The Weiser Rural Fire Department responded to a call of a haystack fire on Rock Creek Road on August 6, 2020 at approximately 6:40 pm, according to Assistant Fire Chief, John Stuart. The haystacks were located on the east side of Rock Creek Road, past the cattle guard at the top of the hill. There were 3 – 4 large stacks of hay, estimated at over 400 ton, fully engulfed, as the fire spread rapidly through the individual stacks due to sustained winds of 25-30 miles per hour as well as gusts up to 35 miles per hour.
The fire initially threatened one home near the haystacks, as well as a home approximately ½ mile away, but those homes were spared when the fire pushed southeast toward the hot springs. The fire threatened roughly 12 residences in the area, including the home at the hot springs and three apartments located on the property. The fire was eventually held at the junction of Hot Springs Road and Price Road due to the hard work by the firefighters and landowners. The structure at the hot spring was spared, but sadly the residents and pets that occupied the apartments were displaced when their homes were overtaken by the flames. A shed, vehicles and several pieces of equipment were also destroyed by the fire.
Weiser Rural Fire Department had to utilize all available equipment and 15-18 firefighters and also received mutual aid from the City of Weiser Fire Department and fire departments from Midvale, Cambridge, Payette, Fruitland, Sand Hollow, Ontario, Vale and the Forest Service. Several local landowners were also instrumental in the firefighting activities by utilizing their own equipment to disk fire lines.
The fire was well contained by early Friday morning, but crews continue to closely monitor the area and extinguish hot spots and flare ups.
Thanks to the firefighters and residents working in cooperation, there was no loss of human life resulting from the inferno. Chief Stuart would like to extend his extreme gratitude to all the departments and the area landowners that worked on the Rock Creek Fire. The group effort is greatly appreciated.