ROGERSON • In any other fire season, the Thompson Creek fire could be considered unusual.
It’s no longer the peak of fire season and the heat is quickly dropping to freezing temperatures. However, the spark of the 650-acre forest fire fits right in with this year’s busy wildfire season, said Scott Nannenga, Minidoka district ranger for the U.S. Forest Service. for the U.S. Forest Service.
Fire crews first responded to the Thompson Creek Fire on Wednesday evening, Nannenga said. With plenty of dry fuels, the fire quickly spread from 50 to 650 acres — about one-sq said. With plenty of dry fuels, the fire quickly spread from 50 to 650 acres — about one-square-mile — overnight. Crews expect to fully extinguish the fire by Sunday.
When firefighters arrived on scene, nine summer homes were surrounded by the quickly spreading flames, Nannenga said. said.
“It’s pretty impressive we didn’t lose any homes,” Nannenga said. “It burned all around them.” said. “It burned all around them.”
On Thursday, fire crews were still working to protect structures from the flames and keep the fire away from moving down into Rock Creek Canyon, he said.
Officials have closed Rock Creek Road at the Third Fork Crossing and 500 Road until the fire’s activity dies down, Nannenga said.
As of Thursday, 11 engines, a dozer, a water tender and two hand crews were working on the fire, said JW McCoy, incident commander with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. More resources are expected to arrive in the next few days including air support.
“Air support can be mysterious beasts that wander around,” McCoy said. “You never know exactly what you’ll get at one time.”
As McCoy and Nannenga explained the fire’s behavior, single engine air tankers swooped in the background, dropping resources to stop the flames from spreading further. The red streak of fire retardant matched the gold-and-orange colors of fall in the South Hills.
“Our fire plan had scheduled our seasonal fire crews to be done on Oct. 15,” Nannenga said. “It’s pretty unusual to get a fire this late. We’re waiting on our first snowfall or some rain.”
The Thompson Creek Fire isn’t threatening Magic Mountain Resort but the fire is close to the ski area. As of Thursday, fire officials estimated the fire was about a mile and half away from Magic Mountain, said Gary Miller, resort owner.
“The Forest Service does a good job,” he said. “They’re not going to let anything get burned. They won’t let it close.”
Still, Miller said the proximity of the flames makes him nervous.
“This is just a beautiful area,” he said. “All our stuff can be replaced but the trees, that’s the part that makes me worried. I can’t imagine what the area looks like right now.”