Evacuation Order Lifted at Idaho Campground
Editor's Note: Debra Adams, manager of The Meadows RV Park in Ketchum, Idaho, contacted Woodall's Campground Management today (Aug. 22) following a somewhat harrowing five days under an evacuation order due to the Beaver Creek Fire that burned near the park. Excerpts form her report follow.
"We're back at the park and we're open. Everything is fine but a little smoky!" Debra Adams announced today (Aug. 22) as she and her staff at The Meadows RV Park near Ketchum, Idaho, resumed operations at the 43-site park in the shadow of the Beaver Creek Fire, the largest of 51 wildfires currently plaguing the American West.
There was no damage to the campground from the fire, which continues to burn elsewhere in the Sun Valley region. This is the only privately operated campground in the fire zone.
Adams and all but three of her campers evacuated the campground on Aug. 17 under orders from fire officials.
It wasn't evacuated because the fire threatened the campground but because the campground is located on U.S. 75, the only highway in and out of Sun Valley and a key transportation route for firefighters and emergency vehicles, Adams explained.
As it is, the fire burned on the other side of the mountain from The Meadows and never came over the mountain, leaving the heavily wooded mountainside facing the campground intact.
"We still have our beautiful views," she said.
Things weren't so beautiful on Aug. 17 when officials ordered the evacuation. The air around The Meadows was already filled with smoke and posed breathing problems for some older campers, she said. Some left ahead of the evacuation order.
The park was full that day ("We always have a full park this time of year") and many long-termers didn't want to go, she said.
One camper driving a big motorcoach left his RV parked there, got on a plane and flew back to Seattle but said he would return once it was safe.
"Some refused to go, so we let them stay. We didn't feel it was a problem," Adams said.
When she returned to the park on Wednesday, she found three of her former campers waiting to check back in. They had driven down the road to the nearby town of Bellevue and waited out the fire.
"This is such a popular and beautiful area, we have so many people who come every summer who plan their visit to Ketchum and Sun Valley. They were so upset," she said.
Once she returned to the campground, she began to reply to the 42 voice messages left on her answering machine and is hopeful to have a full park soon. "I think we're OK and will get back to business as usual," she said.