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Monday, August 12, 2013

Massive Idaho wildfire threatens lives, homes

The giant Elk Complex wildfire is burning out of control, threatening Pine-Featherville, Idaho, and sparking evacuations. This is the second time in as many summers that the area, 100 miles east of Boise, has dealt with a sweeping wildfire. Officials say that, as of Sunday night, the blaze was only 5% contained.

Last summer's Trinity Ridge Fire, which at the time was considered a fast moving blaze, consumed 150,000 acres total, with less than 25,000 charred in the first week. In comparison Elk Complex is practically sprinting - it has blackened 80,000 acres in three days.

Rolling wildfires can have adverse effects on climate and weather, with major impacts on atmospheric pollution. Cardiovascular and respiratory problems are often exacerbated by such events, and these effects can stretch well beyond the geographic location of the blaze.

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