WILDFIRES – A 50th anniversary public commemoration of the Sundance fire, which killed two firefighters in North Idaho, is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 2, at a U.S. Forest Service bridge 13 miles up the Pack River Road from US 95 north of Sandpoint.
The event will include speakers detailing the background of the blowup that stormed across the Selkirk Divide on Sept. 1, 1967, consuming a swath of timber eight miles wide and 16 miles long in just eight hours.
Fire rehabilitation and reforestation efforts will be viewed during a half-mile walking tour.
Two firefighters were killed just east of Fault Lake while seeking to escape the fast-moving fire. A young man on the Roman Nose Lookout narrowly escaped death as he sought refuge in a snow bank just below the tower.
Fire rehabilitation efforts to reduce soil erosion commenced before the fire was out while reforestation projects continued for more than a decade. The effects of the fire are still visible half a century later.
Sponsors include the Sandpoint Ranger District – US Forest Service, the Idaho Department of Lands, the Society of American Foresters and local museums in Sandpoint, Bonners Ferry and Priest Lake.
Participants in the event must provide their own transportation and bring food, beverages and lawn chairs.