Wildfire!

Summer Ablaze

By Marylyn Cork

We had a bit of excitement here in Priest River this summer. On a hot day, wildfire broke out in a timbered, well-settled area only three miles from town. Lots of people, homes and livestock were in its path, to say nothing of the town if it got really wild. Evacuations were ordered and fire crews were called out. Big bombers, too.

My daughter-in-law and I were returning home down Dufort Road on a day the airplanes were in use, and stopped to watch them fly down from the fire to the Pend Oreille River to take up their loads of water, then circle back to the blaze again and again, dropping the water where most needed, and returning to the river to repeat the process. About six of them, I think.

Liz snapped photos while I thought about what I knew of the big fire of 1931, which started near the same spot and destroyed the lower Priest River valley. Would history repeat itself?

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Marylyn Cork

About Marylyn Cork

Marylyn Cork has lived in Priest River more than fifty years and in Bonner County more than sixty years. Writing since she was nine years old, she retired as editor of the Priest River Times in 2001. She enjoys reading, gardening, hiking, camping, and traveling.