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Fire Crews Continue To Battle Flames In Whiskey Complex Blaze

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By Paul Johnson

Boise County, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV ) - Officials say that the Whiskey Complex fire is five percent contained and has burned 5740 Acres. The fire, which are two fires that have grown together, have 12 helicopters working at the site. Fire Behavior Specialists at the Whiskey Complex said this morning the fires are burning in fuels that represent typically late August conditions. This demonstrates how the very dry vegetation challenges the suppression efforts. Additional fire resources arriving yesterday included 10 engines, 3 hand crews, and 4 helicopters. The public meeting last night in Garden Valley was attended by about 80 people.
Wash Fire – Strong efforts will continue to hold the high priority south flank along Forest Road 395. Fire fighters are focusing in part on two portions of the road where the fire has crossed it. The road is a key holding point. The southern flank remains about 1.5 miles from the small community of Pioneerville.
On the west flank fire crews continue to make progress working along a forest road to clear vegetation and widen it. Portions of the fire are slowly backing towards the road which is beneficial as the dry vegetation is slowly consumed. That flank is about 2 miles east of the Alder Creek Road. On the north flank, brushing is completed along the SF Payette River Road to its junction with the Grimes Pass Road and on the east flank brushing is done from that junction to a point where that road begins to have switchbacks. Today crews will build handline from the switchbacks south towards Forest Road 395. A spike camp with about 115 people is established at Centerville. The purpose of the camp is to reduce travel time for fire crews to the south side of the fire.
Grimes Fire – The west flank is holding. Firefighters and dozers are working on the east side to complete indirect fire line (line away from the direct edge of the fire) with hope of completing that today. This work is being done to prepare for a possible burnout. A burnout is designed to eliminate fuels before the wildfire can reach a containment point.
Information - There will be a public meeting tonight at 6 PM at the Centerville Community Center. Incident personnel will provide updates on the suppression efforts.
The Garden Valley Rural Fire Department has a contact line for local residents at 208-462-3175 and Boise County has an evacuation hotline number at 208-462-0552.
Closures and Evacuations - Pioneerville (10 homes) and the SF Payette River Road (60 homes) remain under a Boise County Level 2 Voluntary Evacuation. There have been no changes in the evacuation status according to the Boise County Sheriff. Grimes Pass Road is closed north of Pioneerville, along with the South Fork Payette River road. An area closure is established around the Whiskey Complex extending to points near Placerville, Centerville and Pioneerville. The Hot Springs Campground is closed. All other campgrounds within the Forest are open. The Banks to Lowman Road, Highway 17, is open but at times smoky and travelers need to use caution. Boating activities on the South Fork Payette River are not being impacted by the fire with the exception that it may be smoky at times. Rafters need to be alert for possible helicopters dipping from the river in the immediate fire area. Management - The Whiskey Complex remains under Unified Command with the Incident Management Team and Garden Valley Fire Department. Agencies involved in the overall command of the incident include Boise County Sheriff, Idaho Department of Lands, and Boise National Forest.


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