Local Airport Supporting Efforts to Contain Range Fires
July 20, 2016
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  • The Mountain Home Airport continued to serve as a base of operations for aircraft battling a series of range fires burning across southern Idaho.

    On July 19, four single engine air tankers, or SEAT, aircraft launched from the airport in support of the ongoing battle to contain the blaze near Lucky Peak Reservoir, which as of July 20 had scorched more than 2,000 acres and destroyed two buildings while threatening 10 others.

    Firefighters from the Bureau of Land Management in Boise as well as fire resources from the Boise Fire Department and the U.S. Forest Service responded to the fire. Officials with the Forest Service indicated that the fire was human caused, although the specific trigger remains under investigation.

    Two of the SEAT aircraft that landed here came from McCall and Ontario and were originally scheduled to refuel at the Boise International Airport. According to Ted Thompson, who runs the airport in Mountain Home, the aircraft were diverted here due to the amount of air traffic in Boise.

    Two air tankers were scheduled to launch from Mountain Home again the morning of July 20 to battle the fire at the Boise reservoir, which at last reports was raging out of control.

    Since the fire season began in southern Idaho in recent weeks, the city airport has serviced air tankers fighting other forest fires in recent weeks. Among them was the Pioneer Fire north of Idaho City, which at last reports had grown to 240 acres.

    Thompson said the SEAT aircraft that launched from Mountain Home were the first to spot the smoke from that fire.