Wildfire Burned Dangerously Close To Kellogg

Author: Kylee Cruz, KXLY4 Reporter, kyleec@kxly.com
Published On: Sep 08 2011 01:43:58 PM PDT   Updated On: Aug 18 2011 12:55:00 AM PDT
KELLOGG, Idaho -

A wildfire, first reported around 2 p.m. Wednesday, burned dangerously close to the Kellogg city limits and had fire crews positioning themselves defensively near the edge of town.

The fire burned near the south side of town and moved up slope toward Gondola Ridge. At the height of the fire, it was reportedly around 25 acres in size.

For a while fire crews were concerned because of a wind shift around 4:30 p.m. that blew smoke eastward into town.

Dan and Michele Berry worried that their house could easily be damaged by the fire. "I was scared to death it would get to my house," Dan said.

Dan jumped into action and started watering his roof while his wife stayed busy snapping photos of the flames. "It was really scary because hot embers were jumping over to this tree and the roof," Michele said.

Len Young, a fire warden working on this fire, said that weather conditions in the area helped to spread the fire. "We could see the fire was spreading rapidly because of hot weather, the low relative humidity and some of the winds we had here."

As temperatures started to drop and winds began to die down, crews were able to get a better hold of the fire and get it well contained. "We ended up not having any homes compromised or destroyed so at the time we are in good shape," Young said.

While crews defensively positioned themselves on the outskirts of town, Shoshone County Sheriff deputies patrolled the streets of Kellogg, ready to tell people to evacuate according to Nuel Wallace with Shoshone County Fire District #2.

Wallace said that the Church of the Nazarene was identified as an evacuation shelter, should people need to leave their homes. While some voluntary evacuations were called for, no mandatory evacuations were ever ordered.

As of 11 p.m. Wednesday, the fire was about 90 percent contained and crews were working through the night to get the fire fully lined. Fire investigators determined that the fire is suspicious, but are working to determine the exact cause.

SLIDESHOW: VIDEO: Raw Footage: Fire Burning In Hills Above Kellogg