Fire season is off to an intense start in the Inland Northwest as the Cape Horn wildfire rages just outside of Sandpoint, Idaho, burning 2,000 acres and remaining 0% contained as of today.
The Cape Horn Fire began on the afternoon of July 6th, south of Sandpoint along the shore of Lake Pend Oreille near the community of Bayview. It consumed 500 acres in less than 12 hours and has since destroyed eight structures (including six homes), while forcing the evacuation of at least 600 residents thus far. An evacuation shelter has been set up at Timberlake High School along Highway 54 in nearby Spirit Lake, ID, and many other residents of Bayview have been given a pre-evacuation notice, meaning they should be ready to go at all times.
150 personnel assigned to the blaze have created fireline around much of the fire, but due to recent weather with gusty winds and thunderstorms, incident command is waiting to see if the lines hold before announcing any official containment. Cooler temperatures and increased humidity on Monday led to minimal fire growth, though a red flag warning was in effect as of today, as changing weather conditions could potentially result in more fire activity. Recent, extremely dry conditions have made the area vulnerable to fast-moving wildfire, with steep terrain and a rockslide making initial progress on the fire slow.
The cause of the fire is still investigation and 287 structures remain threatened.