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Timber Butte fire grows as crews protect homes

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Photo: Video by IdahoOnYourSide.com

Timber Butte fire grows as crews protect homes

By Jake Melder. CREATED Aug 9, 2014

Six homes have been evacuated and dozens more are threatened as the Timber Butte wildfire rages on near Horseshoe Bend.

Fire races across the mountain side. Neighbors watch as it consumes their land, threatening livestock, homes, and memories built in the remote part of Idaho.

"We were watching it and it just flamed up," said resident Cindy Fields.

In the middle of the night Saturday, fire crews came to Fields' home telling her to evacuate.

”They said don't wait because it's coming, it's moving fast," said Fields.

Much of the fuel in the area is dried tumbleweed or cheat grass. This fine, dry fuel - combined with high winds - have caused the fire to explode in a short amount of time.

The fire has swept through 7,800 acres of land, taking with it a home and a barn. Nineteen fire engines alongside hand crews, hot shot teams, and aerial support fight the flames, are doing their best to protect the houses spread across the mountain.

Residents, taking the fate of their homes in their own hands, have hopped onto their bulldozers and farm equipment, digging trenches and fire lines, defending their property.

"I have my fiance and my soon-to-be father-in-law up there,” said Fields. “I'm scared. I hope they're alright."

Even as the call to evacuate went out, neighbors outside the direct line of fire came to help. Many opened their homes to displaced residents and have sheltered livestock and family pets.

The community bands together, forged by a fire they pray soon dies.

"All the neighbors are helping in’ said Fields. “Everybody up here. It's all about saving everybody's, you know, whatever they've got up here."

At this time the fire is five percent contained. More than 200 firefighters are fighting the blaze. For now, it has burned away from residential areas, but forecasted winds could change that.
We will keep you up-to-date on the latest developments as they come in.