Idaho’s South Hills Burn in Summer
In Twin Falls the elevation south of the city is known as the South Hills. Much of it is considered part of the Sawtooth National Forest, even if the Sawtooth Range is to the north. The South Hills are on fire. But you shouldn’t worry. The Forest Service was planning a controlled burn and then a lightning strike ignited a blaze. While you may have seen the smoke from far away and feared a repeat of the Badger Fire, this is not on the same scale.
I witnessed some of the Badger Fire. As bad as it was, my impression at the time was that it was a textbook attack by firefighters. We’ve had a dry summer. No surprise there. We may be looking at three days of rain over the holiday weekend. Thunderstorms on Saturday and Sunday could be an issue bringing additional lightning strikes, however. One forecast for Monday calls for steady rain. A real gully washer on Monday would spoil some picnics but be welcome when it comes to fires.
Southern Idaho has been relatively unscarred by major fires this summer. The panhandle is another matter. While we had plenty of snow and rain during the winter and spring, the folks up north lived through a very dry period and summer hasn’t brought relief.
Remember that lightning isn’t our friend (other than purifying the surrounding air) but that many of our worst fires have been started by two-legged creatures.
Keep in mind, as far back as the Indigenous arrived in North America, people knew there were some benefits to fire.