312-square-mile Clover Fire in late July on federal
    Bureau of Land Management territory south of Twin Falls,
    firefighters say they've gotten off relatively easy compared to
    past years.
    "On the Salmon-Challis National Forest, our fire season has
    been great," said Gail Baer, a Forest Service spokeswoman. "We
    haven't had the number of fires we've had in the past to date.
    "But even though we haven't had as many fires, our big fire
    season is really coming up," Baer added, pointing to five small
    lightning-caused fires ignited on her territory over the weekend,
    the largest of which was 3 acres. "We're not out of the woods
    yet."
    About 60 percent of the Falls Creek fire, burning in steep
    terrain near the Lemhi Range 25 northeast of Challis, had been
    contained as of Monday by 82 firefighters. They expect to have the
    blaze under control later this week, Baer said, adding the flames
    were helping burn off excess fuels in the area.
    Some 200 miles to the west, 550 firefighters had contained 40
    percent of the Snake One fire that singed sage, grass and pockets
    of timber in the rugged Snake River Canyon about 21 miles northwest
    of the small town of Weiser, near the border with Oregon.
    The Snake One fire has cost about $700,000 to combat so far, as
    crews have deployed 6 helicopters, 15 engines and 4 bulldozers to
    build fire lines. Officials say two homes, a lodge and six
    outbuildings were threatened.
    Still, "significant progress was made on the south and west
    sides of the fire," said Dorothy Harvey, a spokeswoman for the
    Payette National Forest.
    Eight fires, at least seven of them sparked by lightning, kept
    firefighters busy on the Boise National Forest. They included a
    200-acre wildfire near Spring Shores in the Lucky Peak State
    Recreation Area about 35 miles east of Boise that was reported
    about 7:45 p.m. Sunday.
    The cause of that fire is still under investigation, National
    Forest officials said.

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    Post August 2nd

    BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Fire crews are making progress on three
    Idaho wildfires.
    Erratic winds were fanning flames at the nearly two-square-mile
    East Star Lake fire, but Bureau of Land Management crews were still
    optimistic that it can be contained soon. That fire is burning
    about ten miles north of Eden in south-central Idaho.
    The Falls Creek fire is burning on two square miles in the
    Salmon-Challis National Forest in central Idaho. Fire managers say
    fighting that blaze has cost one-point-three (M) million dollars so
    far.
    And the largest Idaho fire, the Snake One fire in the Payette
    National Forest in west-central Idaho, is burning on about 39
    square miles. That blaze has cost one-point-four (M) million
    dollars so far. It's expected to be contained by Friday.


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    Post August 10th

    GRANGEVILLE, Idaho (AP) - About 20 homes outside of Grangeville
    have been evacuated because of the 500-acre Blackerby fire, the
    Idaho County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday.
    The fire, burning about five miles southeast of this
    northcentral Idaho town of 3,200 people, was threatening 48
    structures overall, said Bridgett Cafferty with the Idaho
    Department of Lands.
    Fire officials did not know what caused the blaze, which started
    Tuesday. A road leading up a steep grade into town had been closed
    to all traffic, but the town itself did not appear to be at great
    risk, said Stephanie Babb with the sheriff's office.
    "So far, it hasn't topped over the hill toward us, so we're
    looking pretty good," Babb said.
    Additional firefighters had been called in to battle the blaze,
    and about 200 workers were expected to be on the fire by Thursday,
    Cafferty said.
    Another fire burning 15 miles west of North Fork in central
    Idaho remained at about 1,300 acres, fire managers said.
    But because the Hale Gulch fire was burning in steep terrain, it
    was at risk of spreading, Incident Commander Jerry Brunner in a
    statement.
    That fire was threatening 20 homes, three commercial properties
    and one outbuilding, but no evacuations had been ordered, said
    David Howell, a spokesman for the Central Idaho Dispatch Center.
    Recent cool weather gave about 400 firefighters time to clear
    vegetation along three sides of the fire, Howell said. The blaze is
    about 10 percent contained.
    So far, the Salmon River in the area remains open to
    recreationists, but fire managers are working with police and the
    North Fork Ranger District on evacuation and road closure plans,
    officials said.

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    Default August 15th

    By JOHN MILLER
    Associated Press Writer
    BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Fire crews are making progress toward
    containing two large wildfires in northcentral Idaho.
    The Blackerby Fire, which had threatened 80 Grangeville-area
    homes since last week, was estimated at 4,800 acres Monday and was
    40 percent contained, said Shannon Downey, a spokeswoman with the
    Northern Rockies Type 2 fire management team.
    No homes have burned, and the blaze was expected to be
    completely contained by Saturday, she said.
    "We have control lines completed on the state-protected areas
    of the fire, west of the South Fork of the Clearwater River,"
    Downey said. "That whole west and northwest flank is in a patrol
    and mop-up stage now. There's no question that the threat is
    lessening, but we don't want to give people a false sense of
    confidence."
    Fire crews were still being vexed by flames on the southwest
    flank, at Earthquake Creek and on the ridge above Earthquake Basin,
    Downey said.
    "If we can hold it through Wednesday, I think we'll feel pretty
    good," she said.
    The Long-Ruggles Fire, burning in timber 22 miles southwest of
    Craigmont, remained at about 4,400 acres as firefighters digging
    fire lines to protect six ranch homes boosted containment to 40
    percent.
    "We're working on strengthening the lines, starting some
    mop-up," said Jen Chase, a fire information officer at the Nez
    Perce National Forest command post. "We're at that phase in the
    fire where things are looking good, and we're cautiously
    optimistic."
    Dozens of other wildfires, both small and large, were burning
    from the Seven Devils Wilderness near the Snake River Canyon on the
    Idaho-Oregon border to where the Continental Divide separates the
    state from Montana.
    The state has been spared large-scale destruction of private
    property or homes.
    The Granite Fire Complex, near the Seven Devils Mountains in the
    Wallowa-Whitman National Forest along the Snake River, had torched
    about 12,000 acres by Monday, though fire managers were managing it
    to accomplish resource objectives such as habitat restoration and
    reducing fuels that could lead to potentially catastrophic fires.
    The McCaffee Cabin, listed on the National Register of Historic
    Places, was spared destruction after workers wrapped it in
    protective material and doused the grounds with water, the Forest
    Service said.
    In the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness to the
    southwest, fire crews were evaluating and managing 13 wildland
    fires, digging fire lines in some cases on the wilderness boundary
    to keep the flames inside the 2.4-million-acre preserve.
    "The fires are being monitored daily through aerial
    observation," according to a news release from the Payette
    National Forest.
    In the Salmon-Challis National Forest near the Idaho-Montana
    border, about a dozen fires burned. The Cadagan Complex Fire, 14
    miles west of North Fork, remained at 2,400 acres and was about 50
    percent contained, as 550 firefighters got assistance from eight
    helicopters.

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    Post August 16th

    By CHRISTOPHER SMITH
    Associated Press Writer
    BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Fire crews have made progress on the
    Blackerby wildfire in northcentral Idaho but 50 homes remained
    threatened and evacuation orders were still in effect, officials
    said.
    "The weather is definitely hotter and drier but the fire,
    particularly on the flank near all the homes, is cooling down,"
    said Shannon Downey of the firefighting incident command team. "We
    need to go into discussions about when to remove the evacuation
    order, but we're still showing structures threatened so it may not
    happen for another day or two."
    Idaho remained the nation's busiest state for major wildfire
    activity, with nine blazes covering about 27,000 acres. The largest
    is the 13,411-acre Granite Complex burning in the Seven Devils
    Mountains along the Idaho-Oregon border while the Blackerby blaze
    is the most expensive, ringing up a price tag of $3.1 million for
    the first week.
    There were 725 firefighters on the Blackerby lines Tuesday and
    the fire was 40 percent contained at 4,800 acres with full
    containment expected Saturday. Incident Commander Tom Heintz told
    crews to "stay focused, get on top of the open areas and get them
    cut off."
    Meanwhile, the nearby China Ten Complex 15 miles east of
    Grangeville overtook Blackerby as the top national priority in
    firefighting efforts as it flared up in heavy timber.
    "It is very active and when it crossed over into the Silver
    Creek drainage it really started ripping," said Laura Smith of the
    Nez Perce National Forest in Grangeville.
    A national fire team was called in Tuesday to take over
    management of the China Ten Complex. Fire officials expected that
    aerial mapping flights would show the burned area was larger than
    the official estimate of 1,900 acres. The fire was threatening the
    Pilot Knob lookout station, one of several remote watch towers in
    the forest that are staffed with fire-spotters each summer.
    Officials at the Riggins office of the Hells Canyon National
    Recreation Area said the Granite Fire in the Seven Devils area was
    cold along 50 percent to 70 percent of its perimeter. Crews that
    had been fireproofing structures at the Sheep Creek Ranch and the
    McGaffee Cabin - the latter listed on the National Register of
    Historic Places - were reassigned to firefighting.
    In areas where structures are not threatened, the Granite
    Complex fire is being allowed to burn to eliminate heavy fuel
    accumulation and to help some plant species regenerate.
    In the Salmon-Challis National Forest, 590 firefighters were
    working the Cadagan Complex 14 miles west of North Fork. It was 60
    percent contained after burning 2,400 acres. Structures along the
    Salmon River, Spring Creek and Indian Creek were wrapped in
    fire-retardant covering to protect them.
    Forest Service officials in Salmon also advised motorists not to
    stop to watch firefighting helicopters scoop up water. Dip sites
    are hazardous because wind gusts generated by heavy helicopters can
    reach speeds in excess of 200 miles an hour and can trigger
    rockslides onto vehicles or dislodge large tree branches, turning
    them into projectiles.
    But national forest managers also said people should not be
    afraid to go camping, fishing and hiking in the woods despite the
    firefighting activity.
    "We have seen some cooler temperatures in the Lochsa and
    Clearwater drainages over the past few days and would like to
    encourage visitors to get out and enjoy the national forests before
    the snow comes," Clearwater National Forest Supervisor Tom Reilly
    said in a statement.

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    Post August 17th

    y CHRISTOPHER SMITH
    Associated Press Writer
    BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Firefighters had made enough progress
    against a north-central Idaho wildfire by Wednesday that mail
    delivery could resume to some homes in the area for the first time
    in more than a week.
    Only 20 homes were still considered threatened Wednesday, and
    none of the 80 houses originally in the path of the fire had been
    damaged.
    "Getting the mail service back indicates to the residents that
    things are getting pretty cold along that fire line," said Pat
    McKelvey, a member of the incident command team fighting the fire.
    "It's not time for everybody to start driving out there yet, but
    we are beginning to demobilize some of the crew now."
    A voluntary evacuation order remained in effect, but many
    residents had started returning home.
    The fire charred 4,800 acres of state forest land near
    Grangeville, about 40 miles from the Oregon state line. It was 60
    percent contained Wednesday.
    Elsewhere in the region, changing weather was expected to help
    quell what remained of wildfires along the Interstate 90 corridor
    in western Montana, fire officials said. Cold, wet weather was
    expected in the region Wednesday with a possibility of light snow
    at higher elevations.
    Altogether, 23 large fires were active Wednesday in Alaska,
    California, Hawaii, Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, Oregon and
    Washington, the National Interagency Fire Center said. So far this
    year, wildfires have burned 6.4 million acres, compared to 6.1
    million at this same time last year, the center said.
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    Default August 18th

    By CHRISTOPHER SMITH
    Associated Press Writer
    BOISE, Idaho (AP) - An evacuation order for homes near the
    Blackerby fire in northcentral Idaho was lifted Thursday after
    crews got the upper hand on the 4,950-acre blaze that once
    threatened 80 residences.
    "We're into a mop-up stage right now and using infrared
    equipment to locate any hot spots remaining," said Mary Fritz of
    the incident command team fighting the fire that began Aug. 9
    southeast of Grangeville. "Folks are feeling pretty confident
    now."
    No homes were lost.
    About 660 firefighters were still on the scene, some crossing
    the South Fork of the Clearwater River in boats to complete the
    control line. The estimated cost of the suppression was $3.4
    million.
    Statewide, there were 10 fires of more than 100 acres burning
    Thursday, totaling more than 32,000 acres.
    The Granite Complex burning on the Idaho side of Hells Canyon
    made up half the statewide acreage total after down-canyon winds
    helped spread the fire northward. Because the fire is still within
    federal wilderness area boundaries, it's being allowed to burn with
    limited suppression consisting of aerial water drops.
    But fire managers were poised to step up their attack if the
    flames cross the wilderness area boundary into the Hells Canyon
    National Recreation Area.
    "We don't want to see it go north of Sheep Creek because that's
    where the wilderness area stops," said Jack Horner of the Riggins
    incident command station that is monitoring the fire. "In the fire
    management plan, we have the option of managing wildland fire use
    in wilderness but not in the recreation area, so that's why we are
    looking at trying to keep it from spreading much farther north."
    The flames reached the unstaffed Dry Diggins fire lookout but
    the concrete-block tower was not damaged.
    Fires totaling 2,725 acres were being allowed to burn in the
    Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness area northeast of
    McCall. The Arctic Point and Blackie Foster cabins on the Salmon
    River were wrapped with fire retardant covering.
    The spread of the Long Ruggles fire 22 miles southwest of
    Craigmont was slowed by rain and lower temperatures. It was last
    estimated at 4,700 acres. About 450 firefighters were beginning to
    mop up the Cadagan Complex 14 miles west of North Fork in the
    Salmon-Challis National Forest after containing the burn to
    approximately 2,600 acres.
    In the Nez Perce National Forest, fire crews used explosives to
    clear a protective line around structures 12 miles southeast of Elk
    City to prevent the spread of the Clear Red Complex, which was
    reported at 656 acres with zero containment. The China Ten Complex
    15 miles east of Grangeville was holding at nearly 1,900 acres and
    40 percent containment, and officials said fire activity had
    decreased because of increased humidity. There were 486
    firefighters assigned to the China Ten.
    In the Clearwater National Forest, the Devil fire 13 miles west
    of Lochsa was 75 percent contained at 147 acres, the Long Black
    Complex had burned 760 acres northeast of Pierce and was 35 percent
    contained and the Cedar fire 18 miles northwest of Kooskia was
    burning in timber after scorching 150 acres. It was 50 percent
    contained.

    (Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
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  12. #12
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    Post August 24th

    Crews contain 6,400-acre fire after defending homes, gas plant

    BOISE, Idaho (AP) - A 64-hundred-acre wildfire near Boise has
    been contained.
    Bureau of Land Management officials say the South Black fire,
    about 14 miles southeast of Kuna, had raced past a handful of homes
    and a natural gas plant before it was contained.
    B-L-M spokeswoman Jessica Gardetto says firefighters used
    bulldozers and tractors to dig protective breaks around the
    structures.
    The 41-hundred-acre Clear Red fire complex in the Nez Perce
    National Forest near Elk City is also contained today. That blaze
    had threatened several private homes and commercial buildings, and
    635 firefighters were on the lines. The firefighting efforts have
    cost an estimated three-point-three (M) million dollars.


    (Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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  13. #13
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    Default Sept. 4th

    By JOHN MILLER
    Associated Press Writer
    BOISE, Idaho (AP) - A fire just south of Stanley in the Sawtooth
    National Recreation Area spread to about 4,000 acres over the
    weekend, prompting officials to ask residents of a nearby
    development to evacuate their homes as a precautionary measure.
    The Valley Road fire was burning about 15 miles southeast of
    Stanley Sunday, in the rugged White Cloud Mountains.
    The fire spread rapidly Sunday, nearly doubling in size between
    9:30 a.m. and midafternoon, according to U.S. Forest Service
    estimates. It was fueled by temperatures that reached into the
    mid-70s and humidity that slunk down to 17 percent. A mountain pine
    beetle infestation has also killed many of the region's trees,
    leaving plenty of fuel.
    "They're expecting a red flag day, which means high winds and
    low relative humidity," said Pat Rhoads, a spokesman for the
    Sawtooth National Forest in Stanley.
    The fire burned near the Fisher Creek development, including a
    five-room lodge, located near the fire just east of State Highway
    75 about one hour north of Sun Valley. It was unclear Sunday how
    many homes were threatened, though the Forest Service said in a
    statement that there were "significant numbers of structures in
    the vicinity, both on private land and on the Sawtooth National
    Recreation Area."
    A Type 1 incident management team - deployed to combat the
    most-dangerous blazes - was assuming control of firefighting
    operations, Rhoads said.
    Reinforcements were arriving Sunday to bolster the 50 personnel
    who fought the blaze overnight, along with two helicopters, two
    single-engine air tankers, three large air tankers and at least 12
    engines. Officials didn't immediately say how many firefighters are
    expected.
    The fire started late Saturday afternoon, and is apparently
    human-caused.
    The Gregory fire, another human-caused fire near Idaho City in
    Boise County burned 600 acres Sunday after quadrupling in size
    overnight.
    Fire officials closed the northbound lane of State Highway 21 to
    all but local traffic such residents of the Wilderness Ranch
    subdivision at Mile Marker 21.5 after the fire changed direction
    overnight and was pushing to the southwest toward this route that
    connects the Boise Valley with the central Idaho mountains.
    The Gregory fire burned to within a half-mile of the nearest
    structure after igniting at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Still, no houses
    were threatened or being evacuated as of Sunday afternoon, said Cyd
    Weiland, a spokeswoman for the fire information center.
    There were about 200 personnel on the fire.
    "We're aggressively fighting this fire," said Kay Beall, a
    spokeswoman for the Boise National Forest. "It's moving toward
    Highway 21. As we move in that direction, we would be encountering
    private property, so we want to get a handle on it."
    Meanwhile, the Wildhorse fire burned 160 acres of the rugged
    Salmon-Challis National Forest about 22 miles west of Mackay, just
    over the mountains from the resort town of Sun Valley.
    Campers were evacuated from Wildhorse Campground. One
    outbuilding is threatened, and fire crews spotted the fire racing
    to the tops of trees and being driven by the wind, according to the
    National Interagency Fire Center's Web site.
    Across Idaho, about 34,000 acres - mostly in remote areas - were
    burning, the most of any state.

    (Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Last edited by NJFFSA16; 09-06-2005 at 06:14 AM.
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    Default Sept. 5th

    BOISE, Idaho (AP) - A growing wildfire that forced evacuations
    near the central Idaho community of Stanley had expanded to 10,000
    acres by Monday as Idaho firefighters battled at least seven blazes
    across the state.
    About 200 people fought the Valley Road fire, near Stanley in
    the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, and more crews were
    arriving.
    A mountain pine beetle infestation has killed many of the
    region's lodgepole pines, adding to fire fuels. Still, winds from
    the southwest were lighter on Monday compared to a day earlier,
    helping fire crews and air tankers that were dropping retardant on
    the flames, said Bill Paxton, a spokesman with the Sawtooth
    National Forest.
    "We saw the helicopters working, they're doing some airtanker
    drops," Paxton said, adding that firefighters have installed
    structure protection around several homes. "The goal was to work
    the flanks of the fire as it progresses to the northeast."
    No homes have been lost, but about 20 homes in the Fisher Creek
    development near State Highway 75 were evacuated.
    The human-caused blaze started Saturday on private property.
    An evacuation center was set up at the Stanley Elementary
    School, with help from Red Cross personnel from Idaho Falls.
    "Most of the people here, it's a second home, so they're just
    sort of hovering around and waiting to see what's going to
    happen," said Anne Parsons, owner of the Fisher Creek Lodge, a
    five-room guest house near Stanley. "It's quite emotional, leaving
    a home, and wondering if you'll ever see it again."
    Meanwhile, Parsons said she helped make 150 lunches and 150
    dinners for hungry firefighters who don't have enough caterers -
    because many of those who normally supply meals to fire crews are
    in Louisiana and other southern states hit by Hurricane Katrina.
    Elsewhere in the state, firefighters also battled three new
    lightning-caused fires on and around the Fort Hall Indian
    Reservation near Pocatello, in southern Idaho, using tanker
    aircraft to drop bright red retardant.
    The Rattlesnake Fire was estimated just over 10,000 acres after
    being driven across dry grassland by a stiff breeze Sunday. By
    Monday, however, winds had died and more crews had arrived, said
    Joanna Wilson, fire information officer at the Eastern Idaho
    Interagency Fire Center.
    "It's still burning but it's looking a lot better than it did
    yesterday," Wilson said. "We haven't got the winds like we did
    yesterday, and obviously we've got a lot more crews on it."
    Still, officials with the Shoshone-Bannock tribe asked curious
    onlookers to clear the region's rural roads because gawkers were
    hampering efforts of firefighters to reach the blaze. Three homes
    were evacuated, but no structures had burned, Wilson said.
    The Sawmill fire, also on the reservation, had burned 5,200
    acres of hilly terrain by Monday, four times its estimated size on
    Sunday. The fire is 11 miles east of Fort Hall. And the Juniper
    fire, burning in remote country 16 miles west of Holbrook, was at
    2,500 acres.
    To the southwest near Boise, the Gregory fire about two miles
    southwest of Idaho City had grown to 1,100 acres after expanding
    northeast and southwest, said Kathleen Geier-Hayes, a Boise
    National Forest spokeswoman.
    Geier-Hayes said 260 firefighters had managed to secure an area
    along State Highway 21 that includes private residences. State
    Highway 21 reopened to traffic following an 18-hour closure, with
    pilot car escorts because of fire management activity.
    The Greyback Gulch campground south of Idaho City remained
    closed.
    About 25 miles southwest of Mackay, the Wild Horse Fire near the
    head of Wild Horse Canyon doubled in size to 350 acres. The
    human-caused blaze was 25 percent contained, according to a release
    from the Salmon-Challis National Forest on Monday.
    And near Pierce, in northcentral Idaho, the Long Black Complex
    had burned 1,460 acres and was 25 percent contained. Steep terrain
    and limited access continued to hamper containment efforts,
    according to the National Interagency Fire Center Web site.

    (Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

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