Here is how the sky appeared, looking to the west from Jeffery's backyard in Rexburg. The sun is a red ball, barely visible through the thick, dark clouds of smoke as the INL wildfire continued to rage out of control Tuesday afternoon, July 13.
On Tuesday, July 13, Kristi, Adele, Camilla and Laura headed off to Girl's Camp near Ashton, Idaho. They will return on Friday. A storm warning was in effect, due to high winds with gusts reaching 55 mph. Around 2 p.m. a wildfire erupted on a federally controlled area known as the Idaho National Lab (INL). With the high winds it quickly burned out of control, sweeping over thousands of acres, becoming the largest wildfire in the nation.
At around 4 p.m. we could observe a huge cloud of brownish black smoke almost obliterating the entire western horizon. Jeffery found the above picture of the Rexburg Temple on the Internet as photographers began posting pictures to the world-wide Web. At this time of the day the sun was still high in the sky but it seemed like night was falling.
Officials later said that due to the high winds the fire traveled 39 miles in the first four hours, covering over 109,000 acres or 170 square miles by 11 a.m. Wednesday. It provided quite a sight to the residents of Rexburg.
Jeffery assured us those at Girl's Camp were safe from the blaze, which by Thursday was finally under control, the winds having died down considerably during Wednesday.