Firefighters Gain Progress On Whiskey Complex Fire


By Paul Johnson

Boise County, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV ) - Further progress was made Tuesday by firefighters on the Whiskey Complex near Garden Valley. Although progress was made firefighters continue to face hot temperatures, windy conditions and very dry fuels. Fire managers repeatedly note how dry the vegetation is for this time of the year which is still somewhat early in the fire season, and how active the fires can become even on the more typically cooler and wetter north facing slopes.

Wash Fire – The homes along the South Fork Payette River road east of Garden Valley are safer tonight following work by firefighters. Some burnout occurred to eliminate vegetation in the immediate area, and along with some construction of fireline the risk to the homes has been reduced. Further work is needed to fully ensure the homes safety, but a big step was made over the past 24 hours.

Grimes Fire – Hot shot crews worked to build fire line on the west flank of the fire, which is a solid beginning to hold the fire along one of its flanks. This fire is very challenging due to the steep and inaccessible terrain. A hotshot crew will work on this fire tonight.

Calder Fire – A new spot fire south of a ridge separating the main fire started late today. It has been staffed with firefighters. Future concerns are for the potential of it moving to the hotter and drier south facing slopes, and the abundance of densely stocked pine plantations that are about 50 years old. These sites have very thick vegetation and could burn aggressively.
The Level 2 Voluntary Evacuation along the South Fork Payette River road remains in place for the 60 homes along the route, and the voluntary evacuation for the 10 homes in the Pioneerville area remains in place.
The Banks to Lowman Road, Highway 17, is open but smoky at times and travelers need to use caution. The Garden Valley Rural Fire Department has a contact line for local residents at 208-462-3175 and Boise County has a hotline number for evacuation information at 208-462-0552.
The Red Cross Evacuation Shelter at Garden Valley High School was closed late today by the Boise County Emergency Management Coordinator. Two people stayed at the center last night.

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