SE Idaho Ablaze in One of Nation’s Biggest Fires

July 16, 2010

Fire officials say a wildfire that burned across 170 square mile in southeast Idaho is finally fully contained. The Jefferson blaze started as a small desert fire July 13, and by later July 14, had become the biggest wildfire burning in the nation, buring a total 109, 305 acres before being fully contained. The National Interagency Coordination Center estimates the claims to date at $568,000.

About 300 firefighters along with a helicopter, bulldozers, and aircraft battled the blaze around the Idaho National Laboratory. Officials say the fire knocked out power to the laboratory’s Materials & Fuels Complex, where research and development of nuclear fuels takes place. But no critical infrastructure burned.

The complex was about 28 miles west of Idaho Falls.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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