Idaho wildfire news. August 15.

Numerous stories today.

Yellow Pine resists ‘mandatory’ evacuation. ‘There was about to be a revolution if they said we had to leave’. By Heath Druzin. Idaho Statesman. This story could be repeated many times around the globe. Local residents are warned of a volcano, landslide, hurricane, flood, fire, etc.. Some refuse to leave and pay with their lives, but often their risky decision pays off.

Forest Service closes upper portion of the Middle Fork of Salmon River indefinitely. By Roger Phillips and Rocky Barker. Idaho Statesman. The main and most of the Middle Fork of the Salmon River are now closed to float trips due to nearby (or immediate) forest fires. These are major backcountry tourist destinations for those looking for a scenic, wilderness river experience.






  1. Mike Wolf Avatar
    Mike Wolf

    The lack of support of the Forest Service and other federal agencies by the State of Idaho for many years is going to cost lives, period.

    That these people mistrust these authorities as they do is evidence of why this state’s bullheadedness is a bad idea.

  2. Monte Avatar

    Yes, we must all bow to the supreme federal authority.

  3. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Monte and Mike,

    The evacuation order is by the governor of Idaho, clearly not a federal office.

  4. Eric T Avatar
    Eric T

    Persons who live in areas such as YP distrust and have disdain for all levels of authority. That is part of the reason the choose the life they live.

  5. kt Avatar

    The supreme irony of this all is that it is Butch Otter, Mr. Feds Butt Out/Small Government himself, who issued this order — and the residents are ignoring it! Otter is their philosophical kith and kin.

    We taxpayers pay for the federal firefighters who have been hosing down buildings in Warren/YP/wherever for months. So they can continue living as paranoid isolationists, outcasts of a sort, ignoring even the most basic of common sense actions. Like get out of the way in case the winds shift.

    Yes, there are several of these places in Idaho. Ramshackle mining stuff and heaps of gray toxic looking overburden seem to be a magnet – sort of like they are living in some fantasized past – dreaming of striking it rich by association with a long-busted mining town or other Wild West outpost, thumbing their noses at society, except for the Disability and other fed checks that keep ’em afloat … Sort of like the second tier to the Cort Conley “Idaho Loners” book characters …

  6. Mike Wolf Avatar
    Mike Wolf

    First, I know it was Otter who ordered the evacuation. I was referring to the article; wherein the residents don’t trust the federal firefighters; and that the forest service was forced to ask for an evacuation.

    Now then, KT… What gives here? You’re not helping anything with your prejudices. Not everyone in Idaho who came here to escape the trappings of a society gone wrong hate the federal government, or carries the other attitudes you ascribe to us. You speak as though people like me should be interred in concentration camps, and re-educated so that we “fit in with society.” No thanks. You can have your big city, its traffic where people all wait in line to get where no one else in the line is going; where smog chokes our sense of smell and pollutes our lungs; where pressure to perform to some societal/corporate definition of “adequate performance” keeps us in need of medical care for stress related illness; where people are cordoned off and isolated from their very nature.

    No, if you’d like to discuss the federal fire fighting funds required to protect people who live in urban-wildland interface areas; we can discuss how much more it costs to support developers’ profits than it does to protect people who live in the frontier.

  7. kt Avatar

    Have you read Conley’s Idaho Loners book? The folks profiled in ti were extreme examples – but it provides some insight into what attracts some people to these areas, and the paranoid and anti-fed govt. mentality that undeniably exists there. Yes, not every one in these places are like that – but the general atmosphere certainly is – and the Govt Stay Out – But Help Us Out mindset pervades all …


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