Cabin owners optimistic cabins will be saved from Badger Fire

More than 20 cabins are in proximity to wildfire
Published: Sep. 25, 2020 at 7:51 AM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) -The Twin Falls County Sheriff’s Office posted on Facebook Thursday night that the Badger Fire had reached Little Fork and threatened to come up over Magic Mountain towards the cabins. The U.S. Forest Service had requested that anyone at the cabins should prepare to leave immediately, and they would not be allowed back to the cabins until further notice.

There are more than 20 cabins in proximity to the Badger Fire, and some cabin owners KMVT talked to early Thursday said they are optimistic their cabins will be saved from the devastating wildfire that has destroyed more than 89,000 acres and has been burning since Saturday, September 12th.

Cabin owner Brad Perkins has had a cabin in the Magic Mountain area for almost 50 years. He said his family built the cabin from the ground up with sweat and tears. Therefore, if anything happened to it, he would be heartbroken.

“There are a lot of memories that can’t be replaced because a lot of relatives of my family that helped build it are no longer with us,” Perkins said.

He said prior to Thursday’s warning he and other cabins owners were allowed to go up the mountain to check on their cabins and collect any personal belongings.

“They (U.S Forest Service) recommend that we just go in and out get what we need to, and just come back down, and not spend the nights yet or anything,” Perkins said,

He also said he has been in contact with a U.S Forest Service liaison who has been giving him daily updates on the progress of the fire, and where it is in proximity to cabins. Perkins said last he heard the fire was about half a mile away from his house.

Perkins said in 2012 a fire came to the doorstep of his cabin, surrounding it in a horseshoe shape, and the Rock Creek Fire Department had to pump water on the roof of the cabin. There were also hot shots from the U.S. Forest Service. The fire was literally right down to the propane tanks Perkins said, but the firefighters were able to save his cabin, and he believes they will be able to do the same this time too.

Twin Falls County commission Brent Reinke who also owns a cabin in the Magic Mountain area, said he and other cabin owners are familiar with wildfires in the area, but this one is different.

“Never like this. This is one that you kind of lay awake and pray about because it came terribly close,” Reinke said.

Like Perkins, he said his cabin has a lot of memories attached to it, and he would hate to see a wildfire come through and take that all away.

"Kids growing up. Kids enjoying the snow in the Wintertime, and the beautiful changing seasons in the Summer and Fall, Reinke said. “Just a lot of memories family-related and close friends. That’s kind of what we enjoy about it.”

There is still a lot of uncertainty with this fire with it being only 49 percent contained and firefighters dealing with strong winds and extreme dryness,  but both men said they are very confident in the abilities of the men and women fighting this fire, and in the end, they believe their cabins will be standing.

“Thank every firefighter up and down the mountain that you run into because they [are] from all over the state of Idaho, especially the Magic Valley,” Reinke said. “We [have] people willing to stand up and fight to try to preserve what we call a family cabin that is so precious to us, and we are really grateful it stands today.”

When it is all over with Reinke said he wants to go up to his cabin and take a walk to see how close the fire came, but he also wants everyone on the mountain fighting the fire to be to go home safe their families.

“The thing we were praying about and concerned about is all the people that are fighting this fire, you know we lost an aircraft in a fire in Idaho earlier this week,” Reinke said.

Fire officials last reported that there are nearly 400 people fighting this fire.

Copyright 2020 KMVT/KSVT. All rights reserved.

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