More Evacuations Ordered, Homes Lost As Idaho's Elk Complex Grows

Aug 14, 2013

Firefighters are using fire to fight fire as they work to get the upper hand on the Elk Complex.
Credit Ashley Smith / Times-News

The Elk Complex wildfire has already caused hundreds of people to evacuate including those living in the town of Pine.  Tuesday night, the Elmore County Sheriff issued another mandatory evacuation, this time for residents in nearby Featherville.  

Paul Broyles is a deputy incident commander with the team that manages this fire.  He flew over the Fall Creek area west of Pine.  He says 53 structures, including homes, have been lost.  

“The fire was quite intense, quite hot, and I was quite frankly surprised that any homes survived,” he says.

"The fire was quite intense, quite hot, and I was quite frankly surprised that any homes survived." ~Paul Broyles, deputy incident commander

The lightning-caused fire has burned 112,000 acres.  A fire information officer in Pine confirmed that 71 structures have been burned as the fire has moved through sage brush and timber. 

Broyles says that fire crews had a good day Tuesday. The tactics to fight this wildfire remain the same.

“During the day time we’ll do our preparation around structure, put lines in, hand lines, dozer lines and then when it cools off and the winds abate then we’ll do our burning," Broyles says.

He says the fire is about a mile and a half away from Pine.  Firefighters strongly recommend that residents leave.   

Those managing the fight against the Beaver Creek Fire near Hailey are not optimistic about Wednesday's weather conditions.  While the chance of storms is less likely than it's been the last few days, fire officials say conditions will be favorable for more significant growth on that fire this afternoon and evening.

The fire has burned 32,000 acres and is 15 percent contained.  Fire managers will be in Hailey Wednesday night to meet with residents and update them on their efforts.  That meeting starts tonight at 7:00 at the Wood River High School Performing Arts Center.

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