Fire burning near Silverwood theme park spurs evacuations

·1 min read

Jul. 23—Officials evacuated Silverwood Theme Park late Friday afternoon as a nearby wildfire moved close to the park.

The fire is 50 acres and growing, and has destroyed several small outbuildings, said Chris Way, chief of Kootenai County Search and Rescue.

Idaho Department of Lands is leading firefighting efforts. Kootenai County Fire and Rescue has sent personnel to assist.

Structures are threatened, said Mick Thomas, spokesman for the Idaho Department of Lands.

Evacuations have been ordered for the area of Brunner and Neighbor roads, as well as the theme park, according to Kootenai County Fire and Rescue.

Jordan Carter, spokesman for Silverwood, said the theme evacuated about 8,000 people Friday afternoon, according to reports from KXLY.

Silverwood has told employees to be prepared to come to work on Saturday.

Way said several larger structures may be threatened. He could not elaborate if houses are threatened.

He said multiple aircraft, including airplanes and helicopters, were helping fight the fire.

The fire disrupted what was supposed to be a relaxing day for visitors to the park and created a logjam in the parking lot while the fire is still active, according to Jennifer Spicer, a visitor from Zillah.

Spicer was in line for funnel cake with her family when they heard an announcement around 5 p.m. to immediately evacuate the theme park.

She said they were able to get to their car, but have been waiting for 45 minutes to get out and haven't moved at all.

The fire is called the Brunner Fire.

Fire officials said there are about 150 emergency vehicles that responded to the fire. There's heavy traffic as officials close roads and ask people to avoid the area.

This story will be updated.

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