I visited the Mitchell Fire

I did go visit the Mitchell fire burning in the Deep Creek Mountains of SE Idaho yesterday.

Earlier story (which prompted my visit).

A violent thunderstorm came up just about as I arrived. I ate a lot of dust and smoke. The storm redistributed the fire, which was burning in heavy fuels up the west side of Bull Canyon into higher and higher country. A lot of rain dropped near the head of the fire, which will hopefully help bring this under control.

The fire is mostly burning native grasses, aspen, chokecherry, mountain mahogany, bitterbrush, sagebrush, and pockets of fir. This is great wildlife habitat. The “heavy fuels” should not be interpreted to mean the area needs to burn. There was little or no cheatgrass and the area ought to regenerate well (my opinion) if they can keep off road vehicles off the fire lines they have constructed.

The fire was started from sparks generated by a combine (ag equipment).

I put up some photos on Google Earth.

Burn pattern of Mitchell Fire. Aug. 14, 2007. Copyright Ralph Maughan



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  1. kt Avatar

    Those are some good photos of the sky and the Deep Creek mountains, Ralph.

    I wonder if the Idaho Congressional delegation – Craig, Crapo – and Otter are going to rant about all the farmers setting fires — this Combine fire in the Deep Creek Range, and the ag.-burning caused fire near Fairfield over the weekend that was threatening “valuable” ID state Department of Lands Timber lands. … And, since that fire was a threat to IDL lands – it must mean that IDL did not have enough bovine firefighters out on patrol … Anyone who knows the backwardness of Idaho state land grazing policies (these “timber” lands in southern ID were very likely also being grazed ) knows this last part is not meant to be taken seriously …


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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Ralph Maughan