DOE News Release
Date: July 9, 2008
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Update on wildland fire at Idaho National Laboratory
Following is an update on the wildland fire reported at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory’s desert site as of 7:30 p.m.
• The fire, which started about 2 p.m. on the north side of U.S. Highway 20 and grew to approximately 1,400 acres, has been nearly contained. Firefighters will remain on the scene throughout the night. Progress continues in building a fire line around the fire.
• The fire was confined to an area of sagebrush and grass between the Materials & Fuels Complex (approx. 38 miles west of Idaho Falls) and Central Facilities Area (approx. 45 miles west of Idaho Falls).
• The cause of the fire has not been determined.
• INL Fire Department and Bureau of Land Management firefighters used heavy equipment to battle the blaze. Firefighting resources included bulldozers, tanker trucks, BLM air tankers and extensive manpower.
• No INL facilities were in danger, but as a precaution earlier in the afternoon, all employees at the Materials & Fuels Complex were evacuated and taken to Idaho Falls.
• U.S. Highway 20, which was closed for a time, has been reopened.
• INL annually prepares for wildland fire season. Every spring, the INL Fire Department reviews its fire preparation procedures and lessons learned from previous fires. This information is used to protect Site workers, property and the environment from future wildland fires. More information is available at this Web address: https://inlportal.inl.gov/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=1555&mode=2&featurestory=DA_124158
• If the fire flares up, the media will be notified.
INL’s emergency Joint Information Center and Emergency Operations Center have closed.
For information up until 10 p.m., call 526-1825.
News releases about the fire are posted on INL’s Web site (upper right corner) at https://inlportal.inl.gov/portal/server.pt?open=512&objID=255&mode=2.