Sawtooth National Forest / InciWeb

The Beaver Creek Fire moved through 174 square miles of land in August, threatening communities in the Wood River Valley.

GHarness / Flickr Creative Commons

Trout Unlimited and the Wood River Land Trust have announced a plan to restore the Big Wood River in central Idaho.

The partnership announced last week and called the Big Wood River Home Rivers Initiative is described as a long-term effort to reconnect tributaries, promote fish passage and maintain stream flows.

Scott Boettger of the Wood River Land Trust says summer wildfires followed by mudslides combined with low flows and increased water temperatures are timely reminders of the challenges the Big Wood faces.

U.S. Forest Service

The 2012 wildfire season went down as one of the most active in Idaho’s history. It was an expensive year too, with more than $211 million spent to suppress fires that burned 1.75 million acres.

According to a new report by Jonathan Oppenheimer of the Idaho Conservation League, there are some valuable lessons imbedded in those stats.

Authorities say both lanes of U.S. Highway 20 north of Mountain Home have reopened following a mudslide.

Authorities tell KTVB-TV that mud on Thursday closed one lane of the route that carries traffic from Boise to the central Idaho resort area of Ketchum and Sun Valley.

The mudslide occurred between Cow Creek Road and Anderson Ranch Dam Road.

Elmore County dispatchers say one person had to be rescued after a rainstorm on Thursday caused rocks and mud to slide onto roadways.

Steve Dondero

Warm Springs Creek is a clean and beautiful tributary of the Big Wood River in Blaine County. The creek is also a great spot for fly-fishing.


But after the 174-square-mile Beaver Creek Fire was officially contained last week, heavy rain and thunderstorms moved through. That storm and the continued rain that followed brought mud, ash and debris down the mountain – and into Warm Springs Creek and the Big Wood River.

Boise National Forest

People in the West are breathing some cleaner air these days, after a summer of dangerous and smoky wildfires.

As the wildfire season begins to wind down, Ken Frederick at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise looked into this question: how does this summer's fire season stack up against prior ones? Frederick decided to tackle the topic through a short and info-packed video.

Wildfire, fire fighter
U.S. Forest Service

Rain across much of southwestern and central Idaho's mountains put a dent in wildfires that have kept firefighters busy for weeks.

On the Weiser Complex Fire along the Snake River's Brownlee Reservoir, Wednesday's moisture bolstered crews' confidence about making significant progress toward containing the blaze that's charred some 40 square miles.

And in central Idaho near Featherville, similar downpours helped firefighters gain ground and more aggressively push back the Kelley Fire, which has burned about 26 square miles.

Mel Meier / InciWeb

The Beaver Creek Fire burned more than 174 square miles and endangered the towns of Hailey, Ketchum and Sun Valley last month. The once-enormous blaze is fully contained.

But residents in the area now have to be on alert for another danger: flash floods and mudslides over the charred land. The Times-News reports that 18 inches of mud came into the Croy Creek Canyon area overnight.

National Weather Service warned Idaho residents traveling or recreating on National Forest lands to be wary of possible flash flooding, as recent wildfires have scorched what ordinarily would have been rain-sopping vegetation from hillsides.

A flash flood watch goes into effect at midnight and continues through Tuesday on Boise National Forest areas burned by the massive Elk, Pony and Little Queens fires.


Aerial attacks are continuing Friday morning on two new fires burning along the Idaho-Oregon border, near Brownlee Reservoir on the Snake River. 

The Hells Canyon 1 Fire and the Raft Fire started with lighting strikes Thursday afternoon. As of Friday morning, they’d burned 4,500 acres. They’ll burn together and form the Wesier Complex and be managed by a Type Two Incident Command team.

Bruce Willis Thanks Beaver Creek Firefighters With Catered Meals

Aug 29, 2013
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.

The same weather patterns that are making the Rim Fire a challenge for firefighters in California have been moving up through parts of the Northwest. Specifically, through central Idaho. Fire managers say the forests there are ripe for fire, and more lightning is in the forecast this week.

The fact that massive fires are raging both in California and in Idaho is no coincidence, according to Robyn Broyles. She's with the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise.

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.

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.

Weather forecasters are predicting more lightning throughout the Northwest over the next few days. That could make things tougher for fire fighters, who are already battling several large wildfires throughout the region.

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. 

Beaver Creek Fire, Wildfires
Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

Not everyone fled Sun Valley, Idaho, when the huge Beaver Creek wildfire threatened the swanky resort area. Many locals remained in the surrounding communities and kept the stores, restaurants and gas stations open.

Now, firefighters are gaining the upper hand. The smoke is clearing. But without the return of vacationers, many locals worry the real disaster is economic – and that one is just beginning.

The fire raging near Sun Valley, Idaho, is serving as a wake-up call for homeowners in fire-prone areas across the Northwest. The 106,000-acre Beaver Creek Fire has burned one house.

And fire managers say it’s lucky they didn't lose more.

Steven Garman lives outside of Ketchum, Idaho. He's a retired firefighter. Garman says like many homes in the area, his house was not designed to be fire resistant.

Businesses around Sun Valley, Idaho worry the massive Beaver Creek fire will have a big impact on the tourist-dependent economy of central Idaho. Several events have already been canceled because of the blaze.

This is the new worry by business owners. First of course was the threat of fire. And now there’s the threat of fire or at least the perceived threat of it will continue to keep away tourists through a really crucial part of their business cycle.

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.