Friday, August 29, 2008
'Nature' fire at Silver Creek Preserve and beyond
On Wednesday the 27th, about 3:30 in the afternoon, I received a call from one of the neighbors alerting me to a fire on the Preserve. I was in the Hailey office so I quickly called Frank, our trusty volunteer (who lives at Kilpatrick cabin, feet from the burn area). As I was asking him about the fire, the sheriff knocked on his door and told him he might want to leave. He called me back shortly after from the visitor center and gave me a brief update. It appears the fire started from the houses above the visitor center on an adjacent landowner’s property. There are rumors that it may have been a power connection and eye witnessed say it started with a single flame behind a shed. It quickly spread up the hillside and along the road, jumped over onto the Preserve, and then worked its way through the Picabo Hills to the south of Silver Creek and along the Purdy property to the east of the Preserve. As of today, it has burned over 14,000 acres and BLM firefighters hope to have it contained by this evening.
We are lucky that as of today, no major structures have been destroyed and no one has been hurt. We are also so lucky to have such a great crew of skilled firefighters on the job. The thing I feel most fortunate for, however, is the amazing group of neighbors and friends we have down here. I received countless calls from people offering my family a place to sleep and help if we needed it. Since the fire has moved past the immediate area and the damage to the Preserve is apparent, I have already been receiving calls inquiring about volunteer work from people wanting to help with the restoration.
In the next few weeks with the great crew of scientist in the Idaho chapter of The Nature Conservancy, I will be working on putting together a restoration plan for the burned areas. I look forward to seeing how the land repairs itself and welcome any thoughts, suggestions, or man hours!!