Firefighters Gain Upper Hand On Elk Fire

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By Paul Johnson

Pine/Featherville, Idaho ( KMV-TV / KTWT-TV ) - Those fighting the Elk Fire complex between Prairie and Pine Idaho have the flames 75% contained. The lightning caused fire has burned 131,046 acres so far since it began on August 8. To date 83 total structures have been lost. 38 homes and 45 outbuildings. Cost to battle the blaze is estimated to be more then 9-million dollars. With the exception of Fall Creek and Lester Creek Roads, all county roads and some forest roads in the Pine-Featherville area will open to the public at 5 pm, Tuesday August 20. Fall Creek Road and Lester Creek Roads remain open to residents only.

The Rocky Bar Road #135 has been closed due to the Little Queens Fire.

Ranchers will continue to move cattle out of the fire area into the Town of Prairie.

As far as today goes, for the east flank of the fire: Throughout the Pine-Featherville corridor firefighters will continue to patrol and mop-up any smokes and pockets of heat that pose a threat to the control lines or any structures. Crews are pulling out any unneeded pumps and hose in the fire area.

West flank of the fire: Firefighters will hold and mop-up hot spots within 100 feet of the containment line in the area where the burnout was completed yesterday on Lava Ridge to the 2012 Trinity Ridge Fire. Crews will be on the lookout for spot fires across the fire line.

Expect hot and dry conditions again today, with some smoke in the area until about 10:00.am. Maximum temperatures will be in the low 90’s. Minimum relative humidity is expected to be 14-18 percent. Light up-valley and upslope winds will range from 5-10mph.

Road closures are still in effect for the general public for the Pine/Featherville Road, Cow Creek Road and Blacks Creek Road until 5 pm Tuesday, August 20.

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