It’s been three years since the Charlotte Fire ripped through 66 homes in the Mink Creek area south of Pocatello and forced thousands of people to evacuate.
The June 28, 2012, inferno remains Bannock County’s most destructive fire to date and could go down as one of Idaho’s most destructive.
Sean Thorne, who lives in the Mink Creek area, recalls watching as flames reached the base of the hill his home occupies.
“You could see all the junipers and stuff just up in flames,” said Thorne. “The fire was right next to the road. It had to be like a 20-foot wall of flames that was just right there.”
At one point, Thorne estimates the fire was just 200 yards from his home.
He, his mother and his pets were forced to evacuate.
When they returned three days later, they were surprised to learn their home had been spared.
“I expected tons of smoke damage, but I guess the wind saved us on that,” said Thorne.
No one died in the Charlotte Fire, but it did spread to more than 1,000 acres.