Fire line holds strong

Fire line holds strong; normal operations expected tomorrow


All Idaho National Laboratory Site facilities will have normal operations on Thursday. Normal bus operations also will resume on Thursday. Firefighting crews will be working on and around the roadways, so INL employees and visitors are asked to proceed with caution and avoid loitering on the roads.

New information:

  • The Sheep Fire has burned approximately 113,000 acres.
  • INL and Bureau of Land Management fire crews have made significant progress towards containing the Sheep Fire. It’s estimated the fire is 60 percent contained.
  • The fire no longer poses a threat to key INL research facilities.
  • The EBR-1 Museum will reopen on Thursday.


  • Work was curtailed for non-essential employees at facilities throughout the Idaho National Laboratory Site Wednesday as firefighters worked to contain the Sheep Fire. The work curtailment was a cautionary measure as the fire posed no immediate threat to key research facilities.
    • Those curtailed facilities included the Naval Reactors Facility, Idaho Nuclear Technology and Engineering Center, the Materials and Fuels Complex, Central Facilities Area, the Advanced Test Reactor, and Integrated Waste Treatment Unit.

Information previously reported:

  • Rocky Mountain Power has begun to repair commercial powerlines damaged by the fire on the INL Site. That work will involve blasting of lava rock to seat the poles.
    • Power at the INL Site remains unaffected by the fire or repairs.
  • Cleanup contractor Fluor Idaho, LLC resumed operations Wednesday at the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project and Accelerated Retrieval Project.
  • Bureau of Land Management and INL fire crews supported by other collaborating municipalities are working together to fight the fire.
  • Site operations were curtailed for non-essential staff Wednesday at all Site facilities except for the Specific Manufacturing Capability and the Radioactive Waste Management Complex.
  • No injuries have resulted from the fire.
  • All non-essential employees were evacuated Tuesday from several Site facilities: Central Facilities Area, Advanced Test Reactor Complex, Naval Reactors Facility, EBR-1, Integrated Waste Treatment Unit, Radioactive Waste Management Complex, Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project and Idaho Nuclear Technology and Engineering Center.
  • The Sheep Fire was named because it started near a dirt access road called Sheep Road.
  • The Sheep Fire began following a lightning strike at approximately 6:30 p.m. on July 22
  • Highway 20 and Highway 26 are currently open in all directions.
  • Across the INL, air samples have been collected and will continue to be collected. The air samples that have been analyzed to date show no radioactivity release.
  • Watch a video from this afternoon’s Sheep Fire news conference on INL’s YouTube channel at