Fire Information Line: 208-254-2099
Incident Commander: Mike Almas, Northern Rockies Incident Management Team
Mike Almas’ Type 2 Northern Rockies Incident Management Team assumed command of the Sunnyside Complex on Tuesday, September 8, 2020, at 6:00 p.m. The complex consists of two fires, the Clover Fire and MM49 Fire.
The wind event on Monday, September 7 caused fast and significant fire spread of both the Clover Fire and the MM49 Fire. The Clover Fire’s rapid fire spread lead to the loss of numerous residences, outbuildings, and vehicles during its first night of growth on September 7.
Initial attack crews from the Clearwater-Potlatch Timber Protection Association, Idaho Department of Lands, U.S. Forest Service, and many rural fire departments, were instrumental in safely protecting numerous homes in the area. Further, by yesterday morning, crews had rough containment lines established around much of the Clover Fire and had begun both direct and indirect line construction along flanks of the MM49 Fire. Structure and point protection efforts have been ongoing for both fires and thus far, have been successful in defending the remainder of the homes. As of this morning, the Clover Fire was estimated at 1,632 acres and the MM49 Fire was estimated at approximately 829 acres.
Today, crews at the Clover Fire are still actively engaged in both mop up and patrolling for hotspots near structures, as well as continuing to strengthen and defend containment lines (especially along the fire’s western and northern flanks where the fire is most active). On the MM49 Fire, firefighters will continue point and structure protection efforts and direct line construction along the fires western flank. Fire managers scouted for the most effective place to try to corral the MM49 Fire, and equipment operators are beginning indirect line construction along a ridge south and east of the fire front, working east and northeast towards Highway 12 and the Clearwater River corridor. As available, air support from helicopter water drops and retardant drops for single engine air tankers (SEATs) and large air tankers will help cool hot spots and reduce spread potential.
Closures/Restrictions: Road closures remain in place and the Clearwater County Sheriff’s Department currently has roadblocks at New Hope Road and Cavendish Highway, South Road and Cavendish Highway, and Sunnyside Bench Road and Old Peck Grade. Any roads within the roadblocks are currently closed as well to include New Hope, Sunnyside, Rainbow Drive, Havelock Grade, Charles Lane, Clover Drive, Twin Springs and View Drive.
Evacuations: On September 7, ninety-six residences were evacuated adjacent to the Clover Fire and thirty-six residences were evacuated or set to evacuate adjacent to the MM49 Fire. Although some residents have been allowed to return to their homes, many residents remain evacuated. The Clearwater County Sheriff asks that if you have been evacuated but have not yet been in contact with their office to please call the Clearwater County Dispatch at 208-476-4521. Sheriff’s department officers are escorting evacuees to their property to retrieve essential items or pets, if that property is in an area deemed safe to enter by fire managers.
Special Announcements: Fire managers will host a community meeting this evening, Wednesday, September 9, 6:00 p.m. This will be a virtual-live simultaneous meeting, and we ask that anyone with internet connectivity follow the meeting as it is live-streamed on the Sunnyside Complex Facebook page (link above). For those with no or limited internet connectivity, there will be limited seating at the Orofino Fairground stands. Anyone attending the meeting in-person will need to adhere to COVID-19 mitigation guidelines, including minimum of six-foot spacing and proper use of face masks.