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Falconberry Ranch Fire Pictures
 
A fire began on August 10, 2003 at, or near, Falconberry Ranch which burned over 24,500 acres of the Salmon-Challis National Forest. According to a U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service news release issued on August 20th, "The fire was human caused by an escaped campfire in the vicinity of the Falconberry Ranch. All the buildings were destroyed by the fire."

Based on an article found at The Challis Messenger Online, four men later pled guilty in a federal court for causing the fire. They were campers traveling on horseback who incorrectly believed that they had thoroughly extinquished their campfire on the ranch property before heading out for the day. The men returned to find the camp and their equipment burned. The campers were fined and the Forest Service is attempting to secure restitution for the nearly $500,000 in fire suppression costs.

Some pictures of the fire can be seen at the Salmon-Challis National Forest Fire Photos web site.

The following photographs come courtesy of Gail Baer, a public relations specialist with the Salmon-Challis National Forest. Ms. Baer sent these in response to my request for any pictures that she might have of the fire at Falconberry Ranch. I am indebted to Ms. Baer for her helpfulness.

You can also see pictures taken of Falconberry Ranch a couple of weeks prior to the devastating fire.

August, 2003

Looking south, smoke from the fire at Falconberry Ranch rises into the sky. This aerial view, taken toward the south, shows smoke rises from the area of Falconberry Ranch.
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A westward view of fire. Here is a closer look at the area around Falconberry Ranch facing west. The fire began from a camp fire on ranch property.
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Looking toward the east. This picture was taken facing in an easterly direction.
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This is a closer look at the area of the fire. Here is another angle of the view toward the east of the area around Falconberry Ranch.
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The sun is peering through the smoke of the Falconberry fire. The sun peers through the smoke in this unique view of the fire taken on August 12th.

All the major buildings of the ranch were destroyed by the fire. The guest cabins, lodge and maintenance buildings were all totally destroyed in the fire. The tennis court and the landing strip are visible. Interestingly, the tack shed, at the edge of the creek near the top right of the photo, appears to have survived the fire.
A closer look at the aftermath of the fire. This is a closer view of the destroyed guest cabins and lodge. Only the chimneys remain standing surrounded by sorched grass and trees.
The remnants of the maintenance buildings. This photo looks toward the north where the maintenance buildings once stood. The Fordson tractor and Cletrac bulldozer are still standing in the middle of the picture.
Original source of Progression map was http://www.fs.fed.us/r4/sc/fire/pics03/maps/falconberry819.jpg A Progression Map shows how the fire spread from its start at Falconberry Ranch (labeled "10" on the map) up through August 19th.
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