Newspaper Archive of
The Adams County Record
Council, Idaho
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October 10, 2012     The Adams County Record
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October 10, 2012
 

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The Adams County Record Range Fire Continued from frontpage driven by John Decarlo, skidded off of Highway 95 four miles south of Council, exactly at milepost 132. Exactly is the right word; the pickup took out the milepost sign. The pickup rolled, landed upright and caught fire. Within seconds the bone-dry grass under the vehicle was burning, and a stiff breeze from the north swept the flames south and east into an all- out range fire. Meanwhile, Decarlo. escaped the wreck with no significant injury. With wind gusts of 20 to 30 miles per hour, the fire raced across the basin southeast of the wreck, throwing flames 40 or 50 feet high where it encountered a few thicker patches of brush.. Area fire crews reacted immediately, and withiIl minutes two Type II helicopters with long lines and buckets were dipping water out of the little pond just north of Middle Fork Road. "l-hey were joined by two Type I helicopters with belly tanks, dropping water they sucked up from the river. This flying circus was made even more frenetic by two fixed wing airplanes. And then there were the handful of county law enforcement vehicles, both at the highway and Middle Fork road, plus a swarm of Forest Service fire engines plus volunteer engines and crews from Council, Indian Valley, Cambridge and Midvale. At one point, the fire was right down to the Middle Fork Road, and so close to the water source pond that the Type II choppers were each dropping a bucket load of water about once per minute. With those two big helicopters pounding the air so close together, the Type I helicopters loudly charging back and forth from the river nearby, the fixed wing planes buzzing overhead, the cop cars with lights flashing, Wednesday, October 10, 2012 the fire engines rumbling around and smoke pouring into the sky - it was quite a spectacular sight and pandemonium of sound. This is the second fire this year to occur just south of Council. The last one broke out on July 30 less than a mile from town, and on the same side (east) of the highway as this one. Wednesday's fire never made it back to the highway, although it paralleled it for a mile or so. qhe hill all around the cell phone tower and windmills was engulfed, but there was no reported damage to equipment there. Power was temporarily turned off to the tower as a precaution. Automatic generators at the site probably switched on and kept the tower in service the whole time. No structures were damaged, but if the fire had not been stopped before Middle Fork Road, several homes, outbuildings and barns full of hay would have been in trouble. As the helicopters held the fire at the south end and hit hot spots elsewhere, engine crews worked their way around the west perimeter all the way around to the south end and beyond. By about 6:00 PM the fire seemed to be under control. One by one, the vehicles, the aircraft and the crews left. After the last firefighters made sure Page 11 there were no spots that the wind could bring back to life, all fell silent, except for the occasion passing of a car on the highway, and about 340 acres of charred countryside was added to Idaho's charred landscape in this record-braking year of fires. A shot of the bUrned area from the air, looking south. Highway 95 is at right. The Middle Fork of the Weiser runs across the top of the photo. The fire spread southeast from the wreck. The Dodge Dakota pickup that started the fire. Meet & Greet with Steve Wortldey Sunday, October 14 fQ 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM Steve Worthley Hartland Inn for Hw ows Idaho State Representative District9A N PAID FOR BY MEADOWS VALL3:EMOCRArS DANIEL YUEN 00all GOT ? WE DO/ In Adams County $40.00 per year Out of Adams County $45.00 per year Out of State $50,00 per year 108 Illinois Avenue, Council 253-6961