Fierce Wildfires Destroy Dozens of Idaho Homes
Posted by feww on August 16, 2015
Idaho blaze grows to 53,000 acres, puts town on evacuation notice
The so-called Clearwater Complex Wildfire in Idaho consisting of multiple lightning-caused fires—Lawyer 2 Fire, Lolo 2 Fire, Fisher Fire, Syringa Fires and Pilot Knob—has grown to about 53,000 acres destroying at least 125 homes and outbuildings, and putting entire communities on evacuation notice, said Inciweb.
Mandatory Evacuations remain in place on the west, north and east sides of Kamiah outside of the city limits. U.S. Highway 12 is still open but may periodically have a pilot car moving traffic through the fire area north of Kamiah.
An estimated total of 50 primary structures and 75 outbuildings were lost due to wind driven fire activity. Early this morning, the Idaho County Sheriff and his deputies began working with firefighters within the fire area to identify and assess the condition of these structures prior to notifying affected property owners. Structure protection remained a high priority throughout the fire area.
Most of the Complex is adjacent to Kamiah, ID. Other fire locations are in the vicinity of Kooskia, Craigmont, Ruebens, Greer, Woodland, and Harrisburg. The fire was 15% contained, as of posting.
Meanwhile the federal government has issued two additional Fire Management Assistance Declarations:
- Idaho Clearwater Lawyer Branch Fire Complex (FM-5099)
- Washington Nine Mile Fire (FM-5098)
National Preparedness Level 5 (August 13, 2015 at 5:30am MDT) (On a scale from 1 to 5)
[Preparedness Level 5 – Description: Geographic Areas are experiencing major incidents which have the potential to exhaust all agency fire resources. Eighty percent (80%) of Type 1 and Type 2 Incident Management Teams and crews are committed, as well as the majority of other National Resources.]
On August 14, the National Preparedness Level was increased to five. “A significant amount of initial and extended attack and large fire activity has occurred over the past several days as a result of lightning storms that have intensified local and geographic response,” said NIFC.
Number of active large fires: 51
Acres from active fires: 736,794
States currently reporting large fires:
Alaska (1), Arizona (1), California (14), Hawaii (2), Idaho (4), Montana (5), North Carolina (2), Oregon (12), Texas (3), Washington (6), Wyoming (1)
2015 (1/1/15 – 8/14/15) Fires: 39,830 Acres: 6,509,392
Annual average prior 10 years
(2005-2014) Fires: 49,403 – Acres: 4,649,565
[Caution: The stats provided by NIFC have previously proved to be incomplete, erroneous and therefore unreliable. See related blog entries since 2007.]