Friday, August 9, 2013

UPDATE: Lightning Sparks Slew of New Wildfires

Posted By on Fri, Aug 9, 2013 at 1:00 PM

UPDATE: 4 p.m. Aug. 9, 2013

Law enforcement reopened a stretch of Highway 20 Friday afternoon which had been closed due to wildfires burning near Fairfield.

However, Blacks Creek Road—linking Prairie to Interstate 84—remains closed.

Meanwhile, the Elmore County Sheriff's Department issued a mandatory evacuation Friday afternoon for the town of Prairie—population approximately 100—after the fire threatened homes and property. So far, the fire has burned more than 26,000 acres and destroyed a dozen buildings.


Lightning sparked as many as 13 new wildfires in the region on Wednesday, Aug. 8.

While fire managers say many of the new fires are small—most of them are less than one acre—very dry conditions and abundant lightning sparked the blazes throughout the Boise National Forest. The higher concentration of the new fires are east of Garden Valley and east of Deadwood Reservoir.

Officials say the majority of the new fires have been staffed with a combination of smokejumpers, helitack firefighters, fire crews and engines.

Additional aerial detection flights are being flown today to search for new fires.

Stage 1 fire restrictions remain in effect in the area, which prohibits campfires, except in designated campgrounds.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Land Management continues to fight a series of lightning-sparked wildfires near Fairfield. The fires have forced the closure of Highway 20, from the Pilot Truck Stop in Mountain Home to the Camas County line. The Elmore County fires are estimated to have burned at least 20,000 acres thus far.

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