Transfer Fire reaches 200 yards from nearest home; aggressive initial attack prevented structure damage

Wednesday August 19, 2020

(Grangeville, Idaho) – The Transfer Fire is holding at roughly 40 acres after it was first reported about 9 p.m. Pacific Time on August 17 about 6 miles east of Grangeville. The fire started off the Mount Idaho Grade Road in steep terrain with mature timber. The first priority was to prevent the fire from going up toward homes and from heading down and crossing the South Fork Clearwater River.

The initial fire attack was handled by USDA Forest Service fire crews who assisted the Idaho Department of Lands (IDL), the agency now managing the fire.

While the fire did head uphill in the initial stages, it did not reach homes and there were no evacuations, although residents were told to be prepared. The fire was as close as 200 yards away from the closest home. As many as 50 homes were immediately threatened by the rapidly-moving fire. Today, the risk to homes has greatly decreased and is considered unlikely.

The fire was kept small thanks to the assistance from the Forest Service and the emphasis on aggressive use of aircraft on the fire initially. As many as 5 aircraft were in the air at the same time, including fixed-wing aircraft dropping fire retardant, and large helicopters dropping water during the fire’s peak yesterday.

Today at least 100 fire crew members are on the fire, mainly digging fire line, with the help of a bulldozer. Aircraft are not necessary. Hose has been laid around the perimeter, with the ability to spray water every 100 feet. This has brought fire containment to 20 percent and assurance to residents that there is no need to evacuate at this time. IDL is working with residents and the community to spread the word about the fire and will provide news of any status changes that may potentially bring new threats to homes. Right now there are no large flames visible from the fire, and it is not moving outside of the 40 acres.


Media Contact
Robbie Johnson, Idaho Department of Lands PIO
(208) 908-1786,