NASA put on its website a satellite image of the fires that started Aug. 8 and have grown to more than 300,000 acres in less than a week.
John Glenn the Bureau of Land Management operations manager at the National Interagency Fire Center told me the Haines Index, which measures how how dry air conditions effect fire behavior, was at its peak of six the day the first started. The upslope south winds lined up with the topography in the area to create a chimney effect in the valleys around Anderson Ranch Reservoir. These were perfect conditions for the fires to grow rapidly.
In one day the Elk Complex was already 100,000 acres.
For all the justifiable reasons Idahoans want to see more active management to reduce the fuels in these forests, the unprecedented heat, weather conditions and dryness that generated those huge columns in the clouds six days ago overwhelmed all else. Once they form the fire creates its own weather and all bets are off.