1. #1
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    Default Idaho Wildfires 2007

    BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Hundreds of homes across Idaho remained
    threatened by wildfires Wednesday, and meteorologists said
    firefighters shouldn't expect any help from the weather.
    More than 611,000 acres, or 954 square miles, had been scorched
    by 19 large wildfires in the state, according to the National
    Interagency Fire Center. Scores of people have fled their homes,
    but officials faced the prospect of removing dozens of holdouts.
    A low pressure system bringing high temperatures, wind gusts and
    thunderstorms with little promise of actual rainfall is predicted
    to sweep across Idaho's smoky midsection and into Montana over the
    next five days, said Robyn Heffernen, a fire weather expert at the
    National Interagency Fire Center in Boise.
    "In the near term, things aren't looking too good," said
    Heffernen, who echoed predictions of others that the fire season
    could stretch into November. "These storms aren't carrying a lot
    of rain. And then the storms are going to be followed by wind,
    which is a bad combination."
    In Montana, at least 15 large fires are burning across about 604
    square miles, mostly in the state's western half.
    A 149-acre fire in southern Montana near Columbus tore through
    the Pine Crest subdivision Tuesday evening, destroying several
    outbuildings but no homes. Residents who fled were allowed to
    return Wednesday evening as firefighters battled the blaze, which
    was 80 percent contained.
    "The wind did pick up this afternoon, but it was blowing in a
    favorable direction," fire information officer Jeff Bollman said.
    "It was basically pushing the fire away from the homes in the
    subdivision."
    Residents in the Seeley Lake area in western Montana were also
    allowed to return home Wednesday, ending a 10-day evacuation of
    more than 600 homes. A state highway also reopened, but other areas
    remained closed and officials were struggling to contain the Jocko
    Lakes fire, which has burned about 38 square miles.
    Fires north and southeast of Missoula forced new evacuation
    orders for close to 100 homes Tuesday night and temporarily closed
    part of a federal highway.
    Some residents have voluntarily left homes around the central
    Idaho town of Warm Lake in the Boise National Forest, as well as
    the communities of Secesh, Warren and South Fork in the Payette
    National Forest. Those communities are still at risk from a complex
    of fires that grew Tuesday to 260 square miles, said spokeswoman
    Kris Eriksen. Two unoccupied cabins and two other buildings have
    been destroyed.
    Even though Warren remains surrounded by fires, Eriksen said,
    fire managers are hopeful the worst is behind them.
    "Our critical fire days are behind us," she said. "The threat
    isn't over, but our structure protection is good. We're feeling
    pretty good about the progress being made."
    This week, Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter issued an order
    granting the Valley County sheriff the authority to remove holdouts
    in the small, historic mining town of Yellow Pine, near an
    88-square-mile complex of fires.
    A convoy helped more than two dozen residents evacuate Tuesday.
    But Valley County Sheriff Patti Bolen says about three dozen
    residents, ranchers and business owners are ignoring warnings to
    get out, choosing to stay behind to protect their homes, stores,
    bars or livestock.
    On Wednesday, firefighters escorted two lodge owners into and
    back out of the Warm Lake area to set up generators to keep food
    from spoiling. Idaho Power also delivered a portable generator to
    provide power to the holdouts, who have been without electricity
    since Sunday.
    "They're fairly independent-minded people," said Capt. John
    Coombs, one of two deputies dispatched this week to persuade
    residents to evacuate. "They've lived through fires before."
    Sheriff's officers asked holdouts to sign waivers of liability
    and provide deputies with the names of next of kin.
    A fire at Yellowstone National Park spread beyond the park's
    eastern boundary, and people at a lodge and a campground nearby
    were warned they may have to leave. The fire grew at least 1,000
    acres Wednesday to reach 13,000 acres, or more than 20 square
    miles, fire information officer Terina Mullen said.
    The park's east entrance remained closed, requiring at least a
    29-mile detour for tourists in Cody, Wyo., to get to the park by
    way of the northeast entrance on the Montana line.
    In north-central Washington, a few hundred people on Tuesday and
    Wednesday fled the small community of Lucerne and the Holden
    Village Christian camp as a 6-square-mile complex of fires burned.
    The fire near Lake Chelan was 10 percent contained, burning in
    steep, rocky terrain where many trees have been killed by beetles
    and provide ready fuel for wildfires.
    ---
    Associated Press writers Matthew Brown in Billings, Mont., and
    Mead Gruver in Cheyenne, Wyo., contributed to this report.
    ---
    On the Net:
    National Interagency Fire Center: http://tinyurl.com/2u5373
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  2. #2
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    Default

    last week there were also pretty bad wildfires near saint Marie(Idaho).a friend said it is so dry over there,plus so many thunderstorms.


    i hope that these bad wildfires will stop and god bless the firefighters who work in Idaho.
    "sauver ou périr"

    "courage et dévouement"

    2 french mottoes in french fire service.

  3. #3
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    My department has had a structure engine on the Cascade Complex fire in Central Idaho for 30 days now. (We rotate crewmembers for frequently). I personally spent only 7 days on the line.

    They are planning a big burnout op this weekend. If successful, our truck will be released in 10 days.

    Forest Service told us to count on a reassignment, if we are still willing.


    Be safe everyone.

  4. #4
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    Post August 27th

    BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Firefighters sprayed water with snowmaking
    machines to save a $12 million log ski lodge from a wildfire that
    has forced the evacuation of more than 1,000 homes, officials said
    Monday.
    The blaze was 31 percent contained Monday and fire managers said
    cooler, cloudy weather with wind of no more than 20 mph gave them a
    chance to gain ground against the flames.
    Wind gusting to 45 mph on Sunday had fanned the main blaze and
    spread smaller spot fires that blackened ski runs on part of Sun
    Valley Resort's Bald Mountain and nearly reached the Seattle Ridge
    Lodge above the resort town of Ketchum, fire and resort officials
    said.
    On Monday, the wind died, slowing the fire's growth.
    "It was much more cooperative today," fire spokesman Jay
    Nichols said. "We're looking good on a lot of the areas, but we
    still have some problem areas."
    Firefighters working with resort crews cranked up a dozen
    snowmaking guns Sunday night, using the high-pressure sprays to put
    out the spot fires and soak the ground around the
    17,000-square-foot lodge, said Jack Sibbach, the resort's sales and
    marketing director.
    "We're all feeling a lot better today," Sibbach told The
    Associated Press on Monday. "We were all pretty anxious last
    night. The firefighters did a tremendous job last night. That
    building would be tough to replace."
    The main blaze has led to the evacuation of more than 1,000
    homes in and near Ketchum and blackened more than 64 square miles
    since it was started by lightning earlier this month.
    Flames have gotten to within 1˝ miles of residential areas south
    and west of the central Idaho town.
    No buildings have been damaged and no injuries have been
    reported, but evacuations remain in effect, firefighting spokesman
    Jay Nichols said.
    Public schools, scheduled to open for classes on Monday, were
    closed through Tuesday.
    Sibbach said Sun Valley Resort remained open and a convention
    planned there this week will go on as planned.
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    Post August 27th

    BOISE, Idaho (AP) - A break in the weather gave fire crews the
    chance to gain some valuable ground Monday in their battle with a
    wildfire burning in the mountains west of the resort town of
    Ketchum, fire officials said.
    After a weekend of 45 mph wind gusts that caused the Castle Rock
    fire to spread rapidly, crews on the ground and in the air took
    advantage of cooler, less windy conditions that slowed the fire's
    spread.
    "It was much more cooperative today," fire spokesman Jay
    Nichols said. "It did grow. We're still making progress on the
    fire. We're looking good on a lot of the areas, but we still have
    some problem areas."
    The fire, which began with a lightning strike and has burned
    more than 64 square miles, has caused a variety of problems for the
    posh resort town of Ketchum and the Sun Valley ski resort.
    More than 1,000 homes have been evacuated outside the city, but
    on Monday, Blaine County officials allowed some of those residents
    to return home, county officials said.
    The resort had a close call Sunday when flames and spot fires
    crept within 50 yards of a $12 million log ski lodge atop the ski
    hill. The fires blackened ski runs on the backside of Bald
    Mountain, but crews spraying water from a dozen snowmaking guns
    managed to keep the fires from damaging the Seattle Ridge lodge, a
    popular 17,000-square-foot lodge built in 1993.
    "We were all pretty anxious last night," said Jack Sibbach,
    the resort's sales and marketing director. "That building would be
    tough to replace."
    Still, concerns about the fires, the smoke shrouding the valley
    and public safety prompted local officials to cancel a variety of
    events. The scheduled Monday opening for public schools was
    postponed until Wednesday.
    And Mayor Randy Hall announced that the City Council voted to
    cancel Ketchum's annual Wagon Days celebration, a Labor Day weekend
    staple for 48 years. The festivities typically include a parade,
    concerts and a bike race and draw as many as 10,000 people.
    "This was not an easy decision for the Ketchum City Council,
    and several factors contributed to the decision," Hall said in a
    statement. "If we are hit with high winds again, the Labor Day
    events will interfere with our ability to meet the safety needs of
    the community. I will not compromise the firefighting effort nor
    compromise the safety of our community."
    Nichols said more than 1,600 firefighters were at work Monday,
    clearing brush, conducting burnout operations and protecting
    property deemed threatened by the blaze. He also said 13
    helicopters and a handful of planes flew all day, dumping water and
    retardant on hot spots.
    Blaine County officials announced that residents affected by a
    mandatory evacuation order for neighborhoods east of Highway 75,
    the main north-south route through the valley, could return to
    their homes. A voluntary evacuation is still in effect, however.
    So far, no structures have been damaged by the latest fires and
    no injuries have been reported.
    Despite the firefighting frenzy and smoky air, residents said
    life stayed as normal as possible. Downtown merchants and
    restaurants remain open, though Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter
    encouraged visitors to stay away last weekend. Sibbach said Sun
    Valley resort remains open and a convention planned there this week
    will go on as planned.
    "Ketchum - and my world - is quite interesting right now,"
    said Kathy Boylston, 25, who with her husband fled their home
    Saturday night.
    "There is some anxiety out there," said Boylston, one of
    hundreds of residents volunteering in any way they can. "We have
    some frustration in town because some people have been evacuated
    for a long time, but everybody understands the reasons."
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
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    Post August 28th

    KETCHUM, Idaho (AP) - Gusty winds pushed a wildfire closer to
    Sun Valley Resort's ski area on Tuesday, while hundreds more homes
    were ordered evacuated in the valley below.
    The fire has burned more than 64 square miles of spruce, fir and
    pine trees, keeping crews busy near a summit lodge adorned with
    fading pictures of Ernest Hemingway, Gary Cooper and Tyrone Power,
    past visitors to the ski area founded in 1936.
    Amid the smoke, managers opted to run ski lifts - not for
    people, but to keep errant flames from cooking cables that ferry
    more than 200,000 visitors up the slopes each winter.
    As the fire burned up the west side of 9,150-foot Bald Mountain,
    Blaine County officials expanded a mandatory evacuation order to
    the northern part of Ketchum, on the other side of the mountain.
    Residents in about 2,000 homes now have been asked to leave since
    lightning started the blaze Aug. 17. No structures have burned.
    "This latest evacuation order was due to the fire conditions,
    the burnout operations and the increased possibility for fire
    spotting," said Bob Beanblossum, a fire information officer. "The
    fire activity is still currently outside the ski area boundaries."
    Sixty Idaho Army and Air National Guard soldiers were assisting
    residents, going door to door to make sure they followed the
    mandatory order, said Bettyann Mummert, a local Red Cross official.
    They were being taken to the Blaine County Community Campus in
    Hailey, 12 miles south of Ketchum.
    The Sun Valley Resort, a mile east of Ketchum, was not part of
    the evacuation.
    Jack Sibbach, a spokesman for the Sun Valley Co., which runs the
    510-room resort, said accommodations were roughly 90 percent full,
    though guests had begun some cancellations, including a 36-person
    group that opted to leave the valley.
    "We understand safety has to come first," Sibbach said.
    A wall of smoke greets motorists along state Highway 75 into the
    Wood River Valley, where the ski area is. Many nearby mountains are
    obscured.
    More than 1,650 fire personnel from across the nation are
    fighting the blaze, considered the region's top priority, according
    to the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise. That's in part
    because more than half of Blaine County's $12 billion in net
    taxable value is in homes in Sun Valley and Ketchum, both towns
    potentially in the fire's path.
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
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