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  • Idaho Outdoor News

    Fire Threatens Sawtooth Hatchery
    Location: Idaho

    Idaho Fish and Game employees and local firefighters fended off a wildfire in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area Monday evening.

    The fire started Monday afternoon about a mile north of the Sawtooth Fish Hatchery near Stanley.

    As the fire approached the staff dormitory, hatchery crews and firefighters mobilized to protect the dormitory, using a trash pump to water down the area. The fire moved past the dormitory, burning a stand of trees between the dorm and the nearest residences.

    Firefighting helicopters equipped with water buckets dipped water out of the Salmon River near the hatchery weir making several drops near one of the residences. The water drops stopped the fire within about 50 feet of the residence.

    Brent Snider, hatchery manager, said the fire burned some informational signs and about 400 feet of fence, but no hatchery structures were damaged.

    As the fire advanced, dormitory residents were evacuated and hatchery crews prepared for an immediate evacuation of surrounding residences. Containment efforts were successful, and the evacuation orders were lifted by early evening; residents have been allowed back into dormitory housing.

    There were no retardant drops around the Salmon river water supply and no problems with the fish aside from some ash on the water. There were no immediate adverse effects on production fish or the adult brood fish.

    The hatchery raises Chinook and sockeye salmon.

    The power was still out early Tuesday, and a U.S. Forest Service Hot Shot crew on site was putting out hot spots. The fire was still active but burning away from the facility, which was not in immediate danger Tuesday.

    The Stanley Fire Department was on the hatchery site Monday night for support and structure protection. Roads were blocked Monday, but Highway 75 re-opened to traffic Monday night.

    The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

    News Source: Idaho F&G - Jul. 24, 2013

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