Residents in Clear Creek urged to evacuate as wildfire approaches

Credit: Troy Colson/KTVB

Residents in Clear Creek urged to evacuate as wildfire approaches

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by Justin Corr

Bio | Email | Follow: @JCorrKTVB

KTVB.COM

Posted on July 11, 2012 at 7:01 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 5 at 12:00 AM

BOISE COUNTY -- The Avelene Fire grew quickly overnight and is threatening homes in the Boise National Forest.

Three fires started on Tuesday and combined into the 250-acre Avelene Fire, near Highway 21 and Grimes Creek Road.

Steep terrain, scorching temperatures, thick smoke, and wind are making life hard for firefighters. But crews have put a fire line around half of the fire perimeter as they try to protect the community of Clear Creek, the edge of which is about 1/8 of a mile away.

"There's structure protection around 20 homes, but there are 100 homes in the area that are of concern," said Christine Schuldheisz, with the Boise National Forest.

Deputies are recommending people living within a mile of the fire evacuate, but they aren't forcing them to. However, all that could change if the fire gets much closer to Clear Creek, and homes like Terry Day's.

"If it drops down into the gulch over this way and comes up, that's going to threaten a bunch of homes. There's probably 350 homes up here," said Day. "If it gets hot enough, it could catch my house."

Day also happens to be a Boise County commissioner, and says commissioners have declared a county emergency to mobilize the sheriff's department and other resources. But Day says this is bad timing for a county that just had to increase its budget to pay off a lawsuit.

"They've got another fire on the Boise Front, Aldape Summit, that's affecting us as far as the county goes," said Day. "We've got to pay for all this stuff and we're not financially real solvent right now."

If the fire continues to grow, the commission will ask the governor to declare a state emergency to get state resources. Fifteen engines, two helicopters and air tankers, and about 130 firefighters are battling the Avelene Fire, but a Type 1 Incident Management Team has been ordered to help manage the fire, and should be there in one or two days.

Dave Olson with the Boise National Forest say a lot of support has come from the Clear Creek and Wilderness Ranch Rural Fire Departments.

Also, firefighters urge you to drive very carefully on Highway 21, there's a lot of fire traffic and heavy smoke.

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