Fire Updates Aug 18, 2019

Nethker Fire

Payette National Forest
Total Personnel 559
Size 2,354 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained 91%
Estimated Containment Date Tuesday October 01st, 2019 approx. 12:00 AM


Warm, Dry Weather on the Way for Nethker Fire

The Nethker Fire added one additional acre yesterday, rising to 2,355 acres this morning based on data collected overnight during an infrared flight. The fire is 91 percent contained.

Today, firefighters will mop-up hot spots within the fire perimeter and patrol completed fire line to ensure that it holds. Repair work is still being done; however, most of it is already finished.

Temperatures are forecast to reach the 80s today, with drier air and wind gusts up to 30 mph. This could cause unburned vegetation within the perimeter to catch fire and more smoke may be visible.

With Warren Wagon Road open to the public, drivers are encouraged to watch for firefighters and their vehicles moving up and down the road. Please give them space to work.

French Creek/Burgdorf Road remains closed for public and firefighter safety. Evaluations for lifting the closure are underway.

Crews and equipment continue to be released as containment increases. The fire is staffed with the personnel, equipment and aircraft needed to complete the remaining work.

Closures: There is an area closure in effect for Forest Service land. Popular areas affected by this closure include: Trail Lake, Summit Lake, Lake Rock, Josephine Lake, Frosty Meadow, Ruby Meadows to Loon Lake (Loon Lake remains open), Crystal Mountain, and Bear Pete Mountain. Chinook Campground is open with access only from Warren. The closure order and map can be found here:

A TFR (Temporary Flight Restriction) is still being implemented over the fire area – which means recreational drones and private aircraft may not be operated over the fire. The TFR can be found here:

Please check the Nethker Fire’s page on Inciweb or the Payette National Forest Facebook page for updated information, along with the latest maps and photos.

Aug 18 Nethker Fire PIO Map

Nethker Fire Camp Crew at Burgdorf Spike Aug 17

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The Battle For Burgdorf

Frantic volunteers move historic artifacts in face of Nethker Fire

By Max Silverson for The Star-News Aug 15, 2019

As the glow from the Nethker Fire grew brighter and alarmingly more noticeable behind the treetops, a group of volunteers gathered in front of the store at Burgdorf Hot Springs.

… The day was Aug. 7, just three days after the lightning-caused fire roared to life three miles southwest of the hot springs, which was founded in 1865.

The threat from the blazing subalpine fir that covers the mountainous landscape in the areal prompted Scott Harris and his family, who own the hot springs, to muster the caravan of trucks and trailers.

“Connie and I, and our four children and their families are responsible for this treasured heritage,” said Harris, whose grandfather bought the hot springs in 1922.

Lindsey Harris, Scott’s daughter, contacted former smokejumper Matt Ganz to see who could help on short notice. The cause was immediately taken up by eager volunteers.

… A Forest Service pilot car lead the group towards the Hot Springs through the smoky Brugdorf/French Creek Road with trees on both sides of the road fully engufled with flames.

Once at the hot springs, the group set to work carrying out antiques like the 150-year old piano owned by Jeanette Burgdorf, pieces of burlwood furniture and a desk that once belonged to the first postmaster of McCall, Scott Harris said.

The crew, dubbed the “Heirloom Mission,” arrived in time to assist Burgdorf caretakers Jim and Caroline Huntley, who had been working three days to secure the property and evacuate their own belongings, including goats and chickens, Harris said.

“This was a very harrowing experience for them, and they deserve tremendous credit,” he said.

… This year marks the fifth time that the Harris family has had to prepare the hot springs for a nearby forest fire, Scott Harris said.

full story:
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Firefighters labor to get upper hand on Nethker Fire

By Max Silverson for The Star-News Aug 15, 2019

Cooler temperatures over the weekend temporarily muted the Nethker Fire, but the fire is expected to flare up again with warm weather in the forecast.

The fire was started by lightning on Aug. 4 near Nethker Lake and was burning 30 miles northeast of McCall. As of Wednesday, the fire had been 63% contained, according to fire managers.

The fire has increased in size from about 350 acres Aug. 7 to 2,340 acres as of Wednesday. About $8.3 million had been spent to battle the blaze, fire managers said.

… There were 35 miles of hose line staged around the fire as of Wednesday.

… A large area surrounding the fire has been closed to visitors, including Trail Lake, Summit Lake, Lake Rock, Josephine Lake, Frosty Meadow, Ruby Meadows to Loon Lake (Loon Lake remains open), Crystal Mountain, and Bear Pete Mountain, the Forest Service said.

On Sunday and Monday, fire crews worked along Warren Wagon Road to clear hazardous trees. Warren Wagon Road was reopened on Tuesday, but the Burgdorf/French Creek Road remained closed.

full story:
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Firefighters aid Burgdorf, but stop short of direct protection

By Max Silverson for The Star-News Aug 15, 2019

Federal firefighters are doing all they can to keep the Nethker Fire away from Burgdorf Hot Springs, but the firefighters cannot be directly involved with protecting private property, according to the Forest Service.

Firefighters labored to wrap fire-reflective foil buildings at the federal Burgdorf Guard Station, but did not do the same at the historic hot springs located about one-half mile across the Burgdorf/French Creek Road.

The Forest Service is using air tankers, ground crews and bulldozers to keep the Nethker Fire from spreading to the hot springs and its complex of buildings, Payette National Forest Public Affairs Officer Brian Harris said.

However, the agency does not have the authority to wrap buildings or douse a fire if a building catches fire, Harris said.

“We use all of our firefighting tactics to move a fire away from not only private structures but also a federal facility like the Burgdorf Guard Station too,” Harris said.

The fire is not currently threatening the community of Secesh, but firefighters are assessing the risks to the area, Harris said.

“The Forest Service has put huge manpower and air support to try to stop the westward creep of the fire,” said Scott Harris, owner of Burgdorf Hot Springs.

“They have expended tremendous, much appreciated effort to try to prevent the fire from getting to the structures,” Harris said.

Harris has appealed to Idaho County Commissioners for assistance, but was turned down. Burdgorf Hot Springs could not obtain insurance that would cover forest fires, Harris said.

Idaho County Commissioner Skip Brandt said the county will not pay for private structure protection in the area because it would not be a prudent use of tax dollars.

“In the end, there is no free money,” Brandt said. “If (we call) in support for the Nethker Fire, we are obligating all county residents to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for fire protection that many of them are already paying for through organized districts in their own areas.”

Firefighters from Donnelly Fire & EMS and from volunteer fire departments in Warren and Secesh Meadows arrived in Burgdorf last week to assist in preventative measures paid for by Harris.

“We were asked by the State of Idaho through the governor’s office to see if we could provide structure protection at Burgdorf Hot Springs,” Donnelly Fire Chief Juan Bonilla said.

Donnelly Fire was called upon because they have worked with the state before, but were told to leave on Friday because Idaho County did not ask for assistance from the state, Bonilla said.

“That’s not in our purview to be a single resource private contracting agency because we are a taxing district,” Bonilla said.

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‘They’ve really hit this fire with everything they can’: Extra air support helping crews get upper hand on Nethker Fire

KTVB Aug 14, 2019
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Amphibious air tankers fight Nethker fire

KIVI TV Aug 15, 2019
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Shady Fire

Salmon-Challis National Forest
Two (2) miles east of Seafoam Guard Station in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness on the Middle Fork Ranger District.
Total Personnel 6
Size 4,234 Acres
Estimated Containment Date Thursday October 31st, 2019 approx. 05:00 PM

Due to heavy fuel loading, active fire behavior, and the presence of numerous snags, firefighters have been unable to directly engage the fire. The Shady Fire is being managed with a point protection strategy (a wildfire response strategy, which protects specific assets or highly valued resources from the wildfire without directly halting the continued spread of the wildfire) to minimize exposure to fire personnel while protecting identified values. The strategy takes in to account exposure to firefighters, values at risk, impacts to area user groups, and wilderness values. Firefighters are monitoring fire progression towards values, with the priority of fire mangers being to provide for firefighter and public safety while defending the identified values at risk. Specific values potentially threatened with this fire include mining and Forest Service infrastructure.

Fire managers are urging the public to use caution when traveling in the vicinity of the Shady Fire as firefighters are in the area. In addition, they are urging the public to be aware of the many blind corners on the roads and to please slow down.

The Forest will provide fire updates and information as significant changes occur.

CLOSURES: The Salmon-Challis National Forest has implemented the Shady Fire Emergency Road and Trail Closure, Order Number: 04-13-19-613. The road and trail closure is described as road #40012 (Sheep Mountain Road) beginning at the junction with FS Road 40008 at Seafoam Guard Station ending at Road #40172, forest trail #4005 (Sheep Creek Trail) entire trail, forest trail #4012 (Duffield Trail) entire trail, and forest trail #4023 (Bernard Creek Trail) entire trail.

Shady Fire Map; August 14

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Cove Creek Fire

Date of Origin Saturday August 03rd, 2019 approx. 02:00 PM
Location 23 miles SW of North Fork, north of the Salmon River between Owl and Cove Creeks.
Total Personnel 38
Size 4,444 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained 65%
Estimated Containment Date Friday August 30th, 2019 approx. 12:00 AM

PIO Map August 13

Cove Creek Fire; August 16; Owl Creek

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Desert Ride Fire caused by Fireworks

Final update unless significant activity occurs
August 12, 2018 6 p.m.

Menan, Idaho – BLM fire investigators have determined that fireworks caused the August 11 Desert Ride Fire. The Desert Ride Fire has been mapped at 4,537 acres and is 70% contained. Firefighters will continue extinguishing hot spots and expect full containment August 13 at 10 p.m.

“The Menan area experiences multiple human caused fires every year,” said Jeremy Casterson, Upper Snake Field Manager. “This fire is disappointing not only because all fireworks are prohibited on BLM lands, but because that area is highly susceptible to wildfire. Firefighters were able to suppress this quickly, but may not be so fortunate in the future. These fires affect ranchers, hunters and other public land users. ”

The 2019 Fire Prevention Order, prohibits specific fire-related activities on public land from May 10 to October 20. The Fire Prevention Order makes it illegal to possess or use fireworks on BLM-managed lands in Idaho.

Any person who knowingly and willfully performs any act restricted by the Fire Prevention Order could be subject to a fine and held responsible for fire suppression and/or rehabilitation cost.

To read the BLM Idaho 2018 Fire Prevention Order, or for the most recent information concerning wildfires, fire restrictions, and fire prevention and education, can be found on the interagency Idaho Fire Info webpage,

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Suspect identified in Desert Ride Fire
Aug 12 Local News 8
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Boise District BLM Fire Update

August 16, 2019

The Boise District BLM is fighting three wildfires near the Blacks Creek and Mayfield Road area southeast of Boise. Fire crews worked hard through the night to stop fire spread and will continue securing containment lines throughout the day

Mayfield Fire
* Location: approximately 17 miles southeast of Boise, Id near the intersection of Slater Creek and Mayfield road
* Size: estimated 850 to 1,000 acres
* Containment: estimated 8/16 at 8:00 p.m.
* Control: estimated 8/17 at 6:00 p.m.
* Resources: four BLM engines, one Forest Service engine, one BLM dozer, Mountain Home RFPA engines and dozers, one BLM water tender, 1 hotshot crew, and 1 helicopter.
* Fire behavior: smoldering
* Structures threatened: None
* Cause: human – under investigation

Prospect Fire
* Location: approximately 14 miles southeast of Boise, Id near the intersection of Blacks Creek and Mayfield road
* Size: estimated at 500 acres
* Containment: estimated 8/16 at 10:00 p.m.
* Control: no estimated control time
* Resources: four BLM engines, one Forest Service engine, two BLM dozers, Mountain Home RFPA engines and dozers, one BLM water tender, 1 hotshot crew, and 1 helicopter.
* Fire behavior: smoldering
* Structures threatened: none
* Cause: human – under investigation

Pole Fire
* Location: approximately 14 miles southeast of Boise, Id near the intersection of Blacks Creek and Mayfield road
* Size: estimated at 5 acres
* Containment: 8/16 at 1:45 a.m.
* Control: estimated 8/16 at 6:00 p.m.
* Resources: one engine strike team
* Fire behavior: smoldering
* Structures threatened: none
* Cause: human – under investigation

For More Information,
Jared Jablonski, Fire Information and Prevention Officer,
Idaho Wildfires visit
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Crews making progress on new range fires burning along Ada-Elmore county line

KTVB Aug 16
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Idaho Fire Info
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August 16, 2019

Nationally, 60 large fires have burned 692,788 acres in 12 states. Eight new large fires were reported, two in Arizona, three in Idaho and one each in California, Texas and Washington. Firefighters were able to contain eight large fires yesterday.

Idaho Fires: 8 Acres: 13,324 New: 3 Contained: 1
Barren Hill Nez-Perce-Clearwater National Forest FS 581 0 50 miles east of Kamiah 208-820-1799
Cove Creek Salmon-Challis National Forest FS 4,394 65 27 miles northwest of Salmon 208-850-8932
Crab Nez-Perce-Clearwater National Forest FS 189 0 22 miles west of Stevensville 208-820-1799
* Mayfield Boise District BLM 700 0 10 miles southeast of Boise
Nethker Payette National Forest FS 2,351 79 30 miles northeast of McCall 208-634-0820
* Prospect Boise District BLM 500 21 12 miles southeast of Boise
* Treasureton Franklin County CNTY 500 50 13 miles north of Preston
Shady Salmon-Challis National Forest FS 4,300 0 21 miles north of Stanley 208-756-7853
Desert Ride Idaho Falls District BLM 4,537 100 11 miles west of Rexburg

NIFC link: