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Idaho Wildfire Threatens Entire County

Posted by feww on August 12, 2013

Elk Complex Fire consumes more than 80,000 acres, forces evacuations of 3 towns

The fast-growing Elk Complex, said to be nation’s No.1, has consumed more than 80,365 acres since late Thursday and is only 5% contained.

The massive fire complex has forced large-scale evacuations and threatens structure across Elmore County.

Two small towns of Pine and Prairie have been evacuated.

Elk Complex
The Elk Complex fire.  Viewed from I-84, p
hoto taken Saturday afternoon. Credit: Boise National Forest/U.S. Forest Service.

The Elk Complex is now estimated at 80,365 [acres] and 5% contained. After the inversion broke, sustained crown runs were observed. Plume dominated fire activity has made parts of the fire inaccessible. Many access roads into the fire area are impassible due to downed power lines, debris and fallen timber. The Elmore County Sheriff’s Office has implemented evacuations in the Pine area. Road closures include the Pine/Featherville Road, Cow Creek Road and Blacks Creek Road. The lodge in Fall Creek and approximately 20 structures were not damaged by the fire, but it is believed there is significant structure loss further up the drainage. Fire officials will gain access to assess the situation as soon as it is safe for them to enter the area. [More…]

The Pony Fire Complex

Meantime, the Pony Fire Complex continued to grow, consuming about 120,000 across and forcing the evacuations of hundreds of homes in Prairie and Mayfield, including the communities Baseline, Indian Creek and Regina.

The 119,543 acre Pony Complex is now 20 percent contained. Two cabins and an outbuilding in Syrup Creek were destroyed this morning as a result of the extreme fire behavior. Evacuations were ordered for the Syrup Canyon area. Multiple residences in Syrup Canyon and Miller Ranch were defended today. Evacuations were ordered including the community of Mayfield, Canyon Creek area and the Danskin and Bennett Mountain Lookouts. Livestock was continued to move from out in front of the fire. Numerous road closures are in effect along with an area closure. Firefighters remained on the fire last night and will tonight continuing to construct direct lines while securing and protecting structures.  [Inciweb]

Dozens of structure have been destroyed or damaged by the two fire complexes, but the exact toll is not yet known/released.

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