Idaho Falls Citizen Journalism

Leslie Shumate News

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THURSDAY FIRE REPORT September 7, 2017 

Challis, Idaho: 

Yesterday’s fire activity was most prevalent in upper portions of Tenmile Creek and into east Mayfield Creek. The Fire continues to burn in the Yankee Fork Meadows area. Today’s objectives are to continue preparation work along the Custer Motorway (FS Road # 070), monitor the fire with lookouts throughout the fire area, and develop contingency plans if the fire crosses the Motorway. Active fire and smoke may be visible from the Custer Motorway. A large portion of the 2015 Elevenmile Fire is currently between the Motorway and the Ibex Fire, providing low risk for forest visitors in the area at this time. Currently, the Motorway is open. If traveling in the area, be prepared for dusty road conditions and traffic associated with the fire and other forest visitors. 

An infrared (IR) flight on September 6 estimated fire size at 16,930 acres.

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CRITICISM OF WEED PROGRAM DRAWS RESPONSE 8-31-17 LMS

The Lemhi County Cooperative Weed Management Area (CWMA) program has been in effect since first established in 1992 with the help of Lemhi County Ag Extension Office Agent Shannon Williams. The CWMA is a partnership comprised of private, federal and state entities in an effort to control weeds within its logical geographical boundaries based on similar land types, use patterns and problem weed species. It is not limited to county lines. 

At the August 28 meeting of the Lemhi County Commissioners Monte Bruhn, owner of the Salmon River Spray and Ag Company, showed a power point presentation of what in his opinion isn’t working about the CWMA program. 

Jeremey Varley has been the county’s Weed Management Supervisor since 2013. He saw Bruhn’s presentation and his reaction was, “Monte didn’t do his homework.” Varley said he feels the need to clear up several points of misinformation. He prefaced his remarks by saying he was speaking only as the former Weed Management Supervisor, not for the county or the state.

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Ibex Fire Update September 4, 2017

Challis, Idaho: Sunday Forest Service observations indicated the fire was most active in the head of Tenmile Creek and the upper Yankee Fork drainage. Despite yesterday hot and dry conditions, fire growth was minimal. A Type 1 helicopter continued to make bucket drops at the head of Tenmile Creek in attempts to slow the fire growth into Tenmile Creek drainage and towards Eightmile Creek. Firefighters continued working along the Custer Motorway preparing contingency lines by completing saw work, installing hand lines, and improving existing line. Today objectives are to continue this work.

Smoke from area fires, including the Ibex Fire, is impacting the local area and the town of Challis. Additional smoke is coming into the area from the Bearskin Fire (Boise National Forest), Highline Fire (Payette National Forest), and the Honeymoon and Remington Fires (Middle Fork Ranger District, Salmon-Challis National Forest). A smoke forecast and other information regarding smoke in the area is published by the National Weather Service and is located at http://www.weather.gov/pih/ .

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Stanley, Idaho: The Honeymoon and Remington Fires are fires on the Middle Fork Ranger District in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, located west of the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. 

The lightning caused Honeymoon Fire is estimated at approximately 480 acres, and is burning in grass and heavy timber. The fire grew to the east today and is on the east side of the Half-Moon drainage. Additionally, the fire continues to back to the south. The fire is located approximately one mile northwest of Sulphur Creek Ranch in steep, inaccessible terrain. The fire is being allowed to play, as nearly as possible, its natural ecological role in the environment while providing for firefighter and public safety. 

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IBEX MEETING TONIGHT 8-29-17

There will be a Community Meeting tonight at 7PM at the Challis Middle School Auditorium on Main Street and 7th Avenue in Challis.

Fire size is approximately 11,822 acres. The forecast is for isolated rain showers to move over the area this morning. The air mass will be more unstable this afternoon with isolated to widely scattered dry thunderstorms developing. Fire activity was somewhat moderated yesterday due to cloud and smoke cover. The fire is burning in McKee, Rush, Cottonwood, Ibex, and Trapper Creeks. The fire was most active in Trapper Creek. The fire remains on the ridge between Trapper Creek and East Mayfield Creek. The fire has moved east and is now burning outside of the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness.

Approximately 300 acres of the fire is outside of the wilderness.

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WEED WAR 8-29-17 LMS

There were no public comments offered at an official Public Hearing conducted Monday, August 28, on the Lemhi County Budget for 2017-18. The Lemhi County Commissioners followed the hearing with a motion to adopt the $9,021,334 budget by way of Resolution 2017-10. The motion was passed unanimously. 

Earlier that morning, how the war on noxious weeds is being managed by Lemhi County was the topic of a power-point presentation to Commissioner’s Chairman Ken Miner and Commissioners Rick Snyder and Brett Barsalou by Monte and Diane Bruhn. 

Monte Bruhn of the M&W Bruhn Enterprises LLC/Salmon River Spray and Ag Company said he has a degree in agriculture and has been in the ag spraying/chemical/fertilizer business for 34 years.

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IBEX FIRE REPORT August 28, 2017

Challis, Idaho: The lightning caused Ibex Fire is a natural fire located in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, eleven miles west of Twin Peaks Lookout. The fire is burning in sub?]alpine fir and lodgepole pine on the Middle Fork Ranger District and is being allowed to play, as nearly as possible, its natural ecological role in the environment while providing for firefighter and public safety. There are 54 personnel and one helicopter assigned to the fire. Monitoring continues by area lookouts and air patrols.

Firefighters are implementing a point protection strategy. A point protection strategy is a wildfire response strategy, which protects specific assets or highly valued resources from the wildfire without directly halting the continued spread of the wildfire which takes in to account exposure to firefighters, values at risk, impacts to area user groups, and in the case of the Ibex Fire, wilderness values. 

The selected point protection strategy was determined to best balance for protection of values and firefighter safety. Points being protected include individual structures, both private and agency owned, and areas of high resource value.

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Stanley, Idaho: August 28, 2016

The Honeymoon and Remington Fires are fires on the Middle Fork Ranger District in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, located west of the Middle Fork of the Salmon River.

The lightning caused Honeymoon Fire is estimated at 184 acres, and is burning in grass and heavy timber. The fire is located approximately one mile northwest of Sulphur Creek Ranch in steep, inaccessible terrain. The fire is being allowed to play, as nearly as possible, its natural ecological role in the environment while providing for firefighter and public safety.

Firefighters are implementing a point protection strategy on the Honeymoon Fire. A point protection strategy is a wildfire response strategy, which protects specific assets or highly valued resources from the wildfire without directly halting the continued spread of the wildfire which takes in to account exposure to firefighters, values at risk, impacts to area user groups, and in the case of the Honeymoon Fire, wilderness values. The selected point protection strategy was determined to best balance for protection of values and firefighter safety. Points being protected include individual structures, both private and agency owned, and areas of high resource value.

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