Friday, October 23, 2020
Stanley Fire Burns on Both Sides of the Highway
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The Trap Fire burning on both sides of Highway 21 northwest of Stanley has added to the smoke already in the air from California, Oregon and Washington. COURTESY: Sawtooth National Forest
   
Thursday, September 17, 2020
 

BY KAREN BOSSICK

The Trap Fire nine miles northwest of Stanley has grown to 420 acres.

It has closed Highway 21 between the Cape Horn area and Lowman, as well as Boundary Creek launch site from the Stanley side. Today the closure is being extended to Thatcher Creek. A pilot car is assisting travelers through the closure between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. daily.

The fire, discovered late Monday, Sept. 14, is zero percent contained and is torching and running in lodgepole pine. It has burned on both sides of the highway.

Wind poses a threat to its 47 firefighters because of a high number of snags in the area. Firefighters expect it to expand another 150 acres on all sides in the next 24 hours with hot dusty winds flaming the fire, adding at least 200 more acres over the next 48 hours.

Even as that fire grew, Idaho Gov. Brad Little told the Associated Press that the state appears to have avoided a tough wildfire season thanks to quick responses by firefighters and good luck with weather.

The governor noted that the state decided early on to quickly attack all wildfires because of the coronavirus and the impact it might have on firefighters. So far, just six square miles of the land the state is responsible for have burned. That’s 18 percent of the 20-year average.

The National Interagency Fire Center in Boise says another 220 square miles of mostly U.S. Forest Service Land in Idaho have burned.

But the biggest fires of the summer started this past week.

  • The Badger Fire burning in the South Hills in the Sawtooth National Forest south of Magic Mountain ski area more than doubled in size from 10,000 acres on Monday to 27,000 acres by Tuesday.

    The hundred firefighters there have been hampered by dry conditions, high winds, fire whirls and torching and spotting.

    The fire started Saturday, Sept. 12, near Badger Gulch and has burned at least one structure—the century-old Warr Cabin 20 miles west of Oakley Reservoir. Other structures are threatened.

    Meanwhile, the smoke has been so thick in Oregon and Washington that Alaska Airlines temporarily stopped flights to Portland, Ore., and Spokane, Wash.

  • The Woodhead Fire near Cambridge has grown to 84,000 acres and has burned several homes, cabins and trailers. More than 300 people have been assigned to the fire. It is 38 percent contained.
  • The Grouse Fire six miles outside Pine grew only slightly on Tuesday to 3,980 acres. It continues to spread to the east, south and west with winds reaching 10 miles per hour in the afternoon.

    The fire is thought to be human caused.

  • The Nursery Fire burned more than 30 acres near Lucky Peak near Boise Wednesday morning. Firefighters hoped to have it out by 8 p.m. Wednesday night.

Meanwhile, Boise schools cancelled outdoor games as the air quality in the Treasure Valley was in the red category all this week. The smoke has been so thick in Oregon and Washington that Alaska Airlines temporarily stopped flights to Portland, Ore., and Spokane, Wash.

 

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