Inland Northwest Threatened by Fire, Not Slides

Mar 24, 2014

 

Western Washington is no stranger to landslides, which prompt road closures and train delays there each winter. The threat is much different in the Inland Northwest, where fire and flood top the natural disaster list.

In woodsy and mountainous Shoshone County, Idaho, they have had small slides. “A rock slide back in 2011 up at the Copper Camp area up the Coeur d’Alene River, off I-90,” says Jim Best. Shoshone County Commissioner Jim Best says he’s worried about fire, in a county 80-percent owned by the US Forest Service, but with limited maintenance.

Best: “There’s now at this time twice as much wood no the forest floor then there was before the 1910 fire. You can see standing acres and acres of dead pine, and what that is is really just a kindling box waiting to ignite.”
 
The forest service is in a predicament between anti-logging activists and county commissioners who want logging.
 
In next door Kootenai County, Idaho, the late winter rain spell caused a few small slides, but again nothing of consequence. The county’s disaster services department lists wildfire and hazardous material release as the number one threat, and landslides at number four.
 
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