Environment

Wolves
9:39 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Idaho's Wolf Hunting Season Starts Friday

Credit Washington Fish and Game

Idaho’s wolf hunting season begins Friday and runs through the end of March in parts of the state, and through the end of June in others. It’s Idaho’s longest hunting season. A few spots in Idaho’s panhandle have year-round wolf hunting. Trapping season starts in November for most of the state.

Hunters and trappers killed more than 300 wolves in Idaho during the 2012-2013 season. 

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Beaver Creek Fire
1:27 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Bruce Willis Thanks Beaver Creek Firefighters With Catered Meals

Bruce Willis will cater meals for about 450 wildland firefighters near Sun Valley, Idaho.
Credit Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons

Actor and part-time Idaho resident Bruce Willis is showing his gratitude to the firefighters who worked the Beaver Creek Fire near Sun Valley by catering meals for them beginning Friday.

Entertainment news outlet ETOnline.com says Willis is also footing the bill for firefighters' snacks as they move to other fires.

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Wildfires
2:41 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

How Wildfires Get Their Names

The Lodgepole fire is burning near Lodgepole Creek in the Salmon-Challis National Forest.
Credit U.S. Forest Service

So far this year 1,058 wildfires have burned in Idaho, and we've reported on many of them. But with new fires starting every week – sometimes within a few hours –  it’s hard to keep straight which fires are which. Names like the Elk Complex and the Little Queens Fire can seem arbitrary. But are they?

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Bees
9:47 am
Mon August 26, 2013

Hailey, Idaho Approves In-Town Beekeeping

Credit Jordan / Flickr Creative Commons

Officials in the central Idaho town of Hailey have approved beekeeping in the city.

The Idaho Mountain Express reports the Hailey City Council on Monday revised the definition of urban agriculture to include honey production as a permitted use in all residential and transitional zones.

City officials say they approved the plan to help re-establish bee populations.

The ordinance has numerous requirements for beekeepers, including a provision that allows the city to remove hives with aggressive bees.

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Wildlife
9:41 am
Mon August 26, 2013

Caretaker Kills Grizzly Bear In Eastern Idaho

Credit Xinem / Flickr Creative Commons

Officials are investigating the killing of a young female grizzly bear shot by the caretaker of a private residence in eastern Idaho near Yellowstone National Park.

Gregg Losinski of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game says the bear was killed Friday evening in the Island Park area. No humans were injured.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is investigating because grizzlies are listed as a threatened species.

Losinski says the caretaker was carrying a high-powered rifle because a bear had been at the property before and torn down a birdfeeder.

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Wildland Firefighers
4:42 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

More Than 8,000 Bandanas Donated To Beaver Creek Firefighters

Bandanas were donated from people all over the country. Some were closer to home, including these made by a Wood River Valley business.
Credit Bronwyn Nickel / Blaine County Sheriff's Office

As wildland firefighters fought the Beaver Creek fire in the Wood River Valley last week, people in the area looked for a way to help. They wanted to show their thanks to the firefighters who protected their homes.

The Blaine County Sheriff’s office decided to ask for bandana donations. Since the drive started, they have received between 8,000-9,000 bandanas from people around the country.

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Wildfire Evacuations Lifted
2:09 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Pre-Evacuation Notices Lifted For Beaver Creek Fire

Credit InciWeb / http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3635/

The Beaver Creek fire is now 67 percent contained. The jump in fire line construction comes after several days of milder weather, including overnight rain that helped control the flames.

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Wildfires
3:00 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Wildfire Roundup: More Than 600,000 Acres Burn In Idaho Wildfires

A helicopter at the Elk Complex fire.
Credit Boise National Forest

So far this year, 601,640 acres have burned in Idaho wildfires. The National Interagency Fire Center reports there are 10 large wildfires burning in the state, including some that have caused evacuations. With so much quickly-changing fire information, here's an update on some of the wildfires we've been talking about recently. 

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Wildfires
11:02 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Containment Increases On The Beaver Creek Fire, Evacuation Orders Still In Effect

Thank you signs dot the area around fire camp near Hailey.
Credit Ashley Smith / Times-News

Update, 12:40 p.m.: The mandatory evacuation order has been lifted for residents from the hospital bridge south to East Fork Road on the east side of Highway 75. This includes residents of Cold Springs, Gimlet, and the Meadows.

The Blaine County sheriff's office says these areas will remain on pre-evacuation notice, which means they should be ready to evacuate if necessary.

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Wildfires
6:10 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

New Fire Threatens Lucky Peak, Closes Highway 21

Firefighters are responding to the Hilltop Alley Fire near Lucky Peak.  The fire has shut down Idaho Highway 21 in both directions between Lucky Peak Dam Road and Highland Valley Road.

David Olson with the Boise National Forest says the fire has burned 300 acres and destroyed two outbuildings.  Crews are working to protect the Lucky Peak helibase and nursery.

Air tankers, two helicopters, and several engines are fighting the fire which started Tuesday afternoon.  Olson says firefighters are making progress, but the fire is being fanned by gusty winds.

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Wildfires
3:06 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Beaver Creek Fire Update: Some Blaine County Residents Allowed To Return Home

A helicopter makes a drop on a dozer line around a home to protect it from the Beaver Creek Fire on Sunday, August, 18, 2013 in outside of Ketchum.
Credit Ashley Smith / Twin Falls Times-News

Update Aug. 20, 3:06 p.m.: More Blaine County residents can return home who were forced to evacuate because of the Beaver Creek Fire.

The latest update from the Blaine County sheriff's office reiterates that people who are allowed to go back are still under a pre-evacuation notice and should still be prepared to evacuate.

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Wildfires
12:47 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Wildfire Resources Stretched To Their Thinnest Level In 5 Years

Credit Ashley Smith / The Times-News

U.S. wildfire managers have raised the national preparedness level to its highest designation for the first time in five years. They say it reflects a very high level of fire activity. 

Officials at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise say nearly 32,000 wildfires have burned 3.4 million acres this year. That might sound like a lot, but it’s only 60 percent of the country’s 10-year average.

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Clean Water Act
10:32 am
Tue August 20, 2013

Idaho Sugar Company Fined For Water Quality Violation

Federal regulators say the Amalgamated Sugar Co. has agreed to pay $7,500 for violating the Clean Water Act at its facility in Paul.

The Environmental Protection Agency announced the enforcement action Monday.

EPA investigators say the company discharged stormwater without a permit last year. The agency cited the company for discharging 4,000 gallons of stormwater from a storage lagoon to a drainage and irrigation ditch that empties into the Snake River without permission in its permit.

Wildfires
8:32 am
Tue August 20, 2013

Cost Of Fighting Idaho's Beaver Creek Fire At $11.6 Million

Firefighters with the private contract company Great Basin Fire, mop up part of the Beaver Creek Fire in the Baker Creek area on Monday, August, 19, 2013 north of Ketchum, Idaho.
Credit Ashley Smith / Twin Falls Times-News

Update 10:59 a.m.:  Fire managers say the cost of fighting the Beaver Creek Fire is now at $11,587,000.  The total reflects costs through 5:00 p.m. Monday.  The number is nearly $700,000 higher than the figure first announced at a briefing in fire camp Tuesday morning.

The Associated Press reported the correct figure Tuesday morning.  The AP story also included news of a change in the national wildfire preparedness level:

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Wildfires
3:07 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Should Policy Makers Limit Where Homes Are Built Along The Wildland Urban Interface?

Thank you signs dot a deserted downtown Ketchum as firefighters work the Beaver Creek Fire which started Aug. 7.
Credit Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

At least 13 percent of Idaho's wildland urban interface (WUI) is developed. That's according to data gathered by Montana-based think tank Headwaters Economics. As wildfire season continues in the West, Stateline pulled together an interesting article about the increasing number of homes being built on the edge of forests and how that can complicate wildfire management.

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Fish
1:37 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Biologists To Poison Yellowstone Stream, Reintroduce Native Fish

The westslope cutthroat trout is a freshwater fish in the salmon family.
Credit USFWS Mountain Prairie / Flickr Creative Commons

Biologists are preparing to poison off all the fish in a stream in Yellowstone National Park ahead of an effort to restore native fish species to those waters.

Nonnative brown and rainbow trout have invaded and become established in Grayling Creek and its tributaries north of West Yellowstone, Mont.

This week, biologists plan to put small quantities of a toxin in the streams to kill off the nonnative trout. Treatments with the chemical Rotenone will continue for two to three years until all of the nonnative fish species are gone.

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Wildifires
7:54 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Beaver Creek Update: Fire Managers Believe The Blaze Is Now "Manageable"

The Idaho Statesman captured this image of a firefighter walking through a burned field near homes west of Hailey, Idaho, Aug. 17, 2013.
Credit Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

Update, Aug. 19, 7:54 a.m.:  Officials in Blaine County say some homeowners evacuated because of the Beaver Creek Fire may be allowed to return home today.  But nothing has been announced this morning.  In the meantime, the sheriff is asking residents to be patient and not to try and return to their homes before evacuation ordered are lifted.

The Beaver Creek Fire is 8 percent contained - a slight decrease during the day Sunday.  It's burned 104,457 acres.  More than 1,100 people are in the Wood River Valley fighting the fire. 

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Wildfires
7:42 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Historic Idaho Town Under Mandatory Evacuations As Wildfire Nears

The Little Queens Fire is burning in Elmore County near the historic town of Atlanta.
Credit Courtesy of the Boise National Forest

Update: 10:04 p.m.:  The Little Queens Fire has now burned 7000 acres.  Officials say it's within four miles of Atlanta.  Fire managers say winds shifted late Sunday and pushed the fire towards the town.  There is no containment.  A Type Two incident command team will take over management of the fire Tuesday.  Sixty-two people have been assigned to work the fire.

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Wildfires
5:46 pm
Sat August 17, 2013

Photos From Idaho's Beaver Creek Fire

Beaver Creek fire.
Credit @jp2e / Twitter

The Beaver Creek Fire burning near the Idaho resort towns of Ketchum and Sun Valley has forced the evacuation of at least 2,250 area homes and an additional 7,500 are prepared to evacuate if necessary.

The lightning-caused fire started Aug. 7 and has rapidly grown to 92,700 acres, or 145-square miles.

Here are some photos and video captured by reporters and people who live in the Wood River Valley from Aug. 16-17.

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Wildfires
5:02 pm
Sat August 17, 2013

Southern Idaho Fire Roundup: Four Large Blazes Continue To Grow

A photographer takes pictures of the Beaver Creek Fire from a rooftop north of Hailey, Idaho, Aug. 16, 2013.
Credit Ashley Smith / Times-News

Four large fires continue to burn in Southern Idaho, including two of the nation's top priority wildfires.

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