Murphy--The Soda Fire continues to burn out of control in 45 mph winds. For ranchers in the area the winds presented another obstacle in trying to get cattle and horses to safety in remote Owyhee County.
Tens of thousands of cattle graze in the Owyhees from Grandview all the way to Jordan Valley, Ore., south to Silver City and north to Givens Hot Springs along Idaho 78. Bureau of Land Management officials can't estimate how many head have been killed in the fire, which began Monday. But the rapid runs Wednesday and increased fire activity Thursday night destroyed livestock and wildlife.
Fire and BLM officials were helping ranchers open gates to allow the animals to escape the fire Thursday. Twenty ranchers were moving 500 head away from the fire and down Squaw Creek on Friday afternoon according to the BLM.
“It has been devastating to watch the Soda Fire take over parts of Owyhee County throughout the past two days,” said Lt. Gov. Brad Little, a lifelong rancher. “Idaho families are doing all they can to protect their homes, their livestock and their livelihoods as this massive fire only continues to grow.”