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Friday, July 30, 2010

Eagle Foothills Fire

(The pictures are from KTVB channel 7) There was a massive wildfire burning in the Eagle foothills Wednesday afternoon. As I was driving home from work, I could smell the smoke through the Boise valley.
When I turned on the computer and TV to see what was going on, I saw there was a huge fire burning in the Eagle foothills. It was started by lightening.

This wildfire continued to pose problems for firefighters throughout the afternoon because of the winds. Also, getting enough water to fight the fire was an issue.
A storm moving through the valley earlier in the day sparked a grass fire east of Highway 16 near Linder and Homer roads.

The latest estimate is that 4,857 acres have been charred. The fire moved east across the foothills toward Highway 55
The story was live for several hours on each of the local channels. We watched as 4 helicopters flew back and forth dropping water. Since the fire was in a rural area, there isn't quick access to water. The helicopters were getting the water out of nearby ponds in housing developments and nearby swimming pools.

There were 300 firefighters from the Bureau of Land Management, Idaho Department of Lands, Eagle, Star, Meridian, Boise and Caldwell fire departments battling the wildfire. A call went out for additional firefighting help. Crews made a heavy aerial assault with helicopter water bucket drops and retardant drops from air tankers.

The BLM had five air tankers, two helicopters, 12 engines and two Hot Shot crews - one from Boise and one from Vale, Oregon - working the fire. A Hot Shot crew is made up of 21 members that are specially trained in cutting fire lines quickly. Three bulldozers were used to cut fire lines.
The area is mostly farm land. There were horses in danger as we watched neighbors helping neighbors rescue the animals.

The winds picked up again Wednesday afternoon and fire officials say additional homes northeast of Homer Road and Ballantyne, stretching east to Quarter Drive were threatened by the flames.

Three homes and a barn were destroyed by fire, and forced the evacuation of hundreds of homes.

Officials say no one was injured but, the blaze destroyed structures are in the area of Homer and Smoky Ridge, and Homer and Skyline Drive.

Ada County Sheriff's deputies and Eagle Police officers evacuated homes in the area. A call also went out on a geocast, a type of reverse 911 that warns residents about dangers such as this.

Residents were told to go to Eagle High School at 574 N. Park Lane. The Red Cross set up a shelter at the high school and provided cots, blankets, water and food.

As of 10 p.m., fire officials report the fire was 100 percent contained.

The next day they showed the aerial shots of the burn area. The fire fighters are amazing to see how they saved many homes.

Bravo to the many people who fought this battle and saved all of these homes. No one was injured. What a great blessing. My heart goes out to those people who did lose their homes - it is a very sad thing. But THINGS can be replace, love ones can't. They did a great job keeping everyone safe and were able to put the fire out. I hope this is the last one we see this fire season.  


Connie said...

I was at my niece's wedding today. Her husband's grandmother lives in Sweet, Idaho and she was telling us about this fire! It sounds like a miracle that more homes didn't go up in flames!

Zoey said...

The aerial shots are amazing. It's like you can see where their lawn is and EVERYTHING else is scorched! Crazy. Glad to hear that no one died.


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