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Lodgepole Fire Continues To Burn In Central Idaho

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By Paul Johnson

Challis, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) - The Lodgepole fire continues to burn today. The fire, 10 miles west of Challis is lightning caused and was reported around noon on Saturday July 20. At last count, it has grown to 20,132 acres is 15-percent contained and has 787 personnel working to extinguish it.
Yesterday’s critical fire weather over the fire area resulted in the fire making a three mile run to the northeast which prompted evacuations along Challis Creek in cooperation with Custer County Sheriff’s office. Burnouts along contingency lines took place with the plan of keeping the fire west of Road #173 (Pat’s Creek). Indirect hand and aerial ignitions continued along the western portions of the fire. Power lines were shut off yesterday afternoon for firefighter and public safety in the Challis Creek area. Power was restored later that evening.
Helicopter resources will continue to support hand crews and engines in holding containment lines to slow the fire’s progression. Burnout operations will be completed in southwestern portions of the fire if conditions allow. Objectives include constructing line from Challis Creek, then in a north direction towards Eddy Creek, and northeast towards Darling Creek. Initial attack will be provided as needed.
Today brings the potential of dry thunderstorms to the area. Otherwise, weather conditions similar to the past couple of days are expected. Warm, dry conditions will continue including southwest winds that may become gusty in the afternoon. The moderate inversion affecting Challis should dissipate around noon.
There is an increased use of Challis Creek road, Garden Creek road, the Clinic Road and throughout the town of Challis due to traffic associated with fire suppression efforts. The public is asked to recognize this increased activity. An new, larger area closure went into effect Monday, July 29th.
Closed areas include:
•All roads and trails interior to closure area.
•West Fork Morgan Creek #4143 and #4234
•Mill Creek Campground
•Mosquito Flat Campground


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