Stanley Airport use not hampered by house fire near landing strip

The house that burned down early Sunday is about 70 feet west of the Stanley Airport landing strip.
The house that burned down early Sunday is about 70 feet west of the Stanley Airport landing strip.

No one was at home when a fire engulfed a two-story log house near the landing strip at the Stanley Airport early Sunday morning, a fire official said.

The private house is on the west side of the landing strip, said Sawtooth Valley Rural Fire Chief Andy Gunderson.

“Their front door to the edge of the landing strip is probably 70 feet,” Gunderson said.

Stanley is a tiny mountain town about three hours drive from Boise. Airport operations have been unaffected by the Sunday fire, said Mike Pape, administrator for the Idaho Division of Aeronautics.

“The airport was not impacted at all by the fire,” Pape said. “It’s business as usual at the Stanley Airport.”

Rafters, hunters, hikers and others access the Central Idaho wilderness from Stanley. The town’s airport is one of the busiest small airports in the state, with 3,300 take-offs and landings each year — and that’s just for six months of operations because it’s closed in the winter.

Four years ago, the Idaho Transportation Department paved 1,600 feet of the runway (there’s another 1,000 feet of turf), enough for the small planes coming in and out of Stanley, Pape said.

The fire was reported at 2:59 a.m. Sunday. The house was already engulfed in flames at the time it was reported, Gunderson said.

He said the property is owned by the family of the late backcountry pilot Bob Danner.

None of a handful of buildings at the Stanley Airport were threatened by the fire. Pape said there’s just one building on the airport field (a shop and gazebo), and four or five others outside the field.

The cause of the fire is unknown but not considered suspicious, Gunderson said. Investigators from the Idaho State Fire Marshal’s Office arrived Sunday afternoon.

Katy Moeller: 208-377-6413, @KatyMoeller