INL News Media Advisory
July 19, 2010

Nicole Stricker, 208-526-5955,
Misty Benjamin, 208-526-5940,

INL fire chief declares Jefferson Fire controlled

IDAHO FALLS — At 6 p.m. on July 19, Idaho National Laboratory Fire Chief Eric Gosswiller declared the Jefferson Fire controlled. The term "controlled" describes a fire that has either been extinguished (including spot fires) or has a fire line strengthened so that flare-ups from within the perimeter will not break through this line.

The estimated area of the fire has not changed significantly from the 109,000 acres reported when the fire was declared 100 percent contained on July 15. The official cause of the fire is still under investigation and may not be declared for several more weeks. An INL recovery planning meeting Wednesday will formulate a plan for assessing damage to environmental and cultural resources within the burned area.

All INL employees are back to work today and all but two buildings at the Materials & Fuels Complex have fully restored power. The handful of employees who work in affected buildings have been assigned to alternate work areas until power is fully restored.

This morning, MFC employees received information about precautions to observe when returning to areas that were without power for several days. Specifically, they were advised to throw out food that may have spoiled in refrigerators, to assess whether the power outage may have affected refrigerated lab supplies or chemicals, and to pay careful attention to whether electrical equipment in their work areas was damaged by the power outage and re-energization.

High-resolution aerial photos of the fire areas are now posted on INL's Flickr page under Jefferson Fire 2010:

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