Idaho Wildfire Burns Over 90,000 Acres
A wildfire burning near Idaho Falls, Idaho has burned over 90,000 acres, and has shut down a nuclear facility. The Idaho National Laboratory has been evacuated, and all activities have ceased. The facility is one the leading nuclear research facilities in the country. No injuries have been reported and officials are saying that the facility was evacuated as a precautionary measure.
The fire started in a grassland area late Monday, fire fighters have been battling the fire since Monday. There is very little containment as of Wednesday, and officials are telling people to avoid the area. This the height of fire season, officials are saying. However the location of this fire is provoking fear in residents, due to it’s close location to the nuclear facility.
The Nuclear Facility Is Providing Regular Updates To The Public
Staff at the nuclear facility are conducting radiological monitoring, to make sure there are no changes to the levels. In fact, according to the site, the radiology levels are normal as of Wednesday. The Associated Press is reporting that the very large facility is situated on 890 square miles. In fact, several thousand acres of desert area has burned around the facility.
There are several different buildings on the property with close to 4000 employees. The facility was built with security breaker fire walls around it, and at this time is being closely monitored. According to reports, the facility is being closely monitored by city fire officials and facility officials. Information officer at the lab, Joseph Campbell, said “the national lab have security fencing with built in fire break for protection.” Another spokesperson for the lab said when the fire broke out, thunderstorms were right behind it. Furthermore, the spokesperson said, “that just fanned the flames even worse.”
The US Forest Service Reports There Are A Few Other WildFires nearby in Idaho
The Idaho National Laboratory is routinely named as the leading nuclear research facility in the country. An employee who didn’t want to be named, said ‘the work we do here is priceless.’ According to the US Forest Service, there are other major fires burning in Idaho now. These other fires are adding further issues to the firefighters that are trying to contain the fire near the facility. A fire that started near Sheep Road which is also in Idaho Falls, is called the ‘Sheep Fire.’
This fire also started late Monday after a lighting strike hit. In a few hours over 110 thousand acres burned, and caused evacuations. The ‘Canyon Fire’ broke out on July 14th and is located in the Boise National Forest, has burned almost 400 acres. The Shady Fire started on July 10th, and has burned over 1000 acres and is still not contained on Wednesday. Consequently, all of these fires including the one closest to the nuclear facility were started by lighting strikes. Furthermore, the nuclear research lab, will remain closed to non essential staff until there is a majority of containment.