Otter orders mandatory evacuation of Yellow Pine, Idaho

Yellow Pine is a very deep backcountry town. I visited it for the first time in June 2006. A month later it was beseiged by forest fires on all sides. This year is may be worse, and invoking a rarely used authority, Idaho’s Governor Butch Otter has ordered people to leave.

Story. Governor orders Yellow Pine evacuation. By Heath Druzin. Idaho Statesman.

Yellow Pine on Google Earth. The photos on Google Earth are quite new and you can readily see the burns from last year.






  1. Buffaloed Avatar

    Yesterday the North Fork Fire burned right through the Incident Command Post (ICP) at Knox Ranch near Warm Lake. Here is what Inciweb reported this afternoon:

    “The southern flank of the North Fork fire is threatening the Cascade Complex ICP. The \’Stay In Place Plan\’ was implemented at Cascade ICP at 16:00 due to this threat. At approximately 1730 a running crown fire enveloped Cascade ICP. A defensive strategy was in place. Some infrastructure and two historical cabins were lost in the Knox Ranch/ICP area. Planning continues to reallocate resources to manage the significant change of both fires.”

    This is bad.

    Inciweb appears to be back online for the time being.

    I don’t know what else is happening out there at Warm Lake but the maps show that it is very close to summer homes and the two lodges at the lake. The maps also show that the fire perimeter has enveloped the adult chinook trap but there is no word if there has been any damage other than the historical structures at Knox Ranch.

    The Monumental/Yellow Fire started in the Payette Drainage and has burned all the way to Johnson Creek where it looks likely to join a fire there which is burning into the Middle Fork of the Salmon. That’s nearly a 27 mile stretch of fires west to east and growing.

    I also heard rumor about an incident on the Poe Cabin Fire, near Whitebird, where residents started their own backfire which nearly injured several firefighters. I haven’t seen any reporting about this but the idiots in office that held their press conference a while back don’t seem to be helping much when they disparage the government handling of fires. I wouldn’t be surprised if that had something to do with the attitudes of the residents that started the backfire. I also won’t be surprised if they are cited for the incident either.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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