Wildland firefighters are having a difficult time dealing with increased winds fanning the flames of the Pioneer Fire burning north of Idaho City. But when private drones fly into the fire zone (there have been at least three instances, so far) firefighters have to ground crucial aerial operations.
The Pioneer Fire grew to 38,072 acres on July 31 and as of Monday morning, it was 30 percent contained. There are around 1,300 firefighting personnel in 32 separate crews on the scene, assisted by 48 fire engines, 13 water tenders, 10 helicopters and eight bulldozers. As the blaze approaches the Sloper Mine, firefighters are planning to strengthen their lines through burnout operations along the Burns Ridge. Meanwhile, hot and dry conditions were expected to prevail again on Monday, and smoke is again likely drift into the Treasure Valley.
Highway 21 remains closed from six miles north of Idaho City to south of Lowman, fire management has issued Stage 1 Fire Restrictions, effective Monday, banning fires and smoking in recreation areas managed by the Boise National Forest, Boise District BLM and state and endowment lands within Ada, Boise, Canyon, Elmore, Gem, Valley and Washington counties.
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Boise National Forest
Drones have ground aerial support at the Pioneer Fire on at least three occasions.
Several pieces of the plaza are still being prepped for full operation, however, including the Main Street Station multi-modal transit center, which is set to begin bus service the morning of Monday, Oct. 24.