Emergency Service

Epic Soda Fire Facts

_MG_5421The biggest wildfire in the continental USA is raging out of control in Owyhee County along a 40 mile wide line of flames visible at night from more than 50 miles away.

Based on the size of the area burned–219,000 acres–the fire would be equivalent of a charred area from Detroit to Chicago a mile and a half wide. The 219,000 acres represent 342 square miles that have been scorched.

All roads to Silver City have been closed and the fire is a top priority among the many fires burning in the West.

For the photo geeks, the image above was shot from the Boise Foothills with an exposure of 1 full minute at f-11 using a 200 mm lens. The digital technology picks up detail not seen with the human eye even from more than 40 miles away and a field of view 40 miles wide.

The telephoto lens and the night perspective make the fire appear to be encroaching on the City of Boise.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. If you watched channel news Wednesday. The film showing the fire reaching and going over Hwy 95 and a single man walking and setting back fire’s. You have to ask? They knew it was heading that direction that morning. Why did they wait so long before trying to set the back fire’s. Think there’s a lot of bad decisions being make bye these people.

  2. idahocrystal
    Aug 14, 2015, 2:50 pm

    It’s a great pic though Dave.

  3. Grumpy ole Guy
    Aug 14, 2015, 11:04 pm

    Terrifyingly great photograph. Thanks for the “Geek add”.

  4. Given my training at Navy Fire Fighting School in 1963, I should be of some assistance on the big blaze when I arrive in about a week. It could be a developing story.

  5. Matthew Hays
    Aug 16, 2015, 6:57 pm

    Woah!!!! That is close to Boise. Woah!!!

  6. Do they want to put the fires out quickly?? It seems like they don’t. Perpetual firefighting is moocho profit.

    But let’s say they did want to suppress fires quickly like they did decades ago. The best way to fight these fires in rough terrain seems to be from the air.

    However, air attack methods are very very expensive due to the numerous aircraft involved and the payrolls needed to fly them. AND it’s dangerous for the pilots because of the smoke, low altitudes, and junky old airplanes. With very few exceptions, the types of aircraft involved were not designed to fly low and drop water/retardant. Pilots can only fly in the day for safety, so the fire regrows strong overnight. Weeks and weeks pass without conclusive results.

    My solution proposal is to use tremendously huge drones. Perhaps a 2000 foot long 500 foot wide blimp drone. Pilotless, and on the fire 24/7. Use thermal and radar targeting technology developed for the military drones. Sounds expensive, but considering the months long payroll involved in the dozens of small flyers involved now, it may not be.

  7. LET IT BURN! Fire is a natural part of any ecosystem. The notion we need to put out all fires is simply wrong. The damage to private property has been minimal. The burned areas will soon rejuvenate and the scorch of the fire will soon be covered with renewed flora and fauna.
    My only issue is those with impaired lung capacity suffer while all this fire cleansing of the desert is going on. I am one of those people and don’t venture outside to keep the smoke from irritating my lungs.

  8. That is a great shot Cameraman!

    Wild lands FF: WE ARE NOT GETTING WHAT WE ARE PAYING FOR, and our Federal, State, and Local politicos damn well know it.

    I agree to let it burn in remote areas because it is the way of the Earth and it does create healthy forests and lands. However, they are letting everything and anything burn. In spite of unbelievable spending on men and equipment, we still see them on the TV each day wringing their helpless hands. We pay the taxes and we’ll see next year’s insurance premiums jump too.

    Alternatives: We could be strategically cutting healthy timber and resurrecting a core industry. Ranching pastures and irrigation could be used to strategically protect structures and towns. Both would result in cheaper wood and cheaper meat for the end consumer.

    What the federal land managers are doing is intentionally fostering gigantic fires which burn for months; destroy private structures, habitat, livestock, whole villages, etc. They are doing this because of the strong lobby from those corporations making a killing from this intentional mismanagement. And the people at the agencies themselves insuring their future employment and overtime. Bigger is better!! It’s like the military buying an unneeded expensive weapon and forcing production of it for decades beyond any reasonable need at the grave expense of the taxpayer.

    It all comes back to low information apathetic voters. And the irresponsible media who love them wrong.

  9. chicago sam
    Aug 19, 2015, 2:34 pm

    In New Zealand the forest is cut on a regular rotation. Spotted owls just fly to the next tree.
    In the Black Forrest in Colorado which had a devastating fire two years ago my son-in-law and daughter had spent much time cleaning limbs, and raking pine needles. on their 5 acres in the heart of the Black Forrest. The fire burned to their property line and stopped.
    In Show Low, Arizona where on one side of the road the Apache nation cleans the forest and harvests timber on a regular basis with cattle allowed to graze the fire a few years ago hardly touched their lands. Directly across the road it is National Forest land and what a mess, tree limbs dead wood and long grass everywhere with equally devastating results when it caught fire.
    A report from a rancher near Marsing details the problems of gulches filled with years of tumbleweeds which burn like gasoline. A controlled burn earlier in the season and cattle and sheep grazing would have helped . Who now will go and pick up a roasted Sage Grouse?

  10. $,$$$,$$$ Contract to pick up roasted Sage Grouse given to Australian firm.

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