Monday, June 18, 2012

More Idaho Wildfires; Red Flag Warning in Effect

Posted By on Mon, Jun 18, 2012 at 9:16 AM

Hundreds of motorists were eyewitnesses to the region's latest wildifire, which erupted late Sunday six miles west of Mountain Home, along Interstate 84. Eastbound lanes of I-84 were shut down for a time overnight while crews knocked down the fire, which torched approximately 200 acres.

Bureau of Land Management firefighters estimate that the Cole Fire, off of Pleasant Valley Road near the Idaho State Prison, burned approximately 290 acres over the weekend. Firefighters brought the blaze under control late Sunday.

Meanwhiile, BLM crews, including a helicopter and eight engines, are still battling a wildfire six miles north of Stanley. The Elk Fire, burning mostly lodgepole and pines, crossed Highway 21 in multiple spots on Sunday.

Additionally, investigators said they're pretty certain a large wildfire that burned nearly 9,000 acres north of Murphy late last week was human-caused. A BLM spokeswoman said either a cigarette or campfire was probably responsible for the blaze, which started on the banks of the Snake River. Approximately 100 firefighters were needed to battle the Con Shea fire.

Firefighters are far from being out the woods just yet.

The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning, in effect until 6 o'clock this evening. Low humidity, high winds and a dry cold front are a dangerous combination and result in what the weather service calls "critical fire weather conditions."

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