This panoramic view of the Snake River shows the extent of the fire from the right near Celebration Park to the left where it almost reached the end of the road coming downstream from Swan Falls Dam. A red fire retardant scar can be seen in the middle of the picture where the tanker plane dropped its load.
A BLM helicopter during cleanup operations Friday morning on the fire that occurred Thursday evening upriver of Celebration Park south of Melba. You can see the red tanker plane drop scar in the middle of the video.
A fire that began last Thursday afternoon caused by an escaped campfire burned upriver from Celebration Park was contained by 10 a.m. Friday morning and fully controlled later that day. Fire crews from Melba and the Bureau of Land Management responded quickly to reports of a fire burning in dry grass and sagebrush along the north side of the Snake River. Early reports by officials said the fire would be contained by midnight. However, the fire quickly spread upriver towards Swan Falls Dam aided by strong late afternoon and evening winds.
Campsites along the river were evacuated as a precaution. Seven engines, one water tender, one bulldozer, one helicopter and a single-engine air tanker were involved in the fire suppression. Early estimates were that the fire burned only 300 acres. Later, more accurate mapping showed that it actually burned closer to 1,200 acres.
At 10 a.m. the next morning fire crews were stationed on the canyon rim overseeing the fire while crews down below worked on hot spots.
Go to Wednesday.KunaMelba.com and see a video of a helicopter patrolling through the burn area on Friday Morning around 10 a.m.
Officials caution to use designated fire rings and be responsible while enjoying a campfire. Anyone with information about the campfire should call the Boise Dispatch Center at 384-3400 and ask to speak with a fire investigator.