Home >> Newsroom

The following is a list of news releases about the Jefferson wild fire, starting with the most recent.

INL News Release

Date: July 15, 2010
Time: 6:45 p.m.
#12

Jefferson Fire 100 percent contained, firefighters monitor hot spots

Thursday evening, firefighters had contained 100 percent of the Jefferson Fire that began Tuesday on the Idaho National Laboratory desert Site.

In wildland fire terminology, contained means a fuel break has been completed around the fire perimeter. INL and Bureau of Land Management firefighters constructed fire lines around the 109,000-acre (170 square miles) burned area.

Firefighters will continue working on smoldering hot spots to extinguish the fire.

Here is the latest information:

• Commercial power was restored to office buildings at the Materials & Fuels Complex this afternoon and efforts to fully restore power to all of the MFC facilities continue.
• A mandatory all-hands safety meeting is planned for MFC employees and subcontractors at 7 a.m. Monday, July 19. They will assemble in front of the MFC Fire Station. Purpose of the meeting is to inform employees and subcontractors about the status of MFC facilities and equipment following the wildland fire, and the loss of power to the complex. No one except essential personnel will be permitted to go to their MFC work stations or into any facilities until after the meeting concludes, so employees and subcontractors are asked to time their arrival with meeting attendance in mind. MFC employees and subcontractors who want to hear a recorded message may call 1-866-843-4681.
• An investigation will look into the cause of the fire; no conclusion about its cause has yet been reached.

• Firefighters will monitor hot spots as a precaution. At its height Wednesday, 300 firefighters, a helicopter and air tankers, bulldozer crews and heavy equipment operators battled the blaze.

For further updates and to view a map of the burned area, check the wildfire information portal at http://www.inl.gov/. INL’s emergency Joint Information Center is now closed for purposes of responding to calls about this fire. If the need arises for the center to reopen, we will issue a news release to that effect.

Click on an image to see the high resolution version.



INL News Release

Date: July 15, 2010
Time: 4:00 p.m.
#11

Jefferson Fire close to being contained

Firefighters are closing in on containing the Jefferson Fire that began on the Idaho National Laboratory desert Site Tuesday afternoon.

After a flyover of the burned area this afternoon, responders estimate the size of the fire remains at 109,000 acres.

Emergency responders have not yet concluded what caused the fire.
 
Here is the latest information:

• Fire responders are working toward containing the fire tonight. Fire lines have been completed around the southeast side of the burned area. Crews continue to build perimeters around the north side and address the few remaining smoldering hot spots.
• Initial attempts to restore power to a portion of the Materials & Fuels Complex began this afternoon and will continue tonight.
• Sampling for airborne radioactivity was conducted, and conditions were normal.
• An investigation is looking into the cause of the fire to determine whether it was related to activity by humans, nature, equipment or other sources.
• Weather today reached highs in the mid-80s. Tonight, winds are expected to blow south to southwest up to 23 mph. Relative humidity is expected to be in the low teens and may rise this evening.

INL’s emergency Joint Information Center at EROB has been activated to respond to any questions you may have about this incident. Media and members of the public should call the phone numbers below, not your regular INL contacts.

Media Information: (208) 526-9206 Please do not call other INL contacts.
Public Information: (208) 526-5042

Follow-up news releases will be posted on INL’s Web site at: http://www.inl.gov/

 

INL News Release

Date: July 15, 2010
Time: 8:40 a.m.
#10

Crews return to Jefferson Fire lines

All firefighting crews returned to the Idaho National Laboratory Jefferson Fire lines at 8 a.m. today to continue containment efforts.
 
Here is the latest information:

· Fire lines have been completed on the fire’s east side and all but about five miles of its west side.
· Crews continue to monitor hot spots, which reside mostly on the fire’s north side.
· Bulldozer crews at Sage Junction and at INL’s northeast end are working toward each other to complete the western fire line.
· Updated estimates of the fire’s containment and burned acreage are expected after this morning’s flyover. As of 9 p.m. last night, the fire was estimated to be 60 percent contained.
· A fire is described as “contained” when a fuel break around the fire has been completed. This break may include natural barriers or manually and/or mechanically constructed lines.
· Today’s weather is expected to be sunny with highs in the mid to upper 80s. North to northeast winds are expected to be light and variable. Relative humidity is expected to fall into the low teens this afternoon.
· Crews will work today to replace one power pole at INL’s Materials & Fuels Complex so they can begin an organized restoration of MFC power today.
· MFC employees who have not been able to report to work will receive instructions and should submit their timecards by 8:30 a.m. Monday when they return to work.

INL’s emergency Joint Information Center at EROB has been activated to respond to any questions you may have about this incident. Media and members of the public should call the phone numbers below, not your regular INL contacts.

Media Information: (208) 526-9206 Please do not call other INL contacts
Public Information: (208) 526-5042
Follow-up news releases will be posted on INL’s Web site at: http://www.inl.gov/

INL News Release

Date: July 14, 2010
Time: 9:20 p.m.
#9

9:20 p.m. update on Jefferson Fire at Idaho National Laboratory site

The Jefferson Fire – the name given to the range fire burning on the Idaho National Laboratory Site – is reportedly 60 percent contained. At last report, the fire had burned an estimated 109,000 acres (roughly 170 square miles).
 
Here is an update of information:
· Firefighters are continuing to fight the fire on active lines and monitoring suspected hot spots.
· Both BLM and INL fire departments are pulling three of their four crews off the fire for the night.
· The geographic area where the fire is burning is predominantly sagebrush steppe – a semi-arid treeless landscape of shrubs and widely-spaced bunchgrasses in an isolated, sparsely populated area.
· Winds are light and variable, coming mainly from a southerly direction, and remain at less than 15 mph.
· Repair work on the downed power lines at MFC and CITRC is scheduled to begin tomorrow.

Important information for INL employees:
· Employees considered essential for Materials & Fuels Complex operations will receive direct notification from their management to report to work. Three buses will leave the Willow Creek Building at 6:10 a.m. Thursday.
· Because the MFC will be closed for most other employees for the rest of the week, managers should determine whether these employees can accomplish work requirements from other locations.
· The MFC has been placed on restricted access until the individual facilities have recovered from wild land fire shut down. Non-essential employees who need to gain MFC access for compelling reasons should contact the public information number below. Access will be granted on a case-by-case basis for office buildings only.
· All other INL (non-MFC or CITRC) employees should report to work as normal.

Barring unforeseen circumstances, the next update will be Thursday morning, July 15.

INL’s emergency Joint Information Center at EROB has been activated to respond to any questions you may have about this incident. Media and members of the public should call the phone numbers below, not your regular INL contacts.

Media Information: (208) 526-9206 Please do not call other INL contacts
Public Information: (208) 526-5042
Follow-up news releases will be posted on INL’s Web site at: http://www.inl.gov/

INL News Release

Date: July 14, 2010
Time: 5:25 p.m.
#8

Update on Jefferson Fire at Idaho National Laboratory site

Responders have dubbed the range fire burning on the Idaho National Laboratory site the Jefferson Fire, because it started near the site’s Jefferson Boulevard.

Here is additional new information:
• The parts of the fire on INL property are estimated to be 40 percent contained and responders are monitoring for hot spots.
• BLM is focusing on an active fire area on the northeast corner of the INL site, south of Mud Lake.
• The only personnel injury has been a firefighter who sprained his back.
• Areas containing hazardous waste are protected by stringent fire lines, noncombustible containment materials and fire suppression systems.
• According to Wednesday morning’s estimate, the fire has burned an estimated 109,000 acres (roughly 170 square miles) since it started Tuesday afternoon.
• A map of the fire obtained from GPS data collected during a Wednesday morning flyover is now available on INL’s website and by calling the contact numbers below.
• Because the Materials & Fuels Complex will be closed for most employees for the rest of the week, managers should determine whether employees can accomplish work requirements from other locations.
• The MFC has been placed on restricted access until the individual facilities have recovered from wildland fire shut down. Non-essential employees who need to gain MFC access for compelling reasons should contact the public information number below. Access will be granted on a case-by-case basis for office buildings only.
• Essential MFC employees will receive direct notification from their management to report to work. Three buses for essential employees working at MFC or CITRC will leave the Willow Creek Building at 6:10 a.m. Thursday.

INL’s emergency Joint Information Center at EROB has been activated to respond to any questions you may have about this incident. Media and members of the public should call the phone numbers below, not your regular INL contacts.

Media Information: (208) 526-9206 Please do not call other INL contacts
Public Information: (208) 526-5042
Follow-up news releases will be posted on INL’s Web site at: http://www.inl.gov/

INL News Release

Date: July 14, 2010
Time: 12:00 p.m.
#7

Afternoon news conference will provide range fire update

Idaho National Laboratory’s Materials and Fuels Complex (MFC) and Critical Infrastructure Test Range Complex (CITRC) will be closed again Thursday while crews work to repair damaged power lines.

INL will brief the media on the fire situation today at 2:30 p.m. in the lobby of the Engineering Research Office Building (EROB), 2525 Fremont Ave. in Idaho Falls.

Here is an update:
· INL and the Bureau of Land Management have established a unified fire command.
· The fire is being fought on four fronts. Crews are focusing primarily on the north front between INL and State Highway 33 and the west front, which is still on the INL reservation.
· The fire has burned an estimated 109,000 acres (roughly 170 square miles) since it started Tuesday afternoon.
· Fire crews are using bulldozers to build containment lines along Interstate 15 on the east side of the fire and from INL’s Central Facilities Area (CFA) north on the west side of the fire.
· The cause of the fire is still unknown and is under investigation.
· Approximately 300 firefighters from INL and BLM are on scene.
· The Bureau of Land Management has dispatched 21 fire engines, a helicopter, five bulldozers, five air tankers and an air attack plane to fight the fire.
· INL has four bulldozers and seven fire engines on the scene.
· A very few INL structures have suffered only minimal damage.
· Essential MFC employees will receive direct notification from their management to report to work for the remainder of the week.
· Because the Materials & Fuels Complex will be closed for most employees for the rest of the week, managers should determine whether employees can accomplish work requirements from other locations.

“Managers who believe employees can be productive from Idaho Falls office locations or their homes should advise these employees about the best way to proceed today and tomorrow,” said Juan Alvarez, deputy lab director for management.

MFC employees will be advised about how to fill out timesheets and charge their time for this fire outage.

INL’s emergency Joint Information Center at EROB has been activated to respond to any questions you may have about this incident. Media and members of the public should call the phone numbers below, not your regular INL contacts.

Media Information: (208) 526-9206 Please do not call other INL contacts
Public Information: (208) 526-5042

Follow-up News Releases will be posted on INL’s Web site at: http://www.inl.gov/ 

INL News Release

Date: July 14, 2010
Time: 9:10 a.m.
#6

Range fire still burning at Idaho National Laboratory’s desert Site

Firefighters from Idaho National Laboratory, the Bureau of Land Management and other agencies continue to fight a range fire at the lab’s desert site.

Fire observers are flying over the area this morning to assess the conditions.

INL Emergency Director Riley Chase said once those flights are complete, officials will have an update of the fire’s size and how much of it is contained.

He applauded all the fire crews that have been fighting the blaze.

“We are pleased that we have been able to protect our buildings and facilities,” Chase said. “If the weather conditions hold, we will continue to gain ground on containing the fire today.”

Several INL power lines are down and the Materials and Fuels Complex (MFC) and the Critical Infrastructure Test Range Complex (CITRC) are closed today.

INL will issue a detailed update once fire observers have finished their flyovers.

INL’s emergency Joint Information Center at the Engineering Research Office Building, 2525 Fremont Ave., Idaho Falls, has been activated to respond to any questions you may have about this incident. Media and members of the public should call the phone numbers below, not your regular INL contacts.

Media Information: (208) 526-9206 Please do not call other INL contacts
Public Information: (208) 526-5042

Follow-up News Releases will be posted on INL’s Web site at: http://www.inl.gov/

INL News Release

Date: July 13, 2010
Time: 9:34 p.m.
#5


Work status for INL’s Materials and Fuels Complex for Wednesday, July 14

Most employees at INL’s Materials and Fuels Complex should not report to work tomorrow. Here is an update:

· Employees at the Materials and Fuels Complex will be on curtailment Wednesday, July 14.
· Only essential employees will report to work at MFC Wednesday.
· Essential employees will receive direct notification from their management to report to work.
· Employees who are notified to work can either drive to work or catch an INL bus in the east parking lot of the Willow Creek Building in Idaho Falls.
· The bus will leave the Willow Creek Building at 6:10 a.m.
· The fire has burned an estimated 30,000 acres (nearly 47 square miles).

INL’s emergency Joint Information Center at the Engineering Research Office Building, 2525 Fremont Ave., Idaho Falls, has been activated to respond to any questions you may have about this incident. Media and members of the public should call the phone numbers below, not your regular INL contacts.

Media Information: (208) 526-9206 Please do not call other INL contacts
Public Information: (208) 526-5042

Follow-up News Releases will be posted on INL’s Web site at: http://www.inl.gov/

INL News Release

Date: July 13, 2010
Time: 6:31 p.m.
#4

Update to range fire at Idaho National Laboratory’s desert Site

Following is updated information about the wildland fire on INL’s desert Site.


· INL has turned off power to utility lines that feed the Materials and Fuels Complex (MFC).
· Fire is within 300 yards of the Transient Reactor Test (TREAT) facility near MFC. (TREAT is currently used for storage and training activities.)
· Firefighters are staged near the TREAT facility.
· The fire has burned an estimated 15,000 acres (more than 23 square miles).
· The fire is moving rapidly because of high winds. Gusts up to 55 miles per hour have been reported.
· Firefighters from Idaho National Laboratory, the Bureau of Land Management and other agencies are fighting the fire.


INL’s emergency Joint Information Center at the Engineering Research Office Building, 2525 Fremont Ave., Idaho Falls, has been activated to respond to any questions you may have about this incident. Media and members of the public should call the phone numbers below, not your regular INL contacts.

Media Information: (208) 526-9206 Please do not call other INL contacts
Public Information: (208) 526-5042

Follow-up News Releases will be posted on INL’s Web site at: http://www.inl.gov/

INL News Release

Date: July 13, 2010
Time: 4:58 p.m.
#3

Update to range fire at Idaho National Laboratory’s desert Site

Following is updated information about the wildland fire on INL’s desert Site.

· As of 4:40 p.m., the fire was estimated to be at least 15,000 acres in size (more than 23 square miles) and moving northeast toward Mud Lake.
· The fire is moving rapidly because of high winds. Gusts up to 55 miles per hour have been reported.
· Firefighters from Idaho National Laboratory, the Bureau of Land Management and other agencies are fighting the fire.
· The fire is not threatening any INL buildings or facilities.
· All personnel at the Power Burst Facility (PBF), the Critical Infrastructure Test Range Complex (CITRC) and the Accelerator Center have been evacuated.

INL’s emergency Joint Information Center at the Engineering Research Office Building, 2525 Fremont Ave., Idaho Falls, has been activated to respond to any questions you may have about this incident. Media and members of the public should call the phone numbers below, not your regular INL contacts.

Media Information: (208) 526-9206   Please do not call other INL contacts
Public Information: (208) 526-5042

Follow-up News Releases will be posted on INL’s Web site at: http://www.inl.gov/

INL News Release

Date: July 13, 2010
Time: 4:18 p.m.
#2

Firefighters fighting wildland fire at INL desert site

Firefighters from Idaho National Laboratory, the Bureau of Land Management and other agencies are fighting a range fire near INL’s Central Facilities Area.

Four wildland fire units are on the scene as well as two bulldozers and two water tenders. BLM also has provided air support.

The fire is not currently threatening any INL buildings or facilities, but all personnel at the Power Burst Facility (PBF), the Critical Infrastructure Test Range Complex (CITRC) and the Accelerator Center have been evacuated.

INL’s emergency Joint Information Center at the Engineering Research Office Building, 2525 Fremont Ave., Idaho Falls, has been activated to respond to any questions you may have about this incident. Media and members of the public should call the phone numbers below, not your regular INL contacts.

To view the fire, go to:

INL Weather Camera at Grid 3: http://www.noaa.inel.gov/weather/WXCam/static.htm

INL Weather Cam Animation: http://www.noaa.inel.gov/weather/WXCam/loop.htm

If the links do not work, copy and paste the url address into your browser.

Media Information: (208) 526-9206 Please do not call other INL contacts
Public Information: (208) 526-5042

Follow-up News Releases will be posted on INL’s Web site at: http://www.inl.gov/

INL News Release

Date: July 13, 2010
Time: 3:22 p.m.
#1

Department of Energy’s Emergency Operations Center is gathering information about a reported range fire at the Idaho Site

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Idaho National Laboratory (INL) Emergency Operations Center (EOC) has been activated and is gathering information about a reported range fire at the INL’s desert site.

All personnel at the Power Burst Facility (PBF), the Critical Infrastructure Test Range Complex (CITRC) and the Accelerator Center are being evacuated.

INL firefighters are responding to the incident; and state, county and tribal officials are being notified.

When events such as this are reported, DOE activates its EOC as a standard practice to gather information and coordinate site-wide incident responders, as needed.  This news release is being issued to alert you of the reported incident and the EOC activation.

News release updates will be issued when more information is available. Additional details on the nature of the incident and a preliminary impact assessment will be provided to the media and the public as soon as they are available and confirmed.

Please note that information about this event reported by unofficial sources may be incomplete or inaccurate.

INL’s emergency Joint Information Center at the Engineering Research Office Building, 2525 Fremont Ave., Idaho Falls, has been activated to respond to any questions you may have about this incident. Media and members of the public should call the phone numbers below, not your regular INL contacts.

Media Information: (208) 526-9206         Please do not call other INL contacts.
Public Information: (208) 526-5042

Follow-up News Releases will be posted on INL’s Web site at: http://www.inl.gov/

Static Image of Fire
Animated Images of Fire
Frequently Asked Questions
INL's Approach to Fighting Wildland Fires
2010 INL Wildland Fires Resoures and Preparation
INL Cooperative Emergency Agreements
INL Wildland Fire Historical Stats

Printer Friendly
Department of energy

DOE Office of Nuclear Energy
DOE-Idaho Office
Battelle