As the summer of 2022 comes to an end, Idaho residents and first responders face the devastating damage and repercussions of several major wildfires. On September 13, Idaho became the state with the highest-ranking number of active wildfires, with a recorded total of 270,000 acres that have burned across the state. Several of the wildfires are located in the Salmon-Challis National Forest, including Idaho’s largest wildfire, the Moose fire. This massive fire has devastated over 130,000 acres, and as of September 22 is only 51% contained. However, the rainy days and cooler temperatures of the coming fall are helping to tremendously slow the fire. According to East Idaho News, firefighters estimate that the full containment day will be October 31. Unfortunately, the movement of the Moose fire prompted evacuation orders which came into effect during early September; the Beartrack Mine and Leesburg were evacuated on September 6, and on September 8, another evacuation was ordered for a number of areas a few miles north of Salmon.
The second largest fire in Idaho, named the Four Corners Fire, is located west of Lake Cascade in the Payette and Boise National Forest. A resident in the area reported the fire on August 13 after a thunderstorm had hit. (https://inciweb.nwcg.gov) Due to safety reasons, the Payette and Boise National Forest had to temporarily close down, including the region and roads around it. The Four Corners Fire has damaged 13,728 acres although 96 percent contained. The estimated containment date is September 24th.
While the Four Corners fire was caused by a lightning strike during a storm, many of the current and previous fires were human-caused, including The Moose Fire. Fire agencies throughout the state are advising communities to take preventative action to prevent any further wildfires from developing. Idaho Department of Lands recommends precautions such as never leaving a campfire unattended, being sure the fire is completely extinguished before leaving, along with keeping a shovel and bucket of water nearby at all times when one is active. In addition, they advise citizens to “pay close attention to weather and drought conditions and avoid any activities that involve fire or sparks when it’s hot, dry, and windy.”
As winter approaches, colder conditions and rainy days continue to aid in the efforts to distinguish Idaho’s active wildfires. Specially trained groups of firefighters known as hotshot crews are working tirelessly to prevent the flames from spreading into populated areas or causing any further damage to Idaho’s National Forests. If necessary, rehabilitation efforts will be put into place to restore and heal any harm that has been done. For more on how to prevent wildfires, fire safety, or any other information on this topic, go to:
The Bonneville Buzz staff thank and sincerely appreciate all the efforts being made by Idaho’s firefighters and fire teams! Thank you for what you do!