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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

For the week of October 1 - 7, 2003


East Fork fire
consumes 150 acres

Reward offered for
Gannett Fire information

Express Staff Writer

Local wildfire crews converged on East Fork canyon in Blaine County Monday evening to combat a small, human-caused wildfire that continued to smolder Tuesday afternoon.

Federal and local firefighters worked Monday evening to combat an approximately 150-acre wildfire near the headwaters of the East Fork of the Big Wood River east of Triumph. Air support was critical in the fire’s quick containment. Express photos by Willy Cook

The Crossroads Fire started early Monday evening near the intersection of East Fork and Hyndman Creek roads and quickly expanded to about 150 acres, said Sky Huffaker, South Central Idaho Interagency Fire Center information officer. Billows of smoke formed a mushroom-like cloud that could be seen from throughout the Wood River Valley in the waning light of the setting sun.

No buildings or homes were claimed by the fire or were in the fire’s path, Huffaker said. The fire burned on the east side of Hyndman Creek Road and north of East Fork Road.

About 100 Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service and municipal fire fighters, including two air tanker and two helicopter crews, combated the fire Monday night and Tuesday. By Tuesday afternoon, there was no estimation of containment for the fire, Huffaker said.

But progress had clearly been made in placing the fire in check.

"Apparently, it’s looking really good today," Huffaker said Tuesday. "If we make it through the heat of the day today, we’ll be in pretty good shape."

Huffaker said that, while human caused, no determination had been made about how the fire had started.

Separately, flames consumed about 300 acres of sage and grass near Fairfield on Friday and the blaze was extinguished Saturday morning.

"There was a pretty quick wrap-up on that one," Huffaker said. "They weren’t even there 12 hours that I know of."

Though both fires were determined to be human-caused, the specific origins are still under investigation.

Huffaker cautioned that, though cooler temperatures have arrived, fire danger is still high.

"Sometimes people don’t realize that the fire danger is really high," she said. "Sometimes in the fall, it’s a little easier to forget."

The BLM is also continuing to investigate the origin of a small fire than consumed 1,000 acres of private and federal land near Gannett on Sept. 20. The agency has offered a $500 reward for information leading to "a successful prosecution."

The agency fell short, however, of saying that it was investigating the fire as a suspected arson.

BLM law enforcement officers have since been investigating the cause of the fire, along with the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office. Anyone with information on the start of the fire is encouraged to call BLM Ranger Zachary Oper in Burley at 677-6606.

Anonymous tips are also welcome.



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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.