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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Power Line Fire Burns Near American Falls

The VLAT approaches the Power Line Fire.
Pocatello, ID – The Power Line Fire started on Fort Hall lands around 2:45 PM on Wednesday, August 10.  It has since grown to about 1,000 acres.  Firefighting resources from Idaho Falls District Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Caribou-Targhee National Forest (CTNF), Power County, and Chubbuck Fire Department are assisting Fort Hall tribal resources.  The fire is located a few miles south of American Falls. 


Aircraft dropped water and retardant on the fire last night until sunset forced aerial resources to land for the evening.  The Very Large Airtanker (VLAT) made three drops on the fire.  Five other airtankers and 2 Single Engine Air Tankers (SEATs) also assisted ground resources.


Firefighters quickly made good progress on the western edge of the fire, but fire spread was also being driven by erratic winds due to passing thunder cells.  Numerous power lines and windmills are in the area, creating safety concerns for firefighters.  Efforts were being made to protect wooden power lines.



The Power Line Fire is burning primarily in grass and sage intermixed with pinyon and juniper trees.  No homes are currently threatened.  The Garden Creek and Arbon Valley Roads are currently closed near the fire perimeter for firefighter and public safety.  The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Following a long night of work, the fire is estimated at 10% containment.  Firefighters will take advantage of the higher humidity this morning to improve containment lines before the day starts to heat up.  There are currently about 85 personnel assigned to the Power Line Fire, including 14 engines, 4 dozers, 2 water tenders, and 1 helicopter.  A handcrew from Fort Hall was also en route this morning.