High Winds Whip Through Idaho Wildfires 

click to enlarge feature_firefighter_kateleadbetter.jpg


A wickedly fierce front of winds couldn't have come at a worse time Saturday—fanning flames through Idaho's north-central region up to the state's Panhandle. 

Things went from bad to terrible Saturday as the Tepee Springs Fire, already more than 78,000 acres, jumped to the north side of the Salmon River. Many residents around Riggins were told to evacuate and approximately 18 miles of the Lower Salmon River was closed to recreational use. U.S. 95, running through the region, remains open but motorists are cautioned that emergency vehicles are regularly entering and exiting the highway.

Meanwhile, the Clearwater-Municipal-Motorway North Fire Compex has destroyed at least 42 homes in the Kamiah area. Nearly all of the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest was closed Saturday. 

In the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, the Campbells fire has scorched more than 6,700 acres as flames burn through the areas of Fall, Moore, Ruff and Trout creeks.

Southeast of McCall, the Rapid Fire grew by 1,000-acres Saturday due to high winds and has now burned more than 6,900 acres.

The Cougar Fire, 20 miles northeast of Cascade, has burned 1,237 acres. The good news there is the blaze is 92 percent contained and resources were being shifted to other fire lines.

Meanwhile, a memorial service for three firefighters killed battling Washington state's Okanogan Complex of wildfires will take place Sunday in Wenatchee, Wash.
Tom Zbyszewski, 20; Richard Wheeler, 31; and Andrew Zajac, 26, died when their truck crashed as they tried to escape the fast-growing wildfire and flames consumed their vehicle.
You can watch a live stream of Sunday's memorial below:

KHQ Right Now - News and Weather for Spokane and North Idaho |
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