Residents of Pine and Featherville were briefed today on the rapidly moving Trinity Ridge Fire. The fire expanded yesterday and moved about five miles away from Featherville.
David Olson with the Boise National Forest says the residents were told to prepare for an evacuation that could come at any time. "The whole focus right now is to inform the community where the fire is, what it potentially might do and have them ready to leave when or if the order comes.”
Olson says it’s a very challenging fire to fight. “The type of vegetation that it’s burning in has a tendency to through embers and create spot fires which have 90 to 100 percent probability of ignition when they land in unburned fuel, it can move very rapidly in different situations particularly of there’s a wind push that’s moving that fire, the forest is dry at this point and it makes it very tough.”
The Elmore County Sheriff’s office has closed local roads to residents only. Close to 900 firefighters are on the blaze, which has grown to more than 63-thousand acres.
Fleeing a wildfire can be chaotic especially at a moments notice. So officials hope advance warning, and some helpful tips, will have homeowners ready should they need to leave.
There are four basic principles when it comes to being ready to evacuate your home. David Olson with the Boise National Forest calls them the four P's. “That would be personal papers, photos, prescriptions or medications and to keep a close eye if they have pets to be able to transport those out if need be.”
Olson says during evacuations, it’s the pets that often cause the most problems. “Oftentimes people make comments that they had a hard time finding their pets or securing their pets and obviously those are very closely attached to our families so probably one of the more important things is to keep the family pet close at hand.”
Toiletries, a change cloths, cell phones, and chargers are also handy to have ready. Other advice? Keep your car keys on you, move portable propane tanks away from your house, and pack your vehicle with supplies for three to seven days away from home.
Copyright 2012 Boise State Public Radio