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Big Fire in Sun Valley Area

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

A fire has been burning for about a week west of highway 75 between Hailey and Ketchum. It has covered 65,000 acres, is moving to the north and east and is now the number 1 fire priority in the country.

 

Evacuation has taken place on most of the mid-valley area to the west of the highway and some of the area to the east. Areas to the north, including the cities of Ketchum and Sun Valley are now in pre-evacuation warning.

 

Bald Mountain is somewhat protected by previously burned areas on three sides from a fire in 2007.

 

I live just to the south of Hailey, so am not affected except by smoke, which has been pretty bad at times.

 

More info is here: http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3635/. Here is a picture looking north from Hailey yesterday, 8/15:

 

post #2 of 24

I have only been to Sun Valley once (in the summer in the late 90s).  The air was hazy the entire time we were there due to a forest fire.

post #3 of 24

Bad news--looks like some good biking trails are endangered at the very least.

post #4 of 24
they have the snow guns running at bald mountain in case the fire gets closer better keep it wet
post #5 of 24

unfortunately fire is getting close to backyards along the highway 75, the highway was reopen since the smoke went away a little. Some more areas are in evacuation including the hospital in hailey which has only the emergency room working right now. it's pretty bad, they say it's about 130 square miles... :-(

post #6 of 24

Driving to Boise today. Were going through Sun Valley. Must reroute...

post #7 of 24
post #8 of 24

The news reports are scary bad on this one. 

 

Stay safe Bill 

post #9 of 24

Scary indeed.  The SoCal fire season is right around the corner and if Colorado, New Mexico, and Idaho are any indication of what is to come, it will be a bad one  I hope everyone remains safe.

post #10 of 24

This has been one of the driest Summers in the past 119 years that records have been kept (per NOAA) here in the Northwest.  Things are just prime to light up in Oregon Washington and Idaho. This fire could be just one in a series.

 

No electrical storm, thank you very much.

post #11 of 24
Staying in Hailey tonight. Came in after dark and the mountainside to the west of town is on fire. It's awesome and terrifying and tragic- the fire area looks smaller than it really is as it's burning around the fringes, bright orange with trees in stark black silhouette as they go up. People are hanging around in the Albertsons parking lot watching the hillside like a fourth of July display only the tone is hushed and tense. There's lots of firefighters here, and the Dc ten that was bombing in Park City is here with choppers. It'll be interesting to see what the dawn brings.
post #12 of 24

All of the national coverage says things like the fire is threatening the "tony resort town", "playground of celebrities" etc etc. Seems like a pretty unsympathetic characterization especially given that it's Hailey that sounds most affected at this point.

 

Look at how close the fire came to the animal shelter in Hailey--luckily they evacuated all the animals and the firefighters saved the building.

 

post #13 of 24

You guys seen this video yet?  It's awesome, full screen for max effect:

post #14 of 24

Christy319, I got that vibe from our MSM outlets as well.  But, one did post some footage of the resorts using their snow guns to try to help contain one front of the blaze.  Anybody been watching that History Channel show Mountain Men?  It is clear that many of the people that live in those rural areas around the big resorts aren't 1%'rs.  And, many of those rural folks are the people risking their lives to help save everything for everyone. 

 

They also mentioned that insurance companies are hard at work trying to deploy special resources designed to protect the high dollar real estate and high dollar structures there.  They may even be chartering aircraft to drop flame retardant on particular estates up in the path of the fire in order prevent paying huge claims on them.

post #15 of 24
post #16 of 24

Here is a picture from instagram that Sun Valley posted a few days ago...

 

http://instagram.com/p/dFvKwYxXVD/

post #17 of 24
Quote:

Originally Posted by crgildart View Post

 

They also mentioned that insurance companies... may even be chartering aircraft to drop flame retardant on particular estates up in the path of the fire in order prevent paying huge claims on them.

 

I can't see that happening.  First off, airspace over fires is tightly controlled over fires, with FAA airspace closures issued and entry only approved by the fire's air attack coordinator.  Second, the fleet of retardant-capable fixed-wing and helicopters is very limited...and super expensive.  And aerial retardant requires follow-up by troops on the ground - it's rarely effective by itself on active fires, which is why it's called retardant instead of extinguisher.  Privately contracted engines are one thing, but aircraft dedicated to protecting insurance companies' interests are different by an entire order of magnitude.

post #18 of 24

This fire is really difficult to wrap my mind around. 

Christy, our local news has been talking about Hailey a lot, and how devastating this fire is. 

 

Meanwhile, a fire that's 50 miles away from us is leaving heavy smoke to deal with.  All in all, I'm counting my blessings that we're only dealing with smoke. 

post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post

 

I can't see that happening.  First off, airspace over fires is tightly controlled over fires, with FAA airspace closures issued and entry only approved by the fire's air attack coordinator.  Second, the fleet of retardant-capable fixed-wing and helicopters is very limited...and super expensive.  And aerial retardant requires follow-up by troops on the ground - it's rarely effective by itself on active fires, which is why it's called retardant instead of extinguisher.  Privately contracted engines are one thing, but aircraft dedicated to protecting insurance companies' interests are different by an entire order of magnitude.

It does seem a bit over the top to me as well..  Back in the old days, didn't fire crews ONLY protect buildings with fire insurance markers on them then send the bill to the insurance company?  I better stop before this gets nonono2.gif all political...

post #20 of 24

That video is really something. God, it must be hard to breathe there.

post #21 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post

This fire is really difficult to wrap my mind around. 

Christy, our local news has been talking about Hailey a lot, and how devastating this fire is. 

 

 

It has been annoying and expensive, but not really devastating so far. A total of one house, up one of the cnayons, was destroyed.

 

After Friday nights fire run toward Hailey, things have settled down. A portion of west Hailey (west of River Street) was under mandatory evacuation several times, but was back to pre-evacuation warning yesterday. Today, most of the mid-valley areas east of the highway is back to pre-evacuation.

 

The fire is far from contained, but doesn't seem to be growing near as much.

post #22 of 24

I saw today on twitter that there is another fire going on in Atlanta on the other side of the Sawtooth I guess... but haven't heard much about how bad it is. Last week I saw those huge orange helicopters flying here in Boise.

post #23 of 24
Thread Starter 

Situation is getting better:

 

Evacuation lifted for West Hailey Sunday

 

Evacuation lifted for much of the Mid-Valley yesterday and today

 

Pre-evacuation warning lifted for Ketchum and Sun Valley

 

Possible thunderstorms in the next few days. I hope it is more rain than lightning!

post #24 of 24

We did get the rain, and as a follow-up some of the areas around Ketchum that were hit by the fire have now experienced mud slides.  The photo below is from our local paper. (Tony Evans)
Good to note that the area of skiing (at least "in bounds") has not been affected by the fire or any slides.  We are looking forward to a November opening. 

 

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