Thick, black smoke plumed high into the bright blue skyline last Saturday from a fire that erupted at about 5:15 p.m. at Jackson’s Wrecking in Kamiah.
The absence of hydrants in the area required the use of multiple water tenders including Nezperce, Cottonwood, Glenwood/Caribel and Kooskia. “We really want to thank them for helping out, they were a super part of the team,” said Kamiah Assistant Fire Chief Doug Lane.
“From what they tell me, it was a HOT one,” said Kamiah Fire Chief Dan Musgrave, who was out of the area when the fire broke out. “By the time they got the call out, things were pretty well in a state that it had to be a defensive fire, fought from the outside. They kept it from spreading to Pineda’s next door,” added Musgrave.
Some Kamiah residents said they heard a large explosion, while yet others said there was more than one.
Multiple streets were blocked to traffic for hours and power lines were shut down while fire crews worked on containing the fire.
Tackling a fire located at a wrecking yard adds to the element of danger due to the potential of highly flammable equipment in close proximity to buildings and structures.
A large stack of wood aggravated the crews’ efforts to extinguish the blaze which continued to smolder into the night, then it flared up the following day. “Wood is hard to put out when it is stacked so high,” said Lane.
“As far as the firefighting, those guys did a great job, they never gave up, they worked really hard,” added Lane.
According to Musgrave, further details of the fire are not available at this time due to an ongoing investigation by the Idaho State Fire Marshal.