As Sharps Fire In Central Idaho Winds Down, Rabbit Foot Fire Rages

Aug 9, 2018

Firefighters have gotten a handle on the Sharps Fire near Hailey, but a new fire is burning unchecked in the Salmon River Mountains.
Credit Jorgen 'John' Arnor G. Lom / Flickr

Wildfires continue to burn across Idaho as temperatures reach scorching, triple-digit highs. Firefighters say they’re getting the upper hand on one big fire, but another is raging unchecked in terrain that hasn’t burned in 80 years.

Officials say the Sharps Fire burning near Hailey and Bellevue is winding down. Containment as of Thursday morning sits at 68 percent and the majority of the fire line is secured, according Sharps Fire spokesperson Rae Brooks.

“We’re having a public meeting [Thursday] evening in Hailey to give a final report to the community,” Brooks says.

As firefighters make gains on the more than 100 square mile fire, Brooks says resources dedicated to the incident are shrinking and management will be handed over to a smaller team.

In eastern Idaho, fire crews are battling the Rabbit Foot Fire. Norm Rooker with Great Basin Incident Management Team 3 says the fire was sparked by lightning. He says the rural fire has abundant fuel.

“It’s in very steep, rugged terrain,” according to Rooker. “It hasn’t had a fire in 80 years; it’s about 40 to 50 percent standing dead trees – what we call ‘snags.’”

Rooker says the area where the fire is burning hasn’t seen rain since the end of June and a high pressure system is keeping temperatures blistering.

“Between the fuels, the terrain and the weather we do have that perfect storm,” Rooker says.

The Rabbit Foot Fire started Aug. 2. More personnel, equipment and air resources are expected to be dedicated to it as containment increases on other fires around the state.

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