Because the Boise National Forest didn't have its hands full enough with the Whiskey Complex Fires
, which have burned 9,640 acres since July 13, last night's spectacular thunderstorm sparked another 11 fires in the area. David Olson, public information officer for the Boise National Forest, said in a news update that all the fires are less than half an acre and firefighting resources are already on their way.
Fire crews have gotten a pretty good handle on the Whiskey Complex, containing 60 percent of it by this morning with over 1,000 personnel. There are currently 30 crews, 37 engines and three helicopters fighting the fire, with an estimated full containment date of July 28. Spotty rain from the thunderstorms last night and increased humidity have made little difference in the incredibly dry conditions. Today will be hot and dry again.
Pioneerville is no longer threatened by the Wash Fire after crews were able to create a fire line on the southeast corner of the blaze, with the help of helicopters dropping retardants. Fire activity was minimal overnight, and crews will continue to burn fuel to quicken containment of the fire.
Hot Springs Campground reopens today, after being closed for the last several days. Pioneerville and homes along the South Fork Payette River Road remain under voluntary evacuation. Grimes Pass is still closed north of Pioneerville, but the Banks Lowman highway is open, and rafting on the South Fork of the Payette has been unaffected.
Because of wildfires around the country, the U.S. Forest Service announced today restrictions on the use of explosives and exploding targets on national forests and grasslands in the Intermountain region. Exploding targets, well, explode when shot with a rifle and can cause wildfires in the right conditions.
The restriction includes national forest lands in Utah, Nevada, Idaho and Wyoming and will last for one year, until July 22, 2015.