Wildfires

Wildfires
9:10 am
Fri July 19, 2013

The Best Sources For Idaho Wildfire Info

Wildland firefighters get a morning briefing at the Pine Creek Fire in the Boise National Forest.
Credit Boise National Forest

Idaho's wildfire season is ramping up, and that means there will be a lot of rapidly changing information about fire activity into the fall.

We've compiled a list of agencies, organizations and journalists who regularly tweet about fires in the region.

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Wildfires
10:59 am
Thu July 18, 2013

13 Words You Need To Know During Wildfire Season

Credit Brad Washa / Boise National Forest

Idaho's wildfire season is here, and that means you're going to be hearing a lot of firefighting jargon to describe what's going on.

We put together this list of key firefighting terms you're likely to hear in the next few months.

Glossary

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Wildfires
1:33 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Lightning Sparks 8 Fires In The Boise National Forest

Credit Boise National Forest

Eight new fires started after a storm rumbled through the Boise National Forest Tuesday night. More than 4,000 lighting strikes were reported. The largest lightning-caused fire had reportedly burned 150 acres by this morning. Crews were ready for new starts after a red flag warning went into effect.

Nearby, the Pine Creek Fire has claimed about 1,500 acres since it started on Monday afternoon. The blaze is about 10 percent contained, with 240 firefighters at work.

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Air Quality
10:54 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Southern Idaho Could Be In For Another Bad Air Summer

Boise Sky about 9:45 a.m. September 20, 2012
Credit Aaron Kunz / Earthfix

Wednesday’s air quality forecast in the Treasure Valley is for “moderate” conditions, which can cause health issues for some people with respiratory problems.

It’s been that way for several days now mainly because of ozone pollution, not wildfire smoke. Ozone is the most common reason for bad air during Idaho summers, but last year was a different story says Michael Toole with Idaho’s Department of Environmental Quality.

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Wildfires
7:47 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Collaboration Credited For Saving Homes From Wildfire Near Eagle

Tuesday night's fire north of Eagle started around 8 o'clock when lightning moved through the area near Highway 16. Firefighters had the fire contained within four hours.
Credit Sheila Hudson

The Ada County Sheriff's Department credits the swift response of multiple fire agencies for saving about 30 homes along Highway 16 north of Eagle Tuesday night.  The fire started around 8 o'clock when lightning from passing storms struck.  Within minutes, families in the area near Firebird Raceway started to evacuate.

Ava Linhart lives in the area.  She says she and her daughter were home watching the storm when the lightning hit. 

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Wildfires
9:24 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Brush Fire Off Highway 16 Now Contained

Area resident Sheila Hudson captured this photo of smoke rising from the fire off Highway 16.
Credit Sheila Hudson

Update 12:57 a.m.: The Ada County Sheriff's Department says people can now safely return home after a wildfire forced many to evacuate Tuesday night. Highway 16 is now open in both directions. 

The Sheriff's Department estimates the fire has burned about 1,000 acres and is now fully contained. No homes were lost. Flames damaged a barn and an outbuilding. 

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Wildfires
5:34 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Stormy Weather Could Pose Challenges For Idaho Firefighters

A handcrew member works on the perimeter of the Pine Creek Fire northeast of Boise.
Credit U.S. Forest Service

The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning Tuesday afternoon for the Boise National Forest and parts of the Payette National Forest. Dry and windy conditions could make firefighting efforts in those areas difficult and could spark new flames there's lighting. 

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Air Quality
4:42 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

The Treasure Valley's Air Quality Isn't Great, But Not Because Of Wildfires

Smoke obscures the Boise foothills about 7:30 Tuesday morning.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Air quality in the Treasure Valley hasn't been great the last couple of days. But that's not because of the wildfire burning near Boise. Michael Toole with Idaho’s Department of Environmental Quality says the real culprit is ozone.

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Wildfires
5:56 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

Pine Creek Fire Near Boise Grows To 800 Acres

Credit Sadie Babits / Boise State Public Radio

Update 8:20 a.m.:  Fire managers said Tuesday morning the Pine Creek Fire has now burned 800 acres northeast of Boise.  200 people are working the fire, which officials say has a "high" growth potential.  With lightning in the forecast, firefighters are bracing for more new fires in the region.  The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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Wildfires
3:06 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

Wildfire Near Popular Middle Fork Of Salmon River Has Rafters On Alert

July is a busy month for white water rafting down the Middle Fork of the Salmon River.
Credit Pete Zimosky / Idaho Statesman

Rafters along the popular Middle Fork of the Salmon River in central Idaho are being told to be prepared to share reserved camping spaces with other rafters or even firefighters because of a nearby wildfire.

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Wildfires
8:18 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Forest Service/BLM Ban Exploding Targets In Northwest

Federal land managers have banned the use of exploding targets on public lands in the Northwest. The concern is wildfires.  But a leading manufacturer of the popular target shooting accessory is quite unhappy.

Fire investigators suspect exploding targets sparked at least half a dozen wildfires in Washington and Idaho over the past year. The chemical explosives give target shooters instant feedback that they've hit their mark from long range.

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Wildfires
11:18 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Canadian Researchers Predict Wildfires "Will Spread Like Wildfire" In Next 100 Years

Idaho's Trinity Ridge Fire burned more than 145,000 acres in 2013. Canadian researchers say so-called 'mega fires' are will happen more often and with increased intensity over the next century.
Credit Boise National Forest

The person who wrote the headline for this Canadian news release obviously has a sense of humor. But the subject of the release - a new report from researchers at the University of Alberta - offers some serious predictions about global wildfires over the next 100 years.

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Wildfires
12:22 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Company Wants To Test Amphibious Russian Airplane To Fight Idaho Wildfires

Credit Oleg V. Belyakov / WikiCommons

A company aims to test an amphibious Russian firefighting plane this summer on one of Idaho's wildfires.

David Baskett, president of California-based International Emergency Services, hopes to eventually win lucrative U.S. government contracts for the Beriev BE-200 to assist in firefighting.

Last month, Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter told Baskett he wants to observe the BE-200, which can fly 400 miles per hour and scoop 3,500 gallons of water from a lake within seconds.

Baskett says the BE-200 can strike at wildfires quickly.

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Wildfires
2:40 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

Lightning Ignites A Chain Of Wildfires Across Southern Idaho

Thunderstorms moving across southern Idaho in recent days are being blamed for touching off a series of wildfires now burning forest and rangeland.

Crews are battling fires in Owyhee County in the southwest corner, a blaze in the foothills north of Boise and another scorching grass and timber in the mountains above the Anderson Ranch Reservoir in Elmore County.

In the Magic Valley, crews are trying to contain the Jim Brown fire near Richmond. So far, officials say the fire has burned 8,000 acres and is 15 percent contained.

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Politics
3:55 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Gov. Otter Takes On Obama Over CO2 Rules, Wildfires

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter attended the Western Governor's meeting in Utah last weekend.
Credit Joe Jaszewski / Idaho Statesman

At a Utah meeting this week, Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter blasted President Barack Obama for seeking to limit coal-fired power plant emissions while not allowing sufficient timber cutting to tame big Western wildfires, another greenhouse gas source.

Otter told reporters Idaho wildfires send more carbon dioxide skyward than is released to produce coal-generated electricity used by the state's 1.5 million residents.

The governor's numbers may be technically correct.

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Wildfires
11:22 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Several Small Wildfires Now Burning In Idaho

Smoke from the Turner Fire near Lucky Peak could be seen from Lucky Peak State Park on Monday.
Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Several small wildfires are keeping Idaho firefighters busy.

The Bureau of Land Management Twin Falls District is fighting seven wildfires in the Magic Valley totaling more than 1,350 acres.

KTVB reports crews are trying to keep the flames from spreading to at least 11 houses and from spreading across U.S. Highway 93.

The BLM says it appears most of the fires were started by lightning, but one is believed to be human caused.

Crews are also battling a wildfire near Lucky Peak Reservoir northwest of Boise that has burned about 300 acres.

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Wildfires
6:36 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Fire Near Lucky Peak Burns 300 Acres

The Turner fire near Lucky Peak Dam started Monday afternoon. It's expected to be contained late Tuesday.
Credit BLM

UPDATE:  Officials say the Turner fire had burned 300 acres as of Monday evening.  Crews expect to have the fire contained late Tuesday.  The fire is believed to have been started by human activity.

ORIGINAL POST: A 100 acre fire is burning south of Lucky Peak Dam. What’s being called the Turner fire because of its proximity to Turner Gulch, started about 5:00 Monday evening. It’s mostly burning land owned by the Bureau of Land Management, though some private property is involved.

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Wildfires
2:05 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Boise Charity Reaches Out To Families Of Arizona Hotshots Killed In Wildfire

The Wildland Firefighter Foundation maintains a memorial for people who died battling wildland blazes. The memorial is located in Boise, at the National Interagency Fire Center.
Credit Wildland Firefighter Foundation

After the tragic death of 19 Arizona firefighters yesterday, a Boise-based charity is doing what it can to console the community of Prescott. The Wildland Firefighter Foundation (WFF) will be there as the families of the elite hotshot crew grieve in the next few weeks.

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Wildfires
8:02 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Goodbye Rain, Hello Northwest Fire Season

Credit Kari Greer / Boise National Forest

Say goodbye to the rain. The Northwest and parts of Canada are about to see an abrupt shift from unseasonably cool weather to record-breaking temperatures, in some areas. Triple digit highs are expected to settle over the region for the next week.

It's going to be a tough wildfire season in the West. That's according to federal forecasters. But here in the Northwest, it's been hard to see that prediction through all the rain.

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2013 Wildfire Season
5:04 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Idaho Forests Expected To Burn This Year While Grasslands Will Get A Reprieve

Ed Delgado is with the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

If you live in southern Idaho you likely won't see the catastrophic fires the area experienced last year.

State and federal agencies came together to give predictions Tuesday on what the state's wildfire outlook this summer could be like. 

Ed Delgado manages predictive services at the National Interagency Fire Center.  He says there’s a big difference between fires expected in the mountains and those in the desert this year.

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