Wildfires

Elk Complex, wildfire
Ashley Smith / Times-News

Wildfires across the country this year have charred millions of acres, threatened homes and burned cultural landmarks. They've also set a record.

 

ITD

Wildfires in the west have become more common and gobble up more acres of land than in the past – but charred homes and forests may not be the only damage left behind. Waterways may also be at risk.

inciweb

Idaho's largest wildfire is burning entirely within a rugged central Idaho wilderness area and being allowed to play its natural role.

Officials on Wednesday say the 110-square-mile wildfire in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness is burning grass and brush in lower areas and ponderosa pine and Douglas fir at higher elevations.

Officials say they have plans in place to protect bridges, a ranch, a guard station and other high-value sites that could be threatened.

The backcountry Chamberlain Airstrip remains closed due to the lightning-caused fire.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

The entire state of Idaho is under an air quality advisory - thanks to smoke from wildfires – for the first time since August of 2015.


Ringo H.W. Chiu / AP Images

For the first time in two years, active duty soldiers have been mobilized to fight wildfires in the West. Two hundred military personnel are heading to battle the Umpqua North Complex. The 47-square mile wildfire is burning in the southwest corner of Oregon.

 

Kim Smolt / U.S. Forest Service

Wildfires are raging across the American West, prompting national fire managers to put the country on the highest alert possible.

 


inciweb.gov

Three big fires raged across the Bureau of Land Management’s Twin Falls District this week.

Mike Stewart / AP Images

A few years ago, the market for consumer drones exploded. Each wildfire season since then, officials have been trying to educate the public in the law. People fly the small unmanned devices over fires to get up-close footage and photos, often not knowing the practice is illegal.

Boise National Forest / US Forest Service

In Idaho, wildfire season is approaching as hotter temperatures dry out what-is-now green undergrowth. At the same time, Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson is trying to get his Washington D.C. colleagues on board with a new way to pay for fighting those fires.

Wildfire,
Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Firestorms are a particularly terrifying – and largely unknown – phenomenon. The naturally occurring events happen during megafires, when a wildfire burns so hot and so fiercely that surrounding air is drawn in, creating powerful winds that remove moisture from nearby fuel – increasing the already extreme fire risk.

Keith Ridler / AP Images

Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell will make a visit to Idaho Tuesday. The Obama Administration official is on a final tour highlighting environmental initiatives taken on by her department since 2013.

 

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

The day before his new exhibit opening in downtown Boise, Giuseppe Licari takes a break from building his installation. Licari sits in the courtyard behind Ming Studios sipping an espresso as he takes a puff of his cigarette. As it turns out, the Sicilian-born artist is kind of obsessed with smoke – and what it means for a landscape. 

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

KBSX reporter Frankie Barnhill visited base camp at the Pioneer Fire on Aug. 27 to profile Type 1 Incident Commander Beth Lund. Adam Cotterell asks her about the experience, including what's up with the women's only porta potties, what to eat at fire camp, and how to earn "trail cred" in wildland firefighting.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Beth Lund starts her day long before most people are done dreaming.

At 5 a.m., she’s out of her tent – coffee in hand – getting ready for a 6:00 a.m. briefing with her team at fire camp in Idaho City. Over the hum of generators, Lund takes the microphone on a wooden platform and addresses about 50 firefighters.

“Well, good morning," Lund says. "I see the group out here’s dwindling a little bit. So I think that’s a sign that some of this stuff on the southern end is getting wrapped up.”

Inciweb

It’s not clear yet what started the Cherry Road Fire Sunday afternoon. But what is clear is that dry brush and grass have fueled the flames, making for quickly changing conditions between Sunday and Monday.  

The fire is near the Idaho border, and has blown smoke into the Treasure Valley. A Type 2 firefighting team is now working to get control of the fire, which is threatening the popular Succor Creek State Park. 

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