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Battle for Featherville Begins
Mountain Home News ^ | 23 August 2012 | not given

Posted on 08/23/2012 3:49:26 PM PDT by verum ago

The Battle for Featherville has begun.

Fire crews moved from a defensive to an offensive posture Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning as they took the fight to the Trinity Ridge Fire, which has burned over 105,200 acres of prime forest land in Elmore County.

With favorable weather conditions Wednsday, firefighters began setting controlled burns along the ridge west of Featherville on the northern part of the Pine-Featherville corridor. But it will be a race against a storm front expected to hit this weekend that could cause erratic and unpredictable behavior with the fire.


In the Pine-Featherville area, there are two main arms of the fire reaching out in a pincer movement on the southeast flank of the blaze. The northern one is aimed at Featherville, while the southern one is slowly advancing on Johnson Bridge. If the southern arm of the pincer were to reach the bridge -- and fire crews are working to prevent that -- it would cut off the only major road to the firefighters in Featherville.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Extended News; News/Current Events; US: Idaho
KEYWORDS: featherville; firefighting; idaho; wildfire
If this fire hadn't stalled for a week the towns it's moving in on the next 24 hours (Featherville and Pine) would have been overrun, as well Fall creek resort and probably another town, Rocky Bar. The issue is till in doubt, though it looks much better than last Friday. The fire is still threatening Featherville, advancing on Pine, and could cut off the firefighters as well as access to another town, Atlanta. It might also eventually reach a larger community, Idaho City. It's also overrun a couple mines and is threatening some airstrips (which are important up in the mountains).

For those of you who don't know what it takes to fight a fire like this (100,000+ acres):
• A total of 1,141 Forest Service firefighters(24 crews)
• 63 engines
• two dozers
• 21 water tenders
• USAF C130s with MAFFS systems (they fly overhead every 10 or 15 minutes and have been doing so for weeks now. I don't even notice anymore)
• Single engine air tankers
• I don't whose it is, but there's been what appears to be a DC9 dropping retardant too (anyone know who that belongs to?)
• A couple helicopters with water buckets
• Mountain home fire department
• Mountain Home AFB fire department
• Mountain Home rural FD
• I can't find the list, but local/city FD's from as far away as SLC are sending firefighters and resources now.

It takes this magnitude of resources, firefighters, and a lot of luck to just to deflect a crown fire (upper parts of trees burning) around a couple tiny little towns.

I threw that list of resources and manpower in because I've been asked by no fewer than 5 people visiting from 'back east' why the firefighters "don't just put the fire out? They do it all the time with the [brush]fires where I live!" The only thing that put a fire this size in the mountains is God Himself. The large mountain fires in Idaho (and elsewhere) generally don't go out until there's enough snow coating brush and trees to stop the fire, though some in the past have smoldered through the winter and started burning again in spring (!).

To address one other thing someone from back east wondered about: why don't the firefighters get in there and fight the fire toe-to-toe? Answer: because that's suicide. They could be killed by one gust of the wind. Additionally, fires like this don't spread just by flames leaping from tree to tree. The updraft from the fire can rain embers down up to a couple miles away. Think brimstone... many small fires break out ahead of the main and blend together to form its front.

Godspeed and may He protect our firefighters
1 posted on 08/23/2012 3:49:32 PM PDT by verum ago
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To: verum ago
The only thing that can put a fire this size out in the mountains is God Himself

Yeesh. Good thing I don't type for a living.
2 posted on 08/23/2012 3:52:21 PM PDT by verum ago (A good physical therapist is half friend, half sadist.)
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To: verum ago

For someone a long way from there a link to a scanner

feed would be great

Prayers up for rain to end this nightmare

3 posted on 08/23/2012 4:48:16 PM PDT by Harold Shea (RVN `70 - `71)
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To: verum ago

The first time I saw a major forest fire in the White Mountains of Arizona, I was astonished to see entire trees reach the ignition point and burst into flames. It was really frightening.

4 posted on 08/23/2012 7:22:02 PM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
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