Blaze is Extinguished But Cause of Sunshine Mine Fire Still a Mystery


Four months after fire broke out at the Sunshine Mine near Kellogg in Idaho's panhandle, a mine spokeswoman confirmed this week that the blaze was officially out. The silver mine was evacuated on Feb. 14 when a sensor in the 3,100-foot-deep shaft detected elevated levels of carbon monoxide. Following the evacuation, all oxygen intakes were sealed off to kill the fire.

The Coeur D'Alene Press reports that a spokeswoman for the Denver-based Sunshine Silver Mines Corporation said mine inspections were continuing and it would take several weeks to determine the full extent of the fire's damage. She gave no comment on the cause of the fire.

The company had been working on refurbishing the mine since it purchased the property in 2010. Following the evacuation, the company reduced its workforce because of the high gas levels and fire.

The mine was the scene of one of Idaho's worst tragedies, when 91 men were killed in the so-called Sunshine Mine Fire of 1972.