Fire near Boise Wednesday afternoon

Fire near Boise 7-22-2015

Richard McCrea sent us this photo he took of a fire near Boise Wednesday afternoon. It looks like three engines are taking care of the left side while a single engine air tanker completes a drop on the bottom end.

Mr. McCrea said the firefighter’s successful efforts were aided by rain as they stopped the spread.


Campers rescued by boat on the Cape Horn Fire

A boater rescued campers who were stranded on the shore of a lake while the Cape Horn Fire was burning close to their camp site. The campers appeared to have a boat in their small cove that was partially submerged in Lake Pend Oreille. Near the beginning of the video you can hear a voice saying, “hey those people are waving to us.”

The people in the boat from which the video was shot were considering going in to rescue the individuals, and shouted “You’ll have to leave your stuff!”, but later another boat arrived that picked up the campers.

These photos are screen grabs from the video that was uploaded to YouTube by John Stenberg on June 6.

The 1,380-acre Cape Horn Fire in northern Idaho has destroyed six homes and two outbuildings. The incident management team reports that a fireline has been established around “much of the fire”, however some evacuations are still in effect.

Cape Horn Fire
Cape Horn Fire

Cape Horn Fire

The Tweet below is from a reporter, and includes some good photos of the fire. Click on them to see larger versions.


BLM firefighter dies after training

BLMTerry Sonner, a wildland firefighter with the Bureau of Land Management, passed away yesterday, June 10, in Hammett, Idaho.

Below  is a statement from the BLM:

Boise, ID – Terry Sonner, a 33-year old Bureau of Land Management (BLM) firefighter, died yesterday morning after he and his fire crew finished physical training at the Hammett Guard Station. After he collapsed, his crewmembers immediately began medical treatment and called emergency services, but they were not able to revive him.

Sonner, survived by his wife and children, had an extensive wildland firefighting career. He began firefighting in 2001, and over the course of 14 years, he became the Fire Operations Supervisor of the Hammett Guard Station Engine Crew in Hammett, Idaho, for the Boise District BLM. Sonner worked in several BLM Districts, including Twin Falls, Idaho; Elko, Nevada; and Boise, Idaho.

“We have lost an amazing wildland firefighter. He will be greatly missed by his family, friends, and the wildland firefighting community,” said Andy Delmas, Boise BLM Fire Management Officer.

The cause of Sonner’s death is unknown at this time. BLM has appointed a team to assess the circumstances surrounding Sonner’s death, in hopes of preventing future incidents. Funeral services will be announced as soon as they are determined. Sonner’s family does not wish to be contacted; they ask for privacy during this sensitive time. For more information, please call (208) 384-3420.

We send out our sincere condolences to Mr. Sonner’s family, friends, and co-workers.


Boise National Forest’s Crew 8 with Centennial Job Corp and Veterans

From the video’s description:

The Boise National Forest in Idaho has sponsored a wildland fire crew with the Centennial Job Corp and hired seasonal veterans. The military veterans have been key in the leadership on the wildland fire crew. This program is a career starting point and gives valuable experience for Job Corp students and military veterans.


Man ordered to pay restitution for starting fire near Hailey, ID last year

A man convicted of starting the Colorado Gulch Fire west of Hailey, Idaho on July 6, 2014 has been ordered to pay $8,100 in restitution.

The Idaho Mountain Express reports that the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office determined that Mauricio Pedraza-Rodriguez, 19, started the fire by shooting fireworks from his vehicle. The fire burned 728 acres and forced the evacuation of 20 homes.

Mr. Pedraza-Rodriguez pleaded guilty to misdemeanor malicious injury of property by fire to public lands. In addition to the restitution, he also received a 90-day suspended jail sentence, two years of probation and 120 hours of community service.

The Bureau of Land Management has not so far sought restitution, but they expended $300,000 fighting the fire, while Wood River Fire and Rescue spent approximately $40,000.

The $8,100 Mr. Pedraza-Rodriguez has been ordered to pay will go toward repairing damage that occurred on private property.


Report released on engine burnover in Idaho

Richfield fire, engine burnoverAn investigation report has been released for an engine that was destroyed by a wildland fire near Richfield, Idaho on July 16, 2014.

During the initial attack phase on the Bureau of Land Management Fire, a Type 4 engine from the Richfield, Idaho Rural Fire Department responded. The two people on the engine attempted to make a frontal attack on the head of the fire.

The engine got stuck, or high-centered, on a rock and could not be moved. The two people on the engine, a city employee and a “part-time” volunteer, in an attempt to protect the truck from the approaching fire used two small booster hoses, one-half inch in diameter with a flow rate of 10 gallons per minute. They had to abandon the engine as the fire got closer, and it was destroyed. There were no injuries to the personnel.

Below is an excerpt from the report. “ENG3″ is the apparatus that was destroyed by the fire:


“…ENG3 proceeded south on the two track toward the head of the fire with FF2 riding on the top of the engine. The engine left the two track road and drove off-road toward a lava blister trying to access the active fire perimeter. Near the base of thelava blister, ENG3 struck a rock cluster high centering the rear axle of the vehicle and rendering ENG3 immobile. FF1 utilized four-wheel drive in an attempt to dislodge the vehicle, but sandy conditions caused ENG3’s side tires to sink. The rear axle of the apparatus pivoted on the rear differential, listing the vehicle to its right side. The driver’s rear tire was raised off the ground by 8-12 inches.

WT1 operator, FMO, and AFMO hiked west from the highway over the lava blister and observed ENG3 high centered on a rock in unburned fuel north of the active fire perimeter. The AFMO notified the IC at approximately 1215 of the immobilized engine. ENG3 crew deployed booster hose off both sides of the truck. FF2 worked from the right hose reel in front of the truck and south about 50 feet up the lava blister into sparser fuels. FF1 stayed near the front of the truck wetting a heavier pocket of unburned grass and brush.

ENG1 left the west flank and drove to the location of ENG3 to help remove ENG3 from the rock. ENG1 determined that an attempt to dislodge ENG3 would be unsuccessful. ENG1 then drove southwest and established an anchor point at the lava blister, approximately 200 yards from ENG3. ENG1 resumed mobile attack working back towards the disabled engine.

Between 1220 and 1225, wind direction changed from west to south. Fire behavior increasedand the fire made a rapid run toward the disabled engine. The FMO and AFMO made verbal contact with the two individuals on ENG3. The FMO and FF1 retreated to a safety zone in the black on top of the lava blister approximately 25 yards east of the disabled engine. The AFMO urged FF2, still by ENG3, to immediately retreat toward him into the safety zone. FF2 delayed until he felt excessive heat from the fire, closed the nozzle, and retreated to the safety zone.

At 1227, ENG3 was engulfed by the fire and completely destroyed…”

Richfield fire, engine burnover