PINE, Idaho -- Those in the path of the Trinity Ridge Fire are still in a waiting game.
A community meeting was held in Pine this morning to give homeowners an update on the fire. A lot is changing.
Firefighters say today is going to be a turning point. They have learned that the weather is not looking good for Friday. That s means they are going to take action today instead of waiting around for the fire.
That action is going to come in the start of building a barrier around town with fire. The incident commander told homeowners that as soon as the smoke clears they ll send a helicopter up to start a few small fires.
The pilot will drop small, incendiary devices similar to ping-pong balls on ridge tops less than a mile away from Featherville. When the ping pong balls hit the ground they will ignite
Firefighters are doing this today because high winds are expected to drive the fire toward town on Friday. They want to burn a half mile around the town so when the Trinity Ridge Fire reaches town it won t have anything to burn.
Homeowners have been ready for this for more than a week, but each day the waiting just gets harder.
It makes you nervous, I mean, we ve been getting together with neighbors for dinner just because we all need some diversion, but it s tough just sitting here waiting, said homeowner Linda Madsen. We re pretty optimistic about our location, so we re gonna stay here as long as we can, but when they tell us to get out of the way, we ll go.
Homeowners in Pine are ready to leave just in case the fire reaches town today or gets too close for comfort.
Firefighters say that today they probably won t go behind homes and start hand lighting fires. The timing all depends on when the fire reaches town.
The burnout operation is just one part of a multi-faceted plan to protect homes and other buildings.