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Disaster Declared in Elmore County, Idaho

Posted by feww on August 13, 2013

Gov. Otter issues a state disaster declaration in Elmore County

The Elk and Pony Complex fires have grown explosively, covering at least 240,000 acres, forcing mass evacuations and large area closures.

In addition to large numbers of mandatory evacuations, the Elmore County Sheriff’s Office has urged other residents to leave the area to ensure the fire crews can focus on suppressing the fire, said a report.

The two fire complexes have destroyed or damaged dozens of structures, but the exact toll is not yet known/released.

More than two dozen wildfires in Idaho have scorched at least 400,000 acres since mid-July 2013.

The Elk Complex

Cause: Lightning
Date of Origin: Thursday August 08th, 2013 approx. 09:00 PM
Location: 10 miles southwest of Pine
Size: 90,249 acres
Percent Contained: 5%
Estimated Containment Date: Tuesday October 01st, 2013 approx. 12:00 AM
Total Personnel: 405

2013_08_12-08.47.28.872-CDT
The Elk Complex
Fire.
Elk Statesman12. Night fire from Base Camp. The Incident Command Post threatened by the Elk Complex 08112013. Credit: Boise National Forest/ U.S. Forest Service.

The Elk Fire resulted from several lightning strike fires which burned together on the night of August 8th. Fuels continue to be extremely dry and when combining with steep terrain, is creating plume dominated fire behavior. Areas concern are the small settlement of Prairie on the west side of the fire and the Pine/Featherville corridor on the east side. The southern perimeter follows the South Fork of the Boise River from Smith Creek to the end of Anderson Ranch Reservoir near Pine. The fire continues to move up the river corridor on the west side from Pine towards Featherville. Primary objective is to secure the fireline between all homes/subdivisions and the mountains to the west. Securing Prairie homes and ranches is a high priority. Ultimately the plan is to push the northern portion of the fire into the Trinity fire from last year.

The Boise National Forest has expanded a large area closure that is described specifically in the CLOSURES portion of this site. A map of the closure area can be found under MAPS. The Elmore County Sheriff’s Office has a mandatory evacuation in effect from Hwy 20 to the Johnson Creek Bridge south of Featherville.

Stage I fire restrictions remain in effect including no campfires outside of an agency designated recreation site until further notice. For more information, please visit www.blm.gov/id.  [Inciweb]

The Pony Complex Fire

The Pony Complex fire, about  12 miles Northeast of Mountain Home, ID, has consumed at least 143,900 acres with about 30 percent containment.

2013_08_10-23.07.08.893-CDT
The Pony Complex Fire. Credit: Boise District/ Bureau of Land Management.

The Mile Marker 111 Fire and the Mudd Fire burned together on Sunday and areas of the combined fire are still exhibiting high resistance to control. The fire is continuing to push to the south and east threatening the Highway 20 corridor.

  • Numerous road closures and an area closure remain in effect.
  • Burnout operations were conducted along Cow Creek Road in attempt to mitigate the fire from crossing Blacks Creek. 

Basic stats

  • Start date: 8/8/2013
  • Location: 12 miles Northeast of Mountain Home, ID
  • Cause: Lightning
  • Size: 143, 900
  • Fuels: Grasses, sagebrush and pockets of timber
  • Observed Fire Behavior: Extreme running fire spread
  • Assigned Resources: 330 personnel
  • Containment: 30%

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