Firefighters attack five large wildfires at the same time

by Robbie Johnson, IDL Public Information Officer
| September 8, 2020 9:14 AM

(North Idaho) Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) and our partners are responding to multiple fires in northern Idaho, and high winds are creating conditions for rapid fire growth.

Hunter 2 Fire: The fire is 1/2 mile northeast of Blanchard near the junction of Hunter Road and Highway 41. The fire has grown to approximately 500 acres and has crossed Highway 41 to the Stoneridge Golf Course area. Two large air tankers are helping to fight the fire as conditions allow.

Evacuations are being handled by the Bonner County Sheriff’s Office and are in place for the area of Blanchard Elk Road and Stone Road. Residents are being asked to prepare to evacuate the area. Additional resources have been ordered, including a Type 3 Incident Management Team.

Sunnyside Complex: This complex covers the Clover Fire and the MM 49 Fire. The Clover Fire, which is burning outside of Orofino is over 500 acres. Structures are threatened and some structures have burned. The fire started early this afternoon. The Clover Fire is west of the Whitetail Loop Fire, which was contained last week. The Clover Fire is about 4-5 miles long. The nearby MM 49 Fire is burning at 100 acres. A Type 2 Incident Management Team has been ordered for the Sunnyside Complex.

Dusty Fire: Evacuations remain in place for the Dusty Fire at Dusty Lane subdivision south of the town of Emida. The fire is currently 15 acres with heavy equipment on the scene. Air resources will be used when the weather allows.

Cliff Fire: Fire burning at Heyburn State Park. Size is 22 acres. Fire crews have succeeded in putting a dozer line around the fire. The Coeur d’Alene Tribe has closed the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes from the Plummer trailhead to the Heyburn State Park trailhead. The bike path inside the park is closed as well. People are asked to stay away from the area.

Challenges: In addition to the challenges posed by high winds causing extreme fire behavior, resources are limited because of the high demand for resources nationally. Also, aircraft use is limited in firefighting efforts during such windy conditions.

Evacuations: Local sheriff’s offices handle evacuations. Please contact your local sheriff for the latest. We will provide evacuation information as it becomes available.

Additional updates will be posted to the Idaho Department of Lands Fire Information page at https://www.facebook.com/IDLFireInfo/.