CHALLIS, Idaho -- With three earthquakes in less than a week, Challis has experienced an unusual amount of seismic activity, even for a community built near a fault line.

Since March 24, the area in and around Challis has had 21 earthquakes, with the largest one last Saturday, which was a 4.9 magnitude quake.

With so many quakes in such a short period, the University of Utah calls the cluster interesting, and sent a crew to the area to study it.

Scientists who study earthquakes say Idaho is earthquake country, and people in Challis know that better than most.

Just to their south is Borah Peak, the site of the largest quake in the state's history, a 6.9 magnitude in 1983.

Amanda Burnett works at the Village Square grocery store and felt last Saturday's 4.9 magnitude quake.

I was back in my pharmacy cleaning of shelves, and then I heard some rattling, and then I thought I felt something but I wasn't quite sure, and then I realized an earthquake happened, said Burnett.

That quake was the largest in Idaho in the past decade.

However, like the other smaller quakes, there was no damage and no injuries.

Some people think it might be leading up to a big one, I like to think that as long as we have the small ones we won't get the big one, said Linda Dubiel, dispatcher for Custer County.

The crew from the University of Utah is trying to figure out the best place to put three to five portable seismometers to get a better reading on the quakes.

As for the theories on what's ahead, Katherine Whidden, a seismologist with the University of Utah says, Little ones don't keep the big ones from coming, so that part is wrong. It could be a precursor to a big one, but probably not. I think here in the intermountain west there's a 1 in 20 chance that a smaller earthquake will lead to a bigger one.

Of the 21 quakes, no one KTVB spoke to claimed to have felt more than three.

It's not a time to panic, but it is a good time to remember that there can be a large earthquake at any time. Whether there's these earthquakes going on or not, there can be up to a magnitude 7 or 7.5 at any time, said Whidden.

And in Challis there doesn't seem to be much panic.

We live on an earthquake fault, you kind do expect to have an earthquake every now and again, said Dubiel.

The team from the University of Utah will be in Challis for the next several weeks trying to figure out the best places to put these seismometers, and then how long those seismometers will be here at this point is unknown.

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