42 homes lost to the Lawyer Complex Fire, Idaho

Update from Ed:  The Lawyer Complex fire is within 1/4 mile of the McNeil home (Joe McNeil, owner and operator of The Micro Effect broadcast network).  The family has been told to evacuate but are going to stay and fight as long as they can and if necessary try to salvage as much as they can.  Joe reports looting is occurring in the area. Family requesting prayer.


KAMIAH, Idaho — The Lawyer Complex has burned 42 homes and 75 other buildings, according to Northern Rockies Incident Management Team.  

The death of a 70-year-old woman is the only reported death so far, according to the Idaho County Sheriff.

Officials said 70-year-old Cheryl Lee Wissler of Adams Grade died Friday evening when she fell and sustained a head wound while preparing to evacuate. At least 30 of the structures burned were homes.

Lawyer Complex FireThe fire is currently burning 20,580 acres, according to Idaho Department of Lands and holding at 15 percent containment.

Officials said Level Two and Level Three evacuations have been put in place due to the Lawyer Complex burning between Kamiah and Orofino. The fire is one of several fires that make up the Clearwater Complex fire. That includes the Lolo 2 fire near Weippe and the Fisher Fire in the Big Canyon area.

Mandatory evacuations were put in place for the areas west of Kamiah city limits Friday afternoon. These areas include Pine Ridge and Bethman Addition.

All of Kamiah proper and surrounding areas are under Level Two evacuation orders, meaning these people should be packed and ready to evacuate at any time. These areas include Harrisburg East, Caribel, Tom Taha, Adams Grade, Kamiah proper, East Kamiah, Woodland Grade, Frasure Grade, Ridgewood, and Fort Misery.

A Red Cross evacuation center has been set up at Kooskia Elementary School located at 306 Pine Avenue.

Wildfire season accelerated in Idaho on Thursday with flames spreading across sagebrush steppe in the southwest and burning through forests in mountain regions.Officials said there are 775 personnel working on the complex as of Saturday night. Additional Type One and Two incident management teams were ordered for the complex and several other large fires burning within the state.Crews are concerned about a cold front that will be bringing thunderstorms to the area. Officials expect strong winds to move into the area and it could change the fire’s behavior. Officials from the Idaho Department of Lands said the complex began around 5:30 p.m. August 10.

Hundreds of lightning strikes, high winds and hot temperatures helped the complex grow. The fire is primarily made up of three large fires. The fire is now part of what is being called the Clearwater Complex Fire and includes four other wildfires nearby.

Four miles of Highway 64 are closed except to local traffic.

Officials shut down U.S. Highway 95 again in southwest Idaho due to a 187-square-mile fire whipping through grassland and sagebrush.

Fire spokeswoman Carrie Bilbao says light rains last spring boosted growth of invasive cheatgrass that then dried and helped set the stage for the massive fire that has destroyed at least 15 square miles of top-level sage grouse habitat.


6 thoughts on “42 homes lost to the Lawyer Complex Fire, Idaho

  1. A couple of interesting points I want to make:

    1. Kamiah is (or once was) where Bo Gritz’s “covenant community” (aka POA) of “militia/patriot/sovereign citizens is/was, cannot remember what it was called…drove thru there visiting friends and interviewing for teaching job in Koosia, just south of there.
    2. Heavily populated by Nez Perce nation.
    3. Orofino, as well as Kamiah and Kooskia, used to or still does have a lot of the above mentioned patriot/militia types, as well as heavily Mormon.
    4. Not too far north of there is the so-called hot bed of neo-nazis.

    What I am saying here is that it is no coincidence that this fire is raging out of control. And all of these towns are pretty much surrounded by national park/state park lands. Oh, and as with Oregon and Washington, Idaho tends to be drought stricken this time of year. Gee you’d think the FedGov would at least attempt to mitigate fires in lands they are at some point going to have to hand over to China as collateral for debt.

Join the Conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *