2020 in Review

2020 Year in Review


Jan 1
Heavy snow fell New Year’s Eve all night long dumped over 6″ of heavy wet snow. We have 12″ of snow on the ground on first day of 2020.

Cougar in Yellow Pine
There has been a small cougar hanging out in the village for almost 2 weeks as of Sunday Dec 29th. Tracks up at the post office and also around residences near main street. Keep an eye on your pets.

photo provided by Nicki
Report of lots of wolf tracks by the Yellow Pine campground reported New Year’s Eve.

Jan 2
YPAC Corp Bylaws (link)

Jan 8
20th Anniversary of The Yellow Pine Times

January Trip to Big Creek – Edwardsburg
There is about a foot of snow in Big Creek. Lots of moose tracks. Off trail snowmobiling is kinda tough because there has not been much thermo cycling of the snow. There is about 4 to 5 feet of snow at Profile Gap, but off trail riding at that elevation or above involves a lot of snow over the windshield. I followed Steve through a meadow near Profile Gap & could barely see out of the trench we were making. Attached is a photo taken at Profile gap this morning.

photo and reports courtesy Chris & Lois Schwarzhoff

Jan 9
Snow Storm
In the 24 hours ending 10am Jan 9 we received 3″ new snow, measured 14″ total snow on the ground.

Jan 10-11 Snow storm
In the 24 hours ending 10am Jan 11 we received 5″ new snow, measured 17″ total snow on the ground.

Jan 12
Report of wolf tracks at the crossroads on Sunday Jan 12, and more tracks at the Buckhorn Campground on the South Fork Jan 11, 2020.

Jan 15
Just before noon, 20″ snow on the ground.

Jan 18
Ski Race Jan 18
Two intrepid skiers (Deb and Ronda) entered the cross country ski race, but after half a lap around the airstrip, the race was called due to the snow conditions (2 feet deep!) A great time was had by all.
Chili Contest Results from Jan 18

The chili contest was fun and about thirteen gathered and sat around to talk.
Sarah 1st
Kat 2nd
Cecil 3rd

photos courtesy Ray L

Jan 27
Friday Adventure
“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” Or avalanches for that matter in our part of the country. We have been having a “January Thaw” after receiving nearly three times the 10 year average snowfall. Monday, January 27, Robert, our mail truck driver, was headed back to Cascade after bringing mail and supplies to Yellow Pine. Near the upper end of the South Fork road a snow slide had come down blocking the road with about 4 feet of snow. Robert got out and shoveled a path and powered his way on through, but about 25 yards ahead there was a second snow slide of about equal proportions across the road. Needless to say it was rather late by the time he got back to the airport in Cascade.

Jan 30
Rock Migration Season
With the freeze thaw and lots of snow, big rocks are just waiting for a chance to “migrate” – they have waited millions of years for a chance to launch down the mountain. On Thursday, January 30, a big rock jumped onto the South Fork Road at mile marker 23.5, big enough that our local plow had to go push it off the road Friday.
January Snow
Yellow Pine had a very snowy January, nearly 3 times the 10 year average monthly snowfall of 13″. By the end of the month we had received 38.6″ of snow. Melted snow water (and rain) totaled 3.34″. The average high temperature was 35F and the average low was 18F. The warmest day was 45F on Jan 19th and the coldest was -4F the morning of Jan 15th.
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Feb 2
Yellow Pine received 4 1/2″ new snow, there is 21″ total snow on the ground.

Snow on trees before sunrise on Groundhog Day.
For the first time in more than 900 years, the full 8-digit date is a palindrome: 02022020. And it works whether you list it as month, day, year or day, month, year.

Feb 6

Photo Thursday (Feb 6) after 15″ new snow fell (34″ on the ground.)

Feb 7
On Friday morning, Feb 7, the power went off at 557am, the outage lasted until 305pm. A report came in about trees down somewhere between Yellow Pine and Antimony Camp – probably the cause of the outage.
Friday morning (Feb 7) we had 11 1/2″ new snow (40″ on the ground.)
Report from Midas Gold (McKinsey Lyon) on Feb 7: “Stibnite received 24 inches in the last 24 hours.” FB report of slides on the road between YP and the mine. Photo below courtesy Midas.

Feb 16
February has brought a LOT of snow to Yellow Pine so far. From Feb 1st to Feb 16th: a total of 37.9″ of snow has fallen and since January 1st 76.5″ of snow has fallen, which is more than average for an entire winter.

Feb 21 The Yellow Pine Tavern Open

Feb 22 – Pie Contest
Another successful pie contest, about 15 years now. 14 pies! Rhonda placed first with her Chicken Pot Pie, Teri second with Lemon Meringue, Billie third with Apple, a hard job for our judges with so many great cooks in our small community. 30 folks out and about on a beautiful day to enjoy pie, good company and sun shine.

Feb 27
Yellow Piners had a beautiful view of the Moon near Venus in the western sky.

photo by Local Color Photography

Feb 29
February Snow
This last week we had only 1/2″ snow fall giving us a total of 43 3/4″ for the month of February. The snow depth was 27″ on Sunday morning. Since the first of January we have had 82 1/3″ of snow fall.
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March 1
2020 Yellow Pine Winter Census
We counted 27 people in Yellow Pine in January 2020.

March 3
Wildlife Sightings
Rufous Sided Spotted Towhee

photo by Terry (Local Color Photography)

Friendly Fox in the Alpine Village Area

photo by Ray Lutz

March 5
Local crew moved large rocks off the EFSF road Thursday (Caton Creek area?)

March 8
Report of rocks scattered on the road on the lower EFSF and lower SF roads late afternoon.

March 14
East Fork of the South Fork of the Salmon River

photo by Ray Lutz

Richard Randall (Randy) Norell
68 yrs of age, passed away March 10 following an extended illness.

Gregory Eich
Eich, Gregory, 71, of Council [formerly of Yellow Pine & Stibnite] passed away March 11, 2020 in Boise. Arrangements under the direction of Thomason Funeral Home.

March 12
Report of a large boulder in the EFSF road in the “bowling alley” area – and one perched on the hill above ready to come down.

Naomi Herrick
1932 – 2020
On Friday March 13th our beloved mother and Matriarch of the family Naomi Herrick passed away from natural causes.

March 15
March Snow
It is “sprinter” in Yellow Pine, we have had several nice warm and dry days this week, we also had heavy wet snow fall, 3″ Monday morning, 2 1/2″ Saturday morning and 3 1/4″ Sunday morning. The snowpack had been slowly reducing, the first of the month we had 27″ of snow on the flat, by the 13th we were down to 21″, but we have gained some this weekend and by Sunday morning 25″ of snow on the ground. So far in March 10″ of snow has fallen.

March 16
Midas Gold – In light of the evolving situation with the coronavirus, Midas Gold is trying to do our part to help slow the spread of the virus. Starting Monday, we are encouraging our employees to work from home.

March 17
St. Patrick’s Day Celebration at the Tavern March 17th
We had an Apocalypse St Patrick’s Party at the Tavern this year with our usual Corned Beef and Cabbage. Our Leprechaun got Deflatavirus so only 4 people showed up and a good time was had by all. Stay safe out there.

March 19
Panic buying clears store shelves
Store shelves from New Meadows to Cascade were left barren this week as shoppers scrambled to stock up on supplies amid fears of the COVID-19 virus.

March 20 – Yellow Pine Tavern will be closed til further notice. Will have gas available as well as take out beer, pop, candy, chips, pizza.

March 22 – Boil Water Order issued (recinded April 7th.)

March 23 – South Fork road weight restrictions

Larry Fredrick (Chappy) Chapman
April 19, 1945 – March 23, 2020

Mar 25 – Governor Little issues statewide stay-home order, signs extreme emergency declaration

March 28-June 30 – Lower South Fork Salmon River closed to rafting

March 30
We had a wet winter storm Monday night (March 30), Tuesday morning we had 3″ wet heavy snow here in Yellow Pine (the Big Creek summit SNOTEL station showed 14″ new snow.) The power blinked off a few times Tuesday morning and went off at 1230pm. The outage message at Idaho Power gave a larger number of households in the dark more than our village, so the Warm Lake area was probably also impacted. Snowed most of the day. Power came back on at 545pm about the same time it stopped snowing.

March 31
Earthquake and Aftershocks Felt in Yellow Pine
At 553pm Tuesday, March 31 (shortly after the power came back on) we were shook pretty hard by the 6.5 earthquake. At 628pm we felt a 4.6 aftershock. At 730am April 1st we felt a 4.1 aftershock. We felt a few of the smaller aftershocks in the following days.
Local Observation – March 31 (Tuesday): power off and on at least 3 times this morning. Overnight low of 31 degrees, low overcast and a break in the snow fall at 1030am, measured 3″ new heavy wet snow (SWE= 1.12″) and 19″ snow on the ground. A few juncos and nuthatches visiting. Snowing again before lunch time for about 30 minutes. Power out 1230pm to 544pm. Snow rain and graupel all afternoon, high of 38 degrees. Earthquake at 553pm! Shook for almost a full minute, then tapered off and “vibrated” for another minute (M6.5), aftershock at 628pm (M4.6). Breaks in the clouds at sunset. Below freezing, chilly breezes and mostly cloudy at dusk (sitting down on VanMeter hill.) Mostly clear at 1030pm and temperature dropping.
Local Earthquake story: Our power had been off since 1230pm and snowing all day, the power came on at 545pm and it quit snowing, then at 553pm the earthquake struck. At first we thought it was a strong gust of wind, the rumbling increased in volume as if a runaway dump truck was about to crash through the wall. My husband jumped up and looked out the window – and [the shock wave] knocked me back in my chair. Then the shaking started – side to side – and everything in the house rattling, wind chimes going off. The shaking lasted (forever) about a full minute, but continued to vibrate for almost another minute or more. The hanging chimes were still swaying a little for a couple more minutes. I could NOT get out of my chair. My husband tried to walk across the room it kind of tossed him around the room like he was doing some crazy new dance. He says I was squeaking, “Earthquake, earthquake!” It took half an hour before our heart rates had settled down. Felt an aftershock at 628pm, but he didn’t. No injuries or local damage reported.

ITD clearing rockfall, checking infrastructure after Idaho shook by 6.5 earthquake
Several mountain highways saw rockfall on the roadway following the quake including highways ID-75 near Stanley, ID-21 north and south of Lowman, ID-55 between Horseshoe Bend and Cascade, and ID-52 east of Emmett.

March Snow
So far in March we have had a total of 12″ of snow fall, 2″ fell this last week (and melted.) As of Sunday morning there was an average of 18″ of snow in the open on the flat. Tree wells, rocky south facing slopes and ground near buildings are opening up wider each day. Local streets are a mix of afternoon slush or bare ground.
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April 3
Another 4.3 magnitude earthquake hit central Idaho near Cascade Friday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. (east of Deadwood, near Hwy 21 between Swamp Creek and Flat Creek.)

April 6
The Valley County Board of Commissioners are extending their plea to the general public to not visit Valley County in line with the Governor’s Stay-Home Order, issued Mar. 25, 2020, prohibiting all non-essential travel. Last week, Commissioners signed a letter temporarily closing all short-term rentals, hotels/motels and RV parks in Valley County through April 15, 2020, excluding rentals to persons providing essential services or for quarantine purposes. Monday, that temporary closure was extended to May 15, 2020.

April 9 – Temp. Spring Restrictions on upper Stibnite Rd
It’s Rock Migration Season. Watch for rocks on the EFSF road in the bowling alley area and some areas of the South Fork. While the earthquake and numerous aftershocks have not brought down anything big, the freeze thaw cycle along with wet weather is still bringing down some rocks.

April 11, 2020 1157am Saturday M 4.3 – 73km ESE of Cascade, Idaho
Another aftershock – east of Banner Summit, south of Cape Horn along Swamp Creek.

April 12 – wolves attacked and wounded a cow elk right in the village around 1030pm Sunday night (April 12th) in the area between main street and Alpine village. (Update the elk apparently survived, at least for a week.) Watch your pets!

Rowen Connor Burdine
Born April 14, 2020, at St. Luke’s McCall to DJ and Tarra Burdine of Cascade. A boy, 8 pounds even and 20.5 inches long.

YPWUA: April 17 – Boil water order issued

Aftershocks felt this week:
April 20 Aftershock at 1158pm M 4.1 on Cape Horn Mountain
April 24 Aftershock at 1250am M 3.4 south of Stanley Lake.

April 27
Report that the county graded the EFSF road last week beginning on Monday, April 27th.

April 29
A Big Thank-You to the Stibnite Foundation
The Village of Yellow Pine received $2,000 from the Stibnite Foundation to support the residents in Yellow Pine who wintered-in and sheltered-in, in response to the coronavirus pandemic. With over 90% of the Yellow Pine community being in the high-risk group for the Covid-19 virus, it was important to support the community while restaurants were closed, and no grocery store was available. Our heartfelt thanks to the Stibnite Foundation for their kindness and support during this crisis.

YPVA: Heat was installed in the community hall on April 30th.

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May 1
Stage 1 Idaho Rebounds
Under Stage 1, which begins on May 1, certain services may open provided they can do so safely by following protocols lined out in Idaho Rebounds Guidance.

May 1
On or around May 1st, the doors to the transfer station were damaged. A local reported when they went to open the doors to dump trash a week later, the doors sprung open and nearly knocked them down. Then a report Tuesday (May 12th) that the doors fell off the building and bears had been in the dumpsters making a big mess. Jeff from the County Road Dept. brought in stuff for repairs on Wednesday, May 13th, and locals went out and put the doors back on. Thank you to Cecil, Tom, Tim and Gary. The doors should work better now, but a welder is due in to finish repairs, maybe next week. The mess left by the bears still needs to be cleaned up.

May 3
Wind Storm and Power Outage
Just after midnight early Sunday (May 3) the wind was very strong for about half an hour, shaking the house almost like an aftershock. Power blipped off/on at 134am. Started raining around 2am. More strong wind gusts just before 230am and power out at 234am for nearly 3 hours. No reports of damage or trees down – yet.

May 5
Cinco de Mayo
About 17 people (including the crew from Stibnite) attended the taco feed at the Community Hall on May 5th, tacos provided by the community hall committee to thank the community for their support and volunteerism.
“We had good tacos made by Deb, Ronda and Rhonda.” – LI

photo courtesy KA

May 7
Payette forest advises campers that restrooms are closed
Limited campground availability due to snow and the COVID-19 pandemic means campers need to be responsible for their own waste and plan for having no access to bathrooms, the Payette National Forest advised.

May 13
Dan from Amerigas was up on Wednesday, May 13th, filling up propane tanks. He will be back next Wednesday, May 20th, to top off more customers.

M 4.4 Aftershock May 13
At 622pm Wednesday we felt a sharp short jolt. Location near Cape Horn Mountain, east of Bear Valley on the far eastern edge of Valley County. A few other folks in Yellow Pine, Donnelly, Emmett and Boise report feeling it.

M 3.0 Aftershock May 15
At 5pm we felt a small jolt. Location north and east of Cape Horn Mountain on the western edge of Custer County.

May 15 – Lower South Fork river open for float boating

May 16
Governor Brad Little’s plan to re-open Idaho is expected to move into stage two on Saturday.

May 18
The load restrictions on the South Fork Salmon River Road were lifted May 18th

May 27
There is about 5 feet of snow at Profile Gap (May 27th)

photo courtesy Chris and Lois

The annual June Yellow Pine Vet Clinic Day was canceled due to Covid-19.

May 30
Idaho to enter Stage 3 of reopening plan

May 30-31
USGS has reported three aftershocks in Stanley, Idaho, all under 4.0 magnitude. All aftershocks were within 10 kilometers of the city of Stanley, according to USGS.
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June 1
The 6-day a week mail delivery started June 1st.

Yellow Pine Tavern Reopening, Open Daily 8am to 10pm. Outside Dining and Bar. Breakfast and Bar Food.

June 5
On Friday, June 5th, the mail truck brought in about 20 boxes of food for Yellow Pine residents from Grasmick Produce. Boxes contained fresh produce, dairy (milk butter and cheese) and meat. Very nice!

June 7
Sunday, (June 7) we had below normal temperatures, low clouds socked in nearly to the valley floor and rain showers before noon. Gusty winds, temperature near freezing and rain turned to big flakes of snow just before the power went out at 230pm. The power was off 1 hour and 25 minutes and came back on at 355pm. Snowed all afternoon into early evening. Measured 2 1/2″ new snow at 845pm (bushes are prostrate under the weight of the snow) and still snowing.

June 9
4.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Stanley
The earthquake was recorded around 8 a.m. in the Challis National Forest, between Idaho 21 and Valley Creek

Stage 4 June 13th
Idaho is moving into Stage 4 of our reopening protocol tomorrow

June 7
Yellow Pine Fire has taken delivery of a Custom built Can-Am 6×6 Side-by-side. The 6×6 (Rescue 1) will be able to provide Paramedic level care, Fire Fighting, light rescue and Search-and-Rescue to those in need of these services. A large portion of the of the funds to purchase the 6×6 (YPFD Rescue 1) was generously donated by Nancy Manthos in memory of her husband prior to her passing. We all would like to thank the family for her charitable donation and support of the Yellow Pine Fire Protection District. Nancy was Nikki Saleen’s mother.

Johnson Creek June 10
Johnson Creek road is open, not graded yet. Report June 10th of people having to cut trees on Johnson Creek road, and a large pot hole somewhere – it was marked for a while but by Wednesday the sticks and flagging were gone. Travel at your own risk and carry a saw.

On June 10th, Diamond Fuel & Feed came up to deliver gas and heating fuel.
On June 11th Ed Staub & Sons Propane were in Yellow Pine topping off tanks.

June 12 YPWUA update:
Update June 12: The boil order is still on. We still are experiencing excessive water use because of leaks. Not sure when this will be lifted. We are applying for grants to repair the system.

YP to Stibnite June 12
Yesterday, OK Gravel completed grading the Stibnite road and North American Dust Control will be spraying it June 23rd, 24th and 25th.

Lick Creek June 12 (not open yet)

Minutes from June 13, 2020 VYPA meeting link:

Sunday Wreck on Johnson Creek
On June 14th, 89 year old Jack Walker from Yellow Pine, went off of Johnson Creek Road in his 1994 Dodge pickup. Walker sustained non-life threatening injuries. No other vehicles or people were involved in the crash.

(Info and photo from Lt. Kevin Copperi, Valley County Sheriff’s office via The Star-News)
The local Cascade EMS ambulance crew and YP Fire volunteers responded. Jack was treated and taken to Cascade Medical Center for further treatment and evaluation and was then sent to Boise by ambulance.

Local Road Work

Ellison Street

OK Gravel

Ellison Street work completed.
The road work is authorized by the county and the VYPA Infrastructure Committee is working with OK Gravel to get it done. The roads being worked on are Westside Ave., Ellison Street, Arnold Alley, Profile Street, Yellow Pine Ave. (main street), and other places that need attention. Additional work will be done as funding is available.

June 16 – Hard closure of South Fork Road (weekdays)

Food Box Friday June 19
The mail truck brought in another load of food boxes from the Food Bank and Grasmicks on Friday, June 19th. Lots of veggies, fruit, milk, cheese, butter and chicken.

Profile Report June 20

“Still about 3-4 ft of snow on Profile Summit.” – SA

Yellow Pine Dust Abatement
Dust Abatement in Yellow Pine was applied June 22nd.

Idaho Power Tree Trimming
Idaho Power contract crews with Asplundh have been in Yellow Pine trimming trees under power lines this week.

Aftershock 1120pm June 24
M 4.6 – 27 km NW of Stanley, Idaho (South east of Cape Horn Mtn near Hwy 21.)

June 24
Lick Creek is open, the county bladed the last of the snow drifts and pushed downed trees off the road June 24th. Grading started on the lower end on the McCall side. Reported to be very rough over there.

June 26, 2020 Thunder Mountain Road

– SA

June 27
There was a YP Fire Commissioner meeting on June 27, 2020 at 10am at the Fire Station.
Link: 20200627 Fire Dept minutes June 27

June 28:
“Big Creek Road is snow-free over Profile Summit. ” – SA
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The Twins
She comes around 9pm nightly. We just started seeing the twins with her over the last few days.

courtesy JF

Elk Summit July 3rd


Smith Creek Road July 3rd


4th of July Golf
The Golf Gathering started at 11am, Saturday, July 4th at the Yellow Pine Country Club. Donations to benefit the Community Hall. At press time a report that $600 in donations have come in.
Update on the Golf Gathering

We have raised $916 so far and random donations are still coming in. We had over 50 golfers at the gathering. Everyone had an awesome time and were so happy to be able to give to the community. Prizes were donated and consisted of hand painted rocks and antique golf clubs. We didn’t keep the names of winners after (board got erased) so… everyone was a winner just for showing up.
– Dawn Brown

4th of July Parade
The parade started at 4pm at the Fire Hall and proceeded north up Yellow Pine Ave. (main street.) The town bell led the way followed by various ATVs, UTVs and SUVs, Valley County Deputies, 3 horses and a mule.

Grand Marshals the newlyweds Joe & Denise Ross from Keuterville, ID; Miss Yellow Pine Christy Petersen. Corey Phillips was ringing the town bell.
The basket raffle raised $327 for the village.

4th of July fireworks show has been canceled.

The Community Yard Sale raised $1024 for the Community Hall maintenance.

The annual Water meeting for 2020 was held July 5th at the Community Hall 2pm. link:

Norma Jean Auth
1928 – 2020

June 11, 1928 to June 11, 1928

Minutes from July 11, 2020 VYPA meeting link:

Food Bank Friday
On Friday, July 17, the mail truck brought in Grasmick food boxes for the locals. Fresh fruit and veggies, butter, milk and cheese, cooked shredded chicken thighs and cute little hams.

Yellow Pine Mosquito
A reader shared a picture showing the size of “mosquitoes” around town this summer. “They seem to be a little bigger…”

– Doug C

Barbara Jean Davis
1935 – 2020

Barbara Jean Davis
October 04, 1935 – July 21, 2020

The 2020 Harmonica Festival has been canceled.
We have come to the decision that the 2020 Festival will be cancelled. We look forward to celebrating the 32nd year of the Festival August 5, 6, & 7, 2021.
Our decision was not made lightly. We had to consider the current situation we are in and examine the outlook for the coming months. This is the necessary and right decision for the safety of our community and all participants.
We all look forward to one big reunion with all of you in August 2021.
– DF
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M 4.2 Earthquake 13 km WSW of Stanley, Idaho
2020-08-08 02:11:30 (UTC)

D8 Cat

Passed away August 6, 2020 at age 20.

Minutes from August 8, 2020 VYPA meeting link:
VYPA Bylaws adopted 8/8/2020 (link)

Aug 11
Valley County Mask Order
A county-wide mask mandate was approved the CDH August 11th, and is now in effect for Valley County. (link)

Power Outage Aug 17th
After a high temperature of 99 degrees, the lights dimmed and went out at 647pm. During the outage, Idaho Power recordings gave estimates of the numbers of customers affected, at 655pm 5000 customers out, at 730pm 8900 customers out, at 8pm only 3700 customers out, then at 840pm the number rose to 8160 customers out. Thankfully the power came back on at 855pm. Hot gusty breezes brought in smoke from western fires becoming thicker during the evening and by dusk the air quality was pretty bad.

Aug 8
A Wild Ride
Tim Corn’s truck went off the Stibnite Road (Tuesday Aug 18th), and, thankfully, Tim is healing. Thanks to Cecil, Ron, crew, and Tim for removing the truck from Huckleberry Road (Saturday.) Cecil is a magician with his back hoe. – GN
August 22nd Photos

Aug 21st Smoke
From out of state

Aug 22nd Smoke

Fire Update Aug 22, 2020 – Contained
Phoebe: The Phoebe fire is located on the Krassel Ranger District, 5 miles West of Yellow Pine. The fire is currently 0.8 acres, 10 personnel, contained on 8/21 at 8pm. There are no closures in the area associated with the fire.
East Fork – reported by local aviation assets on the morning of August 19, 2020. Estimated size .10 acres. Due to proximity and minimal fire activity this fire is sharing resources with the Phoebe incident.
Buck Horn – Located East of Rainbow Lakes/Buckhorn Lakes. Single tree lightning strike staffed with two helicopter rappellers, .10 acres, contained and controlled as of 8:00 am on August 20, 2020.

Tuesday’s Storm Aug 25
Wow – what a storm in Yellow Pine! Just before 2pm August 25, it was 72 degrees and started to thunder, sprinkles of rain at 159pm followed by intense rain 2pm to 220pm with low clouds and lots of thunder and lighting strikes in our area but not much wind. Done raining by 220pm and breaks in the clouds. Localized street and field flooding. By 240pm it was 64 degrees, mostly clear (above the smoke) and the “flood” water was starting to soak in. Rain fall = 0.48″

Photo courtesy The Yellow Pine Tavern

August 26, 2020 630pm Boise NF Fire Update
The Boise National Forest has a couple of new fires in the Trapper Creek drainage south of Yellow Pine. The larger fire is the Buck Fire and it’s currently 30-40 acres and burning actively in sub alpine fir and lodgepole. There are several handcrews, 2 helicopters, 4 single engine air tankers, and 1 large air tanker currently working to suppress the fire. The fire was detected at approximately 4 pm today. Expect that there will be road and trail closures in the Trapper Creek and Burntlog area soon.
Jake Strohmeyer
District Ranger
Cascade Ranger District, Boise National Forest

Idaho Power Aug 26
As most folks know, Idaho Power has been working this summer to bury the power line coming into YP. A report they have about 2 weeks of work left to do. They will doubtless give us notice when they switch the power over to the new line.

Photo of Idaho Power crew working near the Yellow Pine Fire Hall, August 26, courtesy Lynn I.

Saleen Cabin Raising
Photo of our progress as of Saturday evening – 12 logs high! Big thanks to friends, family & community of Yellow Pine for all the help & support!

August 28
Buck Fire update
Lightning storms passed over the northern area of the Boise National Forest igniting two fires on the Cascade Ranger District on Wednesday, August 26. The largest is the Buck Fire (65 acres) and the smaller of the two is the Trapper Fire (0.03 acres.) The Fire is located 11 miles south of Yellow Pine, Idaho.

Fire Traffic
Heads up folks, a report there is quite a bit of fire traffic on upper Johnson Creek road. The Buck Fire camp is at Landmark. Crews are working along Johnson Creek road reducing fuels.

Buck Fire Map Aug 28 at 830pm 142 acres

8-29-2020 Buck Fire burning in heavy timber

Buck Fire Update for Aug. 30
Acres are currently at 835 with 0 percent contained. Crews are working to reduce fuels near the Johnson Creek Road and National Forest System (NFS) road 440 in preparation for winds associated with cold fronts. There are no immediate threats to structures.

Buck Fire
Photo taken on Johnson creek Aug 30th at 8 pm. 18 miles from Yellow Pine.

– courtesy Ray Lutz
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Sept 5
Golf Tournament Saturday, Sept 5th
First place mixed – the Steve & Ronda
First place women’s – Brenda & Dez
First place men’s – team Midas
Second-place mixed – the Magills
Second-place men’s – Slim & Earl
Third place men’s – Dave & Jay
Youth – Sam

photo courtesy DF
Fourteen golfers signed up to brave the smoke and have a go at the Yellow Pine Country Club’s unfair fairways. A cannon shot started the golf tourney at 1105am. Around 12pm gun shots were heard nearby (while folks were still golfing.) Gusty breezes, thick smoke and a high of 97 degrees didn’t seem to hamper the festivities.

Labor Day events:
Earl Hughes and friends, Gary Eller. Live music Friday & Saturday at The Corner. Sunday at Filler’s yard, to raise funds for the Village of Yellow Pine.

Buck Fire Sept 6, 2020
from Valley County Fire Working Group
With the Red Flag warning in effect yesterday the Buck Fire grew over 2,000 acres and is now at 4,441 acres. The fire growth was to the North and North East primarily into the old burn scars North of the old Thunder Mountain Road.
The Buck Fire burned actively yesterday afternoon primarily on the North Eastern edge. Today is expected to be another active day with hot temperatures, low relative humidities, and some gusty winds. Please continue to watch out for fire traffic traveling on FR 413.

Sept 7 Monday Storm
Monday, Sept 7th a storm blew thru the area. Reports of trees down From Wapiti Meadow to Big Creek. Looks like a few went down on the Yellow Pine Country Club. At least we got some rain out of it, 0.05″ total.
Other areas had stronger damaging winds and power outages. According to the Star-News a tree took the power line down across Hwy 55 up by New Meadows, resulting in power outages.

Sept 8
M 4.4 Aftershock Felt in Yellow Pine Tuesday
At 224pm Tuesday, Sept 8th we felt a jolt and heard a rumble. Folks up Johnson Creek felt it too.
Also a M 3.9 was felt by folks on Johnson Creek at 223pm.

Life Flight Tuesday
On Sept 8th Life Flight landed at the helipad at 6pm and shut down, took off at 651pm.

Sept 9
Fire Reported Wednesday between Amos Road and the EFSF River
A report that a fire was discovered west of the village of Yellow Pine along the west side of the river north of the East Fork bridge (human caused?) Wednesday evening, September 9th. It was successfully contained and extinguished by Ronnie Earl, Matt Huber, and Tim Rogers. The forest service was notified by Matt (that was the helicopter hovering west of town) and they came to check it out. There were no injuries and minimal damage to the forest.
First hand account: “The fire was west of the river between Scott’s driveway and the river, likely a cigarette butt not a campfire. The fire was smoldering when Paula called and by the time we made it there it was actively burning into dead and down trees and partially torching a few trees. We used the old BLM heavy to knock it down then cut line around it, tying into rocks and the river. We mopped up multiple hot spots this morning [Sept 10] and the Krassel Rappel crew cold-trailed the entire fire today with no hot spots found. The fire was about 1/10 of an acre. A really good catch and thanks are owed to Paula for calling it in, a few more minutes and we likely would have lost it and easily spotted across to the golf course.” – MH

Idaho Power
September 9th: the contractor was busy taking down the last of the power poles from Antimony Camp to Yellow Pine and was picking up miscellaneous insulators and cables from the power lines. – LI

Minutes from September 12 VYPA meeting link:

Flu Shots
Thanks to Cascade Medical Center for Supplying flu vaccines for the Village of Yellow Pine and for the CEO – Tom Reinhardt for bringing them in and for giving a presentation at the Village Meeting on Saturday. Vaccinations were given to 13 people.

EIS draft copy for public reading is available in Yellow Pine Community Hall
A complete Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Midas Gold’s proposed Stibnite mine has been placed in the Yellow Pine Community Hall so everyone can read and respond before 5 p.m. on Oct. 28 deadline for public comment. Read about your ares of concern, write a letter or submit your comments online before October 13th. Your comments really influence what happens in Stibnite.

Proposed Routes

Sept 12
Johnson Creek Road Saturday
On Saturday, Sept 12, a report that Johnson Creek road was closed for a spell. The report indicated that a semi coming down the hill had overheated brakes and it caught the tires on fire, blocking the entire road. The driver was OK and self-rescued. A report from Cascade Ranger Jake Strohmeyer: “The truck and lowboy were moved up to the first wide spot. I drove through there at around 4pm today.”

Sept 13
Sunday Smoke
Sunday morning, Sept 13, we had really thick smoke, socked in down to the valley floor, low visibility and very hazardous air quality.

Sept 13 Last Sunday Buck Fire
Pic taken from Johnson creek road 14 miles from Yellow pine at 10:14 pm. Sunday night Sept 13th.

photo courtesy Ray Lutz

Sept 15
Buck Fire Meeting
A fire meeting was held Tuesday, Sept 15, for 6pm at the Community Hall to discuss the Buck and Porphyry Fires.

courtesy Valley County Fire Working Group
Yellow Pine residents got an update from the Buck Fire and Porphyry Fire IC’s yesterday evening. The teams and Ranger District were glad to get all the questions answered. Thank you for attending and participating in the community meeting.

Sept 16
11 miles from Yellow Pine taken at 5:30 pm Wednesday

photo courtesy Ray Lutz

Sept 17
Johnson Creek road closed (except for residents.)

Sept 17
Fire Meeting this morning
“08:00 @ YPFD: Reviewed critical fire elements. Sections and assignments for volunteers were reviewed. Reviewed safety protocols. Communications links verified. Patrols around Yellow Pine will be active today. Discussed possibility of plume dominated fire and wind funneling.” – DF

YP Fire District Meeting was held at 6pm, Thursday Sept 17th.
“Yellow Pine Community is pulling together and gone into full action mode. Led by Commissioner Merle Saleen and his co pilot Nikki, assisted by Commissioners Sue Holloway and Phil Jensen with advisors Jeff and Ann Forster. You couldn’t ask for a better team, even Terry Leatherman with many years of fire fighting experience behind him just showed up today. We have a good foundation of folks trained many years by Jeff and now have many capable residents getting familiar with our fire equipment built up by Dave McClintock and Jeff. It doesn’t get any better than that.” – YP Tavern

The smoke was thick Thursday

courtesy Yellow Pine Tavern

YPFD Volunteers

courtesy DF

Sept 18
“A long day in Yellow Pine. At the Morning meeting things did not look good with the weather prediction. The day was spent preparing to evacuate between preparing to defend the town. The weather stayed cool and very unusual no wind to speak of in advance of the rain that started to fall around 6PM. Not much rain is predicted but it all helps us get a good night’s sleep tonight.” – YP Tavern

photos courtesy Yellow Pine Tavern

Sept 18
YP received 0.09″ rain.

Sept 19
YP received 0.17″ rain.

Sept 20
Johnson Creek road open!

Highway 55 Closure starts Monday, Sept 21st
– Daytime and nighttime work seven days a week
– Full road closures Monday through Thursday from 10:00am to 2:00pm
– One-way alternating traffic during all other time frames

Sept 22

Abandoned deaf old blind dog (Tasha) has been rescued and a new Furrever Home. – JB

Power Outages
On Tuesday, Sept. 22nd at 945am the power was turned off (for approximately 3 hours and 15 minutes) and came back on at 1pm. This was for power line maintenance. There are some hazard trees near the power lines they want to take down and need to drop the lines in order to safely remove those trees.
Also Power outage September 24th from 1207pm to 303pm.
Card from Idaho Power to the Village of Yellow Pine

courtesy DF

Sept 24
Fire Abatement
Thursday, September 24, Fire crews assisted locals in cleaning up the burn pile at our transfer station. Please pile fire abatement slash NEATLY. Also fire crews abated the area around the dump.

credit DF

Sept 25
Friday September 25th, members of the YP Fire Protection District received an orientation on our newly acquired engine. Cascade Fire District has graciously loaned our District a 4 wheel drive, brush/structure 1,100 gallon engine In addition to their orientation, the crew also practiced filling the truck from a pump in the river and deploying water.

Sept 25
Carol Arnold, the voice behind the radio at the Cascade airport and Arnold Aviation, will come home from the hospital and into hospice early next week. She has been suffering immensely with pain from sepsis that is antibiotic resistant. Please keep her and the extended family in your thoughts and prayers. Life for outfitters and guides in the Central Idaho wilderness, and along the Main and Middle Fork rivers, would have been much harder without her time and energy.

Fish Fry
Our Annual Fish Fry hosted by Stu Edwards was held at Alpine Village this year instead of at the Tavern. Fish provided by Stu also Chuck and Terry from Johnson Creek. With amazing potluck food as usual. It was felt there was more opportunity for distancing and being in the fresh air at Alpine. There was a good turnout of residents and a few friends.

A series of storms Thursday thru Saturday gave us 0.65″ of rain. A report from the Bryant ranch area of 0.84″ from the latest storm, and Stibnite weather station recorded 0.81″ in 24 hours ending 9am Sept 26th.

Sunday Morning

photo courtesy DF

Sept 27
Fire meeting at 1pm at fire hall with new IC of the Buck Fire.

Sept 29
Fall Colors

Neighbor’s “bi-polar” Mountain Maple tree (half is still green.)

Sept 30
YPFD had a budget meeting on September 30th at 10am at the fire station. (No minutes yet.)
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Oct 2
Buck Fire
Valley County Fire Working Group Oct 2, 2020
The fire has transitioned from the Nevada Type 3 team back to the Cascade Ranger District. The fire will be operated as a Type 4 organization which will consist of local resources and include; 2 crews and 2 engines. Repair work such as felling snags along the 447 and 440 roads is taking place at this time. The engines will continue to patrol and monitor any fire activity along the Johnson creek road. Along with the team transition, the incident command post will be moved to the Johnson Creek guard station today.

Buck Fire view from helicopter flight yesterday afternoon.

Oct 5
Boise and Valley Counties moved to ‘yellow’ after increase in COVID-19 cases (October 5th 2020)

Oct 7
Fall Fuel Delivery
The Diamond truck arrived Wednesday morning (Oct 7) to deliver winter fuel to Yellow Pine. They will return on Oct 14 with more fuel.

Buck Fire Update Oct 9, 2020
19,631 acres
The Buck Fire continues to burn mostly in the Burntlog drainage and made it up the slope to the flats north of the 414 road. 1 crew and 2 engines will remain in the area through the weekend and reassess the needs for firefighter personnel to stay in the area after the fire receives moisture in the coming days.

Buck Fire Update 10/10/20
Photos taken at the weather station on Ditch Creek road at 6,289 elevation. It has measured 0.48 inches of rain in the past 24 hours.

courtesyValley County Fire Working Group via FB

Oct 13
After Fire Action Meeting
On Tuesday, Oct 13, there was a meeting at the community hall to compile an “After Action Review” for the Buck Fire. (No report yet.)

Fancy Cookies

These beautiful cookies were provided by L. Pelligrini

Oct 14
Fall Fuel Delivery
The Diamond truck returned Wednesday morning (Oct 14) to deliver more winter fuel to Yellow Pine.

Oct 15
Work Continues on the community hall bathroom

(photo provided by DF)

Ken Boatman
September 11, 1951 – October 17, 2020

Found Safe
Report from Midas Gold Oct 19, 2020 via FB
This weekend, a gentleman got lost from his hunting party near Thunder Mountain. The news traveled to our team at Stibnite and we jumped into action, alongside many other first responders, to help with the search and provide backcountry communications support. Thankfully, the search and rescue helicopter saw a light late Saturday evening, which helped everyone hone our search Sunday and find the lost man!!!
We are so grateful to have wonderful search and rescue personnel in Idaho and that everyone is safe today.

South Fork Road Update – Project Complete
The South Fork Road reconstruction project is fully complete. No more closures or delays will take place currently or into the future.
Brian Harris
Public Affairs Officer
Payette National Forest

Oct 26
Idaho rolled back to Stage 3 of reopening plan amid coronavirus spike
Gov. Brad Little announced Idaho will be moving back into Stage 3 of Idaho Rebounds during a press conference on Monday.

Oct 31
Yellow Pine Tavern Annual Halloween Party

Had a great Halloween-Salmon Bake- End of Deer Season Potluck at the Tavern, our only gathering at the Tavern since February. The wild Salmon brought from Alaska by Tom Wood was wonderful and other dishes by our local cooks made for a good feed. Will miss our hunters and locals who are leaving for the season.
courtesy Yellow Pine Tavern
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November 2
3-day a week mail started.

Rx burn South Fork Salmon River Nov 2
Smoky sunset Monday, Nov 2nd

photo courtesy John B.
Smoke from the prescribed fire visible from Yellow Pine by mid-afternoon.

Nov 6
Dan from Amerigas was in Yellow Pine Friday, topping off propane tanks for winter.

Nov 11
Veteran’s Day Snow in Yellow Pine

courtesy the Yellow Pine Tavern

Nov 14
Idaho Gov. Brad Little rolled Idaho back to Stage 2 on Friday while neighboring West Coast states announced stricter guidelines and travel restrictions amid surging COVID-19 cases across the U.S.

Nov 20
Stibnite snow

courtesy Midas Gold

Yellow Pine Bridge insulating project
Here are some pictures of the bridge insulating work before and after. The final work is not fully complete but the pipe is completely insulated and there should be no issues with freezing. Remaining work includes completion of the installation of the repurposed white PVC pipe which will serve as a protective barrier over the insulation. You can see how the installed PVC pipe will look in one of the pictures. The pipe is sawn into two pieces lengthwise and then clamped back together over the insulation providing protection from the elements as well as from rodents. The PVC pipe was already on hand in Yellow Pine and so using it was a good way to solve the insulation protection problem and to reduce cost at the same time. In addition to insulating the water pipe, new pipe supports were designed, fabricated, and installed to properly secure the pipe to the bridge. The existing heat tape was tested and found to be functional and so it was left in place in case its needed in the future. Over 2000 lbs of rotten wood, metal roofing panels, and wet insulation were removed and disposed of as part of the job. Completion of the work is scheduled to be done within the next few weeks.

Warren Drake for YPWUA

Nov 26
Yellow Pine Thanksgiving Potluck
18 folks made it to Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday. The community hall looked festive and folks enjoyed great food and conversation in a nice warm hall. Thanks, Hailey and Sarah for the cooking of the turkey and ham.

courtesy DF

The Community Hall toilet is functional! It was christened at the Thanksgiving Potluck. Many hands were involved over the last three months to get this far. The goal is to have it completely finished by Christmas. Thanks to everyone who was able to lend a hand or give advice. Couldn’t have done it without you.

courtesy DF

Nov 29
Water Update: Warren replaced the water meter because of inconsistent readings. With the new meter, the community is currently using over 55,000 gallons of water per day. A leak has been identified and will be repaired as soon as we can coordinate the contractor, equipment needed and weather together. It is difficult to get everything planned in the winter. When the repair is scheduled, the community will have a few days notice before the water is shut down. Since we are using more water than the rated use through the sand filters, the boil order will remain in effect. We continue the grant request process that is extremely slow. – Steve H
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Dec 7
Village of Yellow Pine

by Local Color Photography

Santa’s Yellow Pine Elves.
The Bags are at the Community Hall ready for stuffing.
Nicki H

Yellow Pine General Store
Please welcome Josh Jones as the new owner of the Yellow Pine General Store.

Dec 25
At 3pm Christmas Day, locals gathered in the Community Hall for the holiday potluck dinner.

courtesy DF

Dec 26
South Fork Slide-Off
A 2nd hand report Saturday (Dec 26) that someone slid off the South Fork road in the Jakie Creek area. Fortunately another traveler came along and was able to pull them out. I was asked to pass along a reminder to SLOW DOWN on back country roads!

Riding into Big Creek last weekend

courtesy Scott A

Dec 31
Measured 2 1/4″ new snow (SWE=0.15″) and 11″ total snow on the ground.