A fire on the Coeur d’Alene reservation that started Monday night has already claimed a few structures, according to officials.
Jason Scott with the incident command center said that the Toetly Fire, which is between Sunny Slopes Road and Ellis Lane near State 5, had already burned 750 acres of land at the time of this report.
Scott said that some structures had been burned by the fire, but the investigation is still ongoing on how many and the extent of the damage.
Tuesday morning the Benewah County Sheriff’s Office reported at least two structures had been burned.
A briefing between the eight agencies who responded to the incident occurred Tuesday morning at the Lakeside Elementary school where crews discussed strategies to keep the fire from approaching certain areas.
At press time it had been reported that the fire was around 5 percent contained.
“On the northside of the fire we have to keep punching out line so we don’t impact Highway 5 anymore,” Scott said. “We need to secure Sunny Slopes Road and Conklin residents and we don’t want to impede on the park. We have to keep the fire from reaching those areas.”
The fire also impacted electrical infrastructure in the area and caused power outages for residents in the area and also temporarily disrupted power for St. Maries customers.
At the briefing it was reported that Avista and Kootenai electric crews will be on site to restore infrastructure damages.
At the time of this report, no mandatory evacuations have been put in place for residents of the area, though Monday night Heyburn State Park officials said that Chatcolet, the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes, and the north side park trails were evacuated due to the fire being close to the park’s western park boundary.
Emergency crews are asking that people avoid Conklin Park Road so that the crews are allowed access to the scene.
Monday night the city of Plummer offered the use of the Plummer Community Center for those who feared they may lose their homes.
Those who want to help their local fire response crews can donate items to the Tribal Headquarters in the Tribal Council Offices.
The crews are in need of water, Gatorade, Powerade and those willing can drop off a dinner meal for the crews. Be sure to follow the Gazette Record Facebook page or suscribe to the Gazette Record Blitz! for up-to-date information on fire emergencies and more.