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Weather - Clear Creek Fire

On July 8, 2000 lightning struck a dry area deep in Clear Creek on the Salmon-Challis National Forest in Idaho. The fire that started wasn't noticed until July 10. Ninety minutes passed before 8 helitack personnel set out, but by then 10 acres were already engulfed in flames and being fanned by 25-mph winds. The next morning the fire had spread to 30 acres, and by evening it had reached 150-200 acres.

On July 14 the fire seemed to have exploded. Fanned by 50-60 mph winds, the raging fire ran 8 miles from Clear Creek up the main Salmon River's south side to Pine Creek. The road there usually allows travelers' access, but it had to be closed to the public. On July 18 the fire had grown up to 39,000 acres, but things weren't any closer to getting better. By July 23 the fire had grown to 40,000 acres and 800 people were doing all they could to put it out. By September 18 it had reached 206,379 acres, but 85 percent had been contained. Cooler temperatures and higher humidity helped the 1585 people, 14 helicopter, 18 engines and 7 dozers trying to contain the fire. Finally, on October 13, the fire was contained thanks to recent rain and snow. It was maintained by air and land until it was finally under control.

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