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Thread: Ketchum Fire

  1. #1
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    Ketchum Fire

    Hello all-

    I know many of you are planning trips to the Wood River Valley to ride. You may want to put your plans on hold... For more info http://blainecounty.org/

    The most recent report from the Incident Command Center in Ketchum City Hall notes the fire has spread over the ridge between Adams Gulch and Warm Springs drainage. Due to a change in fuel types fire managers are expecting rapid fire growth on the south facing slope on the north side of Warm Springs Rd. above the lower Board Ranch.

    All trails and roads from the north side of Deer Creek Road to the south side of Baker Creek have been closed by the Sawtooth Forest Supervisor including Bald Mountain. Everything on the east side of Highway 75 is open.
    Non-residents are not allowed on the following roads until further notice:

    Warm Springs past Ketchum City limits.
    Adams Gulch
    Hulen Meadows
    Chocolate Gulch

  2. #2
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    crazy.

    i left ketchum late this afternoon. we were staying at a condo on warm springs. so, looking up the drainage the fire came closer and closer over the last couple days...moving, northeast

    as of tonight the flames were coming over the ridge....huge explosions sent flames hundreds of feet into the air. a lot of the locals were outside just watching the monster.

    it was windy as hell up there, especially today. cooler temps..but tons of wind.

    i rode adams gulch on friday. i smelled fire late in my ride...and when i got back to the condo..i saw the smoke. hopefully that wasn't the last time i'll get to ride adams gulch....with trees. etc..but, it doesn't look good. as well as some of the rides north of adams gulch...could be lost

    hulen meadows...and chocalate gulch area homes could be in serious danger. at least that's the word were hearing.

  3. #3

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    Tragic

    This could be the second time that some of my favorite single track gets hammered by a fire. First Guaje Ridge area near Los Alamos, and now lots of the great trails northwest of Ketchum. At least the Big Wood Backcountry Trails folks are real active and are likely to have many of these in decent shape in a relatively short period of time.

    I'm scheduled to ride up in the Sawtooths next week. I just hope that 75 stays open so I can even drive up through Ketchum to Stanley. As of now the fire incident command center thinks it may close due to smoke.

  4. #4
    Look out!
    Reputation: mtnbkrid's Avatar
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    Here is the latest as of 4pm 8/20

    http://www.inciweb.org/incident/952/
    Ride the bike.

  5. #5
    Look out!
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    Just another day in Eye-de-Ho

    So, the wife and I planned to go to the Sun Valley area for some riding and recreation this weekend. As we turn onto highway 75, oops, loookie there. That big column of smoke shouldn't be there. "It looks really close to town", I tell the misses. We head up Greenhorn gulch looking to the right and seeing the smoke even closer. Dang, I'm thinking thats really close. As we near the trailhead we are flagged down by a forest service truck. The ranger lady says,"sorry but the trails are closed you have to go somewhere else to ride." We get the "Mountain biking in Sun Valley" book out and pick a ride. Off we go north thru Ketchum. "Golly, look at that smoke, it is really ripping" I mumble to my sweet wife. She is busy reading about the ride we are going to do. Oregon gulch. "Honey, it's a loop with a difficult rating and a tech rating of 2+". Hmmmm, I ask her if she's up to it, and as always she's willing to give it a shot. At the North Fork store we turn onto the dirt road that leads to the trailhead. The smoke column is still in sight but farther off, no worries.
    The Oregon Gulch trail starts off with some really nice buff single track along the creek. Just like the foothills. As we start to climb up the drainage a guy comes from behind us and mentions something...."mumble mumble smoke..." as he speeds by. We just proceed on up the trail. It starts to get rocky and a bit of technical riding with roots but still manageable for my spouse. We stop and take a break, the smell of smoke is there but not too bad. Pretty soon the guy that passed us comes back down the trail and says "I found the smoke!" and heads on without stopping to explain. We look at each other and she asks me what I thought, and I figure we got lots of real estate between the fire line and us. "Lets go on and we'll play it by ear", I tell her. "You're the expert" she says so off we go. We come to a fork in the trail, the book says to cross it and go towards Fox creek. Now the climbing begins. Hike a bike here and there. Lots o rocks and roots when trying to climb not at all like the foothills. Ugh! But kind of fun too in a challenging sort of way. At last the trail begins to switch back and forth still climbing but now it's ridable. We finnally get to the top and man, that fire looks really close. I can't see any flames at the ridgetop a couple of miles away so I figure we are all right. There is a heavy smoke smell so we grab a quick rest and head down the trail. It is steep, dusty and rocky. I pick the lines and ride a short distance then wait for my wife to walk down. She is a trooper but has wrecked one too many times so is very cautious. As she is walking down I notice that there is drift smoke above us and there are ashes falling from the sky. I neglect to tell her, but urge her a little and we move on down the trail. It is a nice singletrack with some rocks and roots in the trees that works its way down into open meadows. We finnally get down far enough that I feel a lot safer. The rest of the loop from Fox creek to Chocolate gulch to Saddle trail is awesome buff single track. As we pull up to our car a forest service truck pulls up and a guy gets out. He has a "trail closed" sign in his hands. My wife and I look at each other and are glad we had a great ride just in time.
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    Ride the bike.

  6. #6
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    What's the latest? I checked InciWeb Saturday night and their latest information showed about a third of Adams Gulch being burned, and the fire ascended Red Warrior Creek and is now threatening Greenhorn/Mahoney/Lodgepole and perhaps ultimately, Imperial Gulch. I can't log onto its site now (I guess heavy demand).

    Edit: The Idaho Statesman reports the mandatory evacuation of 1,000 residents in the Greenhorn Gulch area. I'll post again after I obtain more information.

    I know fires are a part of Nature's cycle of rejuvenation, but I was just here and it appears a lot of the trails in this area are going to look like Fisher Creek (burnt).

  7. #7
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    they're having people evacuate south of the St. Lukes Hospital now. residential areas such as gimlet, cold spring, etc.

    obviously they are urging people to not come to the area unless you live there. in case they have to fight the fire along 75. gimlet and cold spring are on the east side of 75.

  8. #8
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    bad air / good air

    The whole situation is not good. I live in west ketchum & work downtown. many of us went up to Stanly to ride friday night. Great air and rides from Galina north. Everything south of Galina is fu*ked. We went home on Sunday nightt & contunied on to see family in Bend Or. Fire crept up the back side of Baldy last night & surrounded Seattle lodge & ripped through the bowls... Greenhorn, Lodgepole & Mahoney are toast. Flames were visable from the road. The main threat the fire creping over baldy into town & the fire crossing the road into e. fork. School has been cancelled & many of my friends have left town... Not worth the health risk for me & my family. The riding in Bend has been great.

    Good luck to all.

  9. #9
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    Damn...

    this really sucks. Having had the luxury of enjoying the trails of Ketchum/Sun Valley for a decade now because my wife's family has a condo in Elkhorn I've grown to love the area. My heart goes out to all the fire fighters on the front lines. Lord (or deity of choice) knows, we've had plenty of it down here in Arizona but I hope the burning is of the patchwork kind and not the wholesale charring that mars a landscape.

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