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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Idaho

Some campers at Farragut evacuated, fire camp prepares to move in

Two of the four large campgrounds at Farragut State Park were evacuated last night due to fears of falling embers from the Cape Horn Fire, but the other two remain open – and will soon be joined by a fire camp within the park grounds. The popular state park also has closed all its shoreline and day-use areas because of their limited access, along with the trail system at the north end of the park. “We were concerned if something blew up, there would be no way we could get that many people out of those places in a hurry,” said David White, regional director for the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation in Coeur d’Alene.

Read more: Six structures destroyed in Bayview fire; governor declares it a disaster area

The two campgrounds that were evacuated, Snowberry and Whitetail, were close to full, with more than 100 occupied campsites. Some of those campers moved to spots elsewhere in the park, while others chose to leave and take refunds. “We just felt it prudent to go ahead and take that precaution,” White said. “The users were very understanding and grateful.” A fire camp is preparing to open near a small amphitheater area within the park that years ago was used for Boy Scout encampments. The site has easy road access, power and water, making it ideal for the purpose, White said. A logistics meeting for setting up the camp is scheduled for 5 p.m. today. “We’ve done that a couple other times” at state parks in North Idaho, White said. “We’ve let them bivouac out in a couple of our big open areas.” Farragut hasn’t seen falling embers today like it did yesterday, White said. “That was our greatest concern initially.” But officials still are worried about winds kicking up. “It’s still basically out of the north, pushing it our way,” he said this afternoon. “If the wind would actually shift to be out of the south, it would be a blessing to everyone – it would push the fire back into the burned-over area and help control it.” He added, “The staff is just trying to do what they can to accommodate the folks there, and they’ve just done a great job.”

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