Sheep Fire Burns on Idaho National Laboratory Land

The Sheep Fire was sparked by a lightning strike around 6:30 p.m. Monday near Idaho Falls, in the southeastern part of the state, and grew quickly, said the Idaho National Laboratory’s (INL) emergency Joint Information Center.

The Sheep fire grew to 90,000 acres in less than 24 hours.

The Sheep fire grew to 90,000 acres in less than 24 hours.
The fire forced the INL, part of the Department of Energy, to suspend some operations Tuesday. Non-essential employees were evacuated at several facilities, the laboratory said in a news release. Operations also were to be curtailed for non-essential staff on Wednesday.
The INL said the fire “doesn’t pose an immediate threat to key research facilities” and there had been no effect on commercial power throughout the site.
Crews from the INL and the Bureau of Land Management are fighting the blaze.
The Sheep Fire is one of several fires burning in Idaho where dry conditions and rising temperatures are creating a perfect environment for summer wildfires to burn quickly.
The Vader Fire, Canyon Fire and Shady Fire are burning farther west in National Forest land.

The Sheep Fire reached 113,000 acres, but Idaho National Laboratory facilities will go back to normal operations on Thursday.

The fire burning on the Idaho National Laboratory site in southeastern Idaho exploded in size Tuesday, growing to 90,000 acres in less than 24 hours.

Now at 113,000 acres, INL and Bureau of Land Management fire crews have made significant progress towards containing the fire.

The Sheep Fire curtailed most operations at the state’s nuclear research facility again Wednesday, a spokeswoman confirmed late Tuesday.

The fire no longer poses a threat to key INL research facilities.

Work was curtailed for non-essential employees at facilities throughout the Idaho National Laboratory Site Wednesday as firefighters worked to contain the Sheep Fire. The work curtailment was a cautionary measure as the fire posed no immediate threat to key research facilities.

Watch a video from this afternoon’s Sheep Fire news conference on INL’s YouTube channel:

Sheep Fire press conference 7-24-19


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