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UPDATED INFORMATION: Tuesday Evening Lightning Sparks Eight New Fires In Boise National Forest

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By Paul Johnson

UPDATE ON THE PINE CREEK FIRE AS OF 9:50 AM 7/17/2013 - The estimated 1,500-acre Pine Creek Fire in Boise County is still 10 percent contained.

Fire managers say a successful active night shift kept the fire from growing, despite the storm that came through Tuesday evening bringing with it no rain and wind gusts of 40 miles per hour.

Approximately 240 firefighters will work to suppress the fire today, plus 4 helicopters that are available to work on the fire as needed. Emphasis today will be on solidly securing fire line on the eastern, southern, and western flanks following successful burnouts yesterday. Firefighters also will work to construct hand line along the northern flank of the fire.

Still no structures are threatened, but 9 structure protection engines from the Clear Creek, Wilderness Ranch, and Valley of the Pines volunteer fire departments remain available to protect the Clear Creek Subdivision and other homes in the area if needed.

Grimes Creek Road is open to local traffic but could be closed again at any time because of the danger of rolling rocks and falling limbs.

The Great Basin Type 2 (regional) Incident Management Team assumed command of the fire this morning under the management of Incident Commander John Kidd.

Travelers in the area are urged to use strong caution because of increased fire traffic and at times smoky conditions.

The Pine Creek Fire started at about 3 p.m. on Monday 3 miles north of Highway 21 off Grimes Creek Road in the vicinity of Pine Creek Road. It is burning east from Grimes Creek Road and crossed Casner Mountain late Monday in the Warm Springs Ridge area on the Boise National Forest. The cause of the fire is under investigation, but is believed to be human caused.

Lightning overnight sparked at least 8 new fires across the Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) Southwest Forest Protective District and the Boise National Forest. They range in size from 50 acres to less than one acre. Many of the new fires have been staffed, but fire managers will be looking for new starts throughout the day.


Boise, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) - Strong lightning storms late Tuesday started eight new fires scattered across the central portion of the Boise National Forest. Over 4000 lightning strikes were reported, and fire officials anticipate additional new fire reports as today warms.

The largest is the 50 acre Ridge Fire, located about 15 miles north of Lowman. The running and crowning fire was initially attacked by a fire crew from the Centennial Job Corps Center and aircraft. Additional fire resources will be sent to this fire today. It is burning in remote country with abundant mountain pine beetle killed trees.

The 20 acre Summit Fire is about 14 miles northeast of Idaho City and 4 miles north of the Pilot Peak Lookout. This fire is being managed by the Idaho Department of Lands.

The estimated 3 acre Pilot Fire, located 14 miles east of Idaho City, is near Pilot Peak Lookout. It was attacked by a helicopter with a water bucket. The lookout remains staffed.

The 1 acre Eggers Fire is 20 miles north of Crouch and about 2 miles north of the Silver Creek recreation area. It will be staffed this morning and was burning at low intensity.

The remaining 4 fires are less than one acre in size, and two have been contained. Smoke jumpers and helicopter rapplers were used to staff some of these fires. None of the fires are threatening any structures.

Rain was spotty and varied from very light to somewhat heavy. The maximum accumulation was nearly ½ inch reported at one weather station, but others only had a trace. Wind gusts to 40 miles per hour were reported.
Weather forecasts call for additional lightning in the mountains today, so fire managers are bracing for additional fire starts.
The Pine Creek Fire in Boise County is an estimated 1,500 acres in size and 10 percent contained.

Despite difficult conditions Tuesday with high gusts and lightning, firefighters successfully burned out the southern and southeast flanks of the fire along Wildcat Gulch Road and Grimes Creek Road. Gusty winds caused some spotting to the west of the fire, but hot shots and other crews caught all the spots, preventing the fire from spreading.

Still no structures are threatened.
The Great Basin Type 2 Incident Management Team arrived in Boise Tuesday and will assume command of the fire Wednesday morning under the management of Incident Commander John Kidd.

Today, fire managers will focus on continuing to secure the fire where it is holding and go after the northern flank of the fire.

Travelers are urged to use strong caution because of increased fire traffic and at times smoky conditions.

The Pine Creek Fire started at about 3 p.m. on Monday 3 miles north of Highway 21 off Grimes Creek Road in the vicinity of Pine Creek Road. It is burning east from Grimes Creek Road and crossed Casner Mountain late Monday in the Warm Springs Ridge area on the Boise National Forest. The cause of the fire is under investigation, but is believed to be human caused.

Lightning early this evening sparked 8 new fires across the Idaho Department of Lands Southwest Forest Protective District and the Boise National Forest. They range in size from 50 acres to less than one acre.


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