DOE News Release – Wildland fire update

Date: July 18, 2007
Time: 9:30pm


Wildland fire reaches several hundred acres at INL Site

Firefighters continue to attempt to suppress a wildland fire that has grown to an estimated 400 acres on the southeastern edge of the U.S. Department of Energy's Idaho National Laboratory. The cause of the fire has not been determined.

  • INL, U.S. Bureau of Land Management and Blackfoot Fire Department firefighters are trying to tame the fire, which has approached within one mile of U.S. Highway 20.
  • Winds of 15 to 19 mph are pushing the blaze in a northerly direction toward U.S. Highway 20. Vehicle traffic is blocked on U.S. Highway 20 west of Idaho Falls on the eastern boundary of the INL Site, and at the junction of highways 20 and 26.
  • Firefighters have started a back burn in an attempt to prevent the fire from jumping across U.S. Highway 20.
  • The nearest INL facility to the wildfire is the Materials and Fuels Complex, roughly five miles northeast of the edge of the fire.
  • INL officials advise employees to call the INL bus hotline toll-free at 1-877-424-4635 to hear a recorded message on the status of bus operations. Traffic to the INL Site will be routed onto Highway 33 or Highway 26 until further notice.
  • The fire began near the East Butte, south of Highway 20 on the southeast side of the INL Site. Flames are now burning grass and sagebrush on the side of the butte. Broadcast facilities sit atop the butte.

INL Communications continues to gather information about the incident. As soon as further details can be obtained and confirmed, information will be provided to the media.

INL's emergency Joint Information Center at the Engineering Research Office Building, 2525 Fremont Ave., Idaho Falls, has been activated to answer questions. Media should call (208) 526-9206, not your regular INL contacts. Employees and the public can call (208) 526-5042.


Media Information: (208) 526-9206
Public Information: (208) 526-5042

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