The Lemhi County Sheriff today warned homeowners near Butcherknife Ridge to be prepared to evacuate if the Mustang Complex Fire gets closer. The 181,000 acre fire is threatening homes in the Highway 93 corridor north of North Fork.
Bill Swartley is a fire information officer on the Mustang Complex Fire. He says the wildfire was very active overnight. “The fire moved over 25,000 acres last night, primarily to the north. Its encroachment and approach to the Butcherknife Ridge has really been the trigger point.”
The sheriff’s office says about 250 homes are in the new Level One and Two evacuation zones. That means residents should be prepared to leave at a moment’s notice.
“If we start to see long-range spotting from the fire and distances of one to two miles, should that occur the fire can move very, very rapidly which compresses the time frame for people to react, therefore the sheriff’s department has taken the initiative giving people plenty of heads up.”
If residents do want to leave, the Red Cross is opening a shelter at the Salmon Valley Baptist Church. The Lemhi County Fairgrounds is accepting folks with trailers and horses.
The Indian Creek area is still under a Level Three evacuation zone, which means there’s an immediate threat to people.
Copyright 2012 Boise State Public Radio