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Winds Are Concern For Firefighters Working Whiskey Complex Fire

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By Paul Johnson

Boise County, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV ) - A forecast of stronger westerly winds due to a cold front passing to the north Thursday may increase winds which would challenge fire managers with the potential of the fires in the complex burning actively. Very high temperatures and the extremely dry fuel conditions have challenged firefighters since the beginning of the lightning caused fires. The fires have burned 4,500 acres and the Complex is 3% contained with 300 personnel involved. Estimated full containment is July 30.

Wash/Calder Fire – The two fires burned together yesterday and will now be called just the Wash Fire. The Wash Fire moved upslope from the South Fork Payette River Wednesday toward the Calder Fire which was established above the river along a prominent ridge. The west flank is about 2 miles east of the Alder Creek Road.
Today, the top priority is to hold the fire from moving further south. The southern flank is about 1/12 miles from the small community of Pioneerville. The community remains 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.


Grimes Fire – The west flank of this fire is holding. Firefighters will begin work Thursday to complete indirect fire line (line away from the direct edge of the fire) to prepare for a planned burnout. A burnout is designed to eliminate fuels before the wildfire can reach a containment point and it is done only if weather and fireline work is conducive for such action.

Community meetings are scheduled for Thursday at 6 PM at the Garden Valley High School and Friday at 6 PM at the Centerville Community Center. Incident personnel will provide updates on the suppression efforts at the meetings. An area closure is established around the Whiskey Complex extending to points near Placerville, Centerville and Pioneerville. The Hot Springs Campground is closed. The Banks to Lowman Road, Highway 17, is open but at times smoky and travelers need to use caution.


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