Idaho sends help to Southwest wildfires

Idaho sends help to Southwest wildfires

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by Stephanie Zepelin

Bio | Email | Follow: @ktvbstephanie

KTVB.COM

Posted on June 13, 2013 at 10:51 PM

Updated Friday, Dec 13 at 7:08 PM

BOISE -- Local fire resources are helping with several large fires in Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona.

The Black Forest Fire in Colorado is now responsible for killing two people, and has burned over 15,000 acres. Authorities think it may be the most destructive in Colorado State history.

In New Mexico, two wildfires, the Thompson Ridge Fire and the Tres Lagunas Fire have burned thousands of acres, caused homeowners to evacuate, and shut down a state highway.

The Fourmile Fire in Arizona has burned over 14,000 acres and is zero percent contained according the National Interagency Fire Center.

"Currently we're supporting large fires in Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona," said Forest Fire Chief for the Boise National Forest Bob Shindelar. "We've sent one helicopter to Colorado. We've sent another helicopter to New Mexico. We have one hotshot crew, the Boise Hot Shots, were sent to Arizona to support fires there. We have the Idaho City Hot Shots that are en route to Colorado. We've sent a variety of overhead and incident management support to various fires in New Mexico, as well as Colorado."

The Bureau of Land Management Boise District has also sent crews to Colorado and New Mexico.

"We have been sending various, what we call, overhead positions, which will be just a single person going out as, maybe a public information officer," said Boise BLM Fire Information Director Mallory Eils.

BLM resources also returned Thursday from fighting fires in eastern Oregon.

Shindelar said fighting big wildfires like those in the Southwest is taxing on local resources. "Well, right now they're tapped, and they're asking for help from all over the country. So we're doing our part to send resources to support them."

Shindelar and Eils both say the fire action may move in our direction in a few weeks.

"As we move later into the season, we're expecting that those folks will reciprocate back to us when we have large fires here later next month," said Shindelar.

Local authorities are making sure there are enough crews here to keep Idahoans safe.

The BLM doesn't expect our fire season to start until sometime in July. However, they have already had 26 fires, and all but one were human-caused.

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