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UPDATE: Firefighters Make Progress on Pend Oreille Blaze


Weather conditions were favorable overnight at the Cape Horn fire on the southern end of Lake Pend Oreille in Northern Idaho. The 2,000 acre blaze threatens the resort town of Bayview, Idaho, between Sandpoint and Hayden.

Fire Information Officer Jay Kirschner says conditions actually improved slightly since Monday:

Kirschner: "There was very little wind yesterday, which allowed our people to put in a lot of fire lines, so that’s going to be extremely helpful. And last night we had good humidity recovery, which means it was very moist in the air, which kind of tamps down the fire a little bit.”

On Monday, an evacuation order was issued for homes in the Cape Horn area, but stopped short of having residents of Bayview to leave. Kirschner says there is a loophole in state law that has made those orders confusing.

Kirschner: "Basically in Idaho we are unable to issue mandatory evacuations without the governor stepping in. So every time we issue evacuations, they are voluntary, but very strongly encouraged. These are not issued lightly, and done for public safety.”

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has authorized using federal funds to help pay firefighting costs. A Federal team will assume command of the fire today.

(The weather forecast for Tuesday afternoon calls for gusty winds and thunderstorms.)

Update from incident command center:

Community Meeting Tonight, 7/7/2015 at 8:00 pm at the Bayview Community Center


Evacuations remain in place starting at Salee Ck Road east along Perimeter Road through the end of Cape Horn Road. An evacuation center has been established at Timberlake High School located on Highway 54 in Spirit Lake, Idaho.

Residents can receive evacuation notices by registering with Kootenai County’s Emergency Notification System for Citizen Notification at and click on the Citizen Alert Notification icon. Bonner County citizens click here: 

Steve was part of the Spokane Public Radio family for many years before he came on air in 1999. His wife, Laurie, produced Radio Ethiopia in the late 1980s through the '90s, and Steve used to “lurk in the shadowy world” of Weekend SPR. Steve has done various on air shifts at the station, including nearly 15 years as the local Morning Edition host. Currently, he is the voice of local weather and news during All Things Considerd, writing, editing, producing and/or delivering newscasts and features for both KPBX and KSFC. Aside from SPR, Steve ,who lives in the country, enjoys gardening, chickens, playing and listening to music, astronomy, photography, sports cars and camping.
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