Thursday, July 24, 2014

Scratch That, It's 27 Fires in the Boise National Forest—and One Here

Posted By on Thu, Jul 24, 2014 at 11:29 AM

click to enlarge A fire burned 300 acres of brush and grass south of Boise Wednesday. No structures were damaged. - KTVB
  • KTVB
  • A fire burned 300 acres of brush and grass south of Boise Wednesday. No structures were damaged.

On Wednesday, we reported 11 new fires sparked in the Boise National Forest during Tuesday night's impressive thunderstorm. But as the day went on, lookouts spotted more. A total of 27 new fires were sparked by lightning the night of July 22. The majority are already staffed and remain less than an acre in size—14 of them are already contained. Two new fires are garnering special attention, though.

The Mack Fire is currently burning 300 acres, 14 miles northeast of Boise in the Wildhorse Creek drainage, and it's being managed by the Idaho Department of Lands. The Boise County Sheriff's Office has notified approximately 15 homes half-a-mile away from the fire, but no evacuations have been issued yet. Air tankers are dropping retardant between the fire and homes to reduce risk. Helicopters, five crews, three engines and two dozers are working on the fire today. Breezy forecasts that could cause rapid spread have fire officials concerned.

The Fan Fire is burning half-a-mile away from Highway 21, five miles from Idaho City. The highway is open, and the fire is estimated at 10 acres. With the help of crews from the Whiskey Complex, the fire is now fully contained.

Meanwhile, the Whiskey Complex still burns, but crews have a good handle on the fires. Almost 9,500 acres have been burned, but the complex is 75 percent contained. The evacuation order for 60 homes on the South Fork Payette River Road has been lifted. The volunteer evacuation order for 10 homes near Pioneerville is still in effect.

A handful of fires sparked in the Payette National Forest recently as well. The Cottonwood Fire, 15 miles northeast of Council, has grown to 40 acres, with no containment so far. The other four are less than an acre in size and most are near full containment. 

And much closer to home, a lightning-caused fire burned 300 acres south of Boise on Wednesday, near South Cole and Vallejo roads. KTVB reported that the Boise and Kuna fire departments were on scene with some 15 engines, a dozer and two air tankers. Crews were able to get the fire under control by Wednesday evening and worked on containment throughout the night. Nearby homeowners were told to prepare for evacuations, but never needed to leave. The fire is expected to be contained today.

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