The Sun Valley Idaho area is suddenly a burning question!

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Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Topic Author's Original Post - Aug 17, 2013 - 07:29pm PT
The question of course is: will it burn?

The number 1 priority fire in the U.S. is the Beaver Creek Fire and it has impacted the Big Wood River Valley, home of Sun Valley, and cherished outdoor playground for many folks.

I grew up in Ketchum, one mile from Sun Valley, then lived there again from 1982-91, before fleeing to Choss Creek.

Best wishes to Dick Dorworth, my friend Stein Sitzmark (who had to evacuate yesterday), and any ST readers with homes, friends, or interests in this wonderful area.

Heidi & I have room reservations in Ketchum next week to celebrate our 25th anniversary with friends from the area. It now looks like that may not be happening.

Some photos:
Photo by friend & climber Matt Leidecker of the fire on the night of 8...
Photo by friend & climber Matt Leidecker of the fire on the night of 8/16, burning in Greenhorn Gulch & Deer Creek.
Credit: Fritz
Downtown Ketchum looking south on Aug. 15.
Downtown Ketchum looking south on Aug. 15.
Credit: Fritz
Helicopters in Greenhorn Gulch.
Helicopters in Greenhorn Gulch.
Credit: Fritz
Extreme fire behavior.
Extreme fire behavior.
Credit: Fritz
Pyro-Cumulus clouds over the Beaver Creek Fire from 60 miles south.
Pyro-Cumulus clouds over the Beaver Creek Fire from 60 miles south.
Credit: Fritz



rottingjohnny

Sport climber
mammoth lakes ca
Aug 17, 2013 - 07:46pm PT
Here's to a smokeless anniversary...RJ
TwistedCrank

climber
Bungwater Hollow, Ida-ho
Aug 17, 2013 - 08:14pm PT
It big bad news all around. I can see the pyro cumulus clouds from Boise of the three big fires between here and SV, a hundred miles away. Lots of prime mountain bike real estate is toast. Bald Mtn is under threat and is actively pumping water originally stored for snow making. Mandatory evacuations all up and down the Wood River valley. The orders are to grab your pets and meds and go - don't hesitate and don't look back. It's hard to watch, being so close and so familiar. I have many friends over there. I wish for strength to all.

Next year, it'll be mud slides.

I guess that's life in the intermountain west.
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 17, 2013 - 08:38pm PT
Yep! Life in a fire ecosystem. I put myself through college working on a Forest Service helicopter fire crew in the Sun Valley area. Times have changed and now I am supposed to believe that fire is good for the forest. Much of the area just west & north of Sun Valley burned in a big fire in 2007.

The question is: will that area be resistant to burning in this fire?

Taken from the main fire camp on Big Wood River.  Burning down Deer Cr...
Taken from the main fire camp on Big Wood River. Burning down Deer Creek on Aug. 16.
Credit: Fritz

Burning above Hailey early morning today.
Burning above Hailey early morning today.
Credit: Fritz

Matt Leidecker photo of the fire in the Baker Creek drainage north of ...
Matt Leidecker photo of the fire in the Baker Creek drainage north of Sun Valley and the same area before the fire.
Credit: Fritz

Mark Sheehan photo of the fire from by Hailey airport this afternoon. ...
Mark Sheehan photo of the fire from by Hailey airport this afternoon. It is burning down towards Hailey.
Credit: Fritz
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Aug 17, 2013 - 08:46pm PT
Bump

crusher

climber
Santa Monica, CA
Aug 18, 2013 - 01:51am PT
Yep, I've got friends evacuated from sun valley and others in Boise. Was this lightening or human caused? Looks really bad....stay safe everybody.
ionlyski

Trad climber
Kalispell, Montana
Aug 18, 2013 - 03:59am PT
Yikes! That looks like a bad one for sure. And we've seen em bad before too. Had enough of all our forests lost right around us. All they do is come back as lodgepole instead of the Larch, yellow pine, fir and spruce they were.

All the best with this one.

Arne
jaaan

Trad climber
Chamonix, France
Aug 18, 2013 - 06:33am PT
Hope all you guys stay safe. I've got friends who live just west of Hailey out in Croy Creek. Looks like they might have been evacuated: http://maps.co.blaine.id.us/beavercreekfiremap/ Can anyone confirm that this area has been evacuated? Thanks.
Delhi Dog

climber
Good Question...
Aug 18, 2013 - 07:58am PT
Bummer, hoping for the best for folks in that area
Drove through there in June on my way for a river trip and man it was pouring down rain and fairly soaked, amazing what a couple months later looks like.
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
Aug 18, 2013 - 08:10am PT
Love that Valley, hope it's not too bad.
110 years of fire suppression, coupled with climate change, are recipes for BIG fire!!!!
Best,
E
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Aug 18, 2013 - 10:22am PT
Good LUCK up there to all the Idahoans!

Idaho has been known for big burns since the very early 1900s.

Hope they get rained on soon!
kpinwalla2

Social climber
WA
Aug 18, 2013 - 10:43am PT
Hey Fritz - Crazy coincidence... My wife and I are (were?) planing on celebrating OUR 25th anniversary in the Ketchum/Stanley area in late September. We were hoping to enjoy the area's fantastic mtn. biking. Any idea if the fires have affected any of the popular areas such as Adam's Gulch?
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 18, 2013 - 10:45am PT
Things are looking a little better on the Beaver Fire this morning. The fire that was burning above Hailey has been stopped.

This fire and all current large fires in Idaho were caused by lightning.

Jaaan: Croy Creek was evacuated and much of the north side of it burned after crews set backfires at the mouth of Croy to protect Hailey early Sat. morning. The backfire raced up the canyon with fire crews chasing it. No structures were lost, but it was apparently a close-run fight.

Here's a view from Hailey looking west up Croy Cr. at 3:00 A.M. Sat morning.
credit Stein Sitzmark.
credit Stein Sitzmark.
Credit: Fritz
jaaan

Trad climber
Chamonix, France
Aug 18, 2013 - 10:51am PT
Thank goodness for that. Thank you Fritz.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Aug 18, 2013 - 10:53am PT
Hows the Stanley basin Fritz?
paganmonkeyboy

climber
mars...it's near nevada...
Aug 18, 2013 - 10:53am PT
I don't know how it is in Idaho, but based on my observations of UT and CO anything over 9-10k feet is more than half standing dead evergreens at the moment...N and S side Uintas, Rabbit Ears and the Zirks, Cameron Pass/Rawahs, Central UT - all of it is over half standing dead by my drive-by assessment...

It wasn't this bad 5 years ago - the speed at which this happened astounds me...

Extrapolating this all the way to Canada one can see the potential for quick and catastrophic events with far reaching consequences...its spoooky...
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 18, 2013 - 10:55am PT
Kpinwalla2: Small world ain't it?

So far Adams Gulch is spared. Since much of it burned in 2007, it is somewhat more fire-resistant, although a Forest Service official was whinning yesterday that due to "new-growth" in the 2007 burn area, the Beaver Fire was making some inroads into the old burn.

Upper Greenhorn Gulch, Upper Warm Springs, and most all of Deer Creek have all burned and were all popular mountain bike areas for better riders.

Still lots of unburned areas around there. It should be great in September.

Here's a fire map that was accurate as of yesterday morning.
Credit: Fritz
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Aug 18, 2013 - 10:57am PT
Forests reached zones of imminent mortality a while ago. They now die off in large swaths creating a new zone of imminent mortality, large fires.
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 18, 2013 - 11:06am PT
Ron: Sawtooths and Stanley are fine. It has been smokey on and off there the last few weeks, since the area is more or less surrounded by large fires.

The Sawtooth web-cam shows a nice-clear view of the mountains this morning.

http://www.sawtoothcamera.com/

By contrast, the Sun Valley cams 60 miles SE of Stanley show a smokey morning. http://www.sunvalley.com/mountain/webcams/

This photo is a current view from the Sun Valley Golf course of the great ski-mountain Baldy about 3 miles away. Looks like visability if a little less than 3 miles.
http://www.sunvalley.com/mountain/webcams/
http://www.sunvalley.com/mountain/webcams/
Credit: Fritz
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Aug 18, 2013 - 11:22am PT
Heidi & I have room reservations in Ketchum next week to celebrate our 25th anniversary with friends from the area. It now looks like that may not be happening.

Fritz and Heidi,
May your love flames burn hotter than those in the Ketchum area,
happy anniversary!!!
Tad
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