T-17 Fire Near INL Forces Evacuation


UPDATE: 4:30 p.m.
An evacuation order was lifted Friday afternoon for hundreds of workers at the INL as firefighters gained group against a wildfire that had scorched more than 36,000 acres in Eastern Idaho. The fire presented "no known radiological hazard to the public at this time," lab officials said in a statement.

As of late Thursday, more than 28,000 acres had burned around the Idaho National Lab, 28 miles west of Idaho Falls. All non-essential employees at the INL's Materials and Fuels Complex were evacuated Thursday night as the wildfire continued to burn north of the facility. The blaze started Thursday afternoon.

A spokesman for the INL said there was no known radiological hazard to the public.

The so-called T-17 fire was whipped by winds Thursday night as flames burned south of state Highway 33. Crews from the Bureau of Land Management, including air support and several bulldozers are on the scene.