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Elk And Pony Complex Fires Continue As Top Concern In The Nation
Boise, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) - More firefighting resources are arriving to battle the growing Elk and Pony Complex fires in Idaho. The fires intensity was slightly lower on Sunday due to a smoke inversion until mid-day, but when it lifted the fires began to move aggressively again. Similar inversion conditions are anticipated today, especially for the Elk complex.
The Elk Complex is estimated at 90,249 acres and 5% contained. Smoke inversion is expected to last until mid to late afternoon today, which should lessen fire activity until the smoke lifts. A Red Flag Warning is in affect from 2 p.m. until 10 p.m. tonight due to a chance of scattered thunderstorms. An additional 15 structural fire engines arrived last night to assist with structure protection efforts. Crews today will focus on protecting structures in Pine and trying to keep the fire from spreading east of the Pine Featherville Road. Firefighters are continuing direct and indirect line construction on the west flank moving up Smith Creek from Prairie toward Cold Springs.
Evacuations have been implemented by the Elmore County Sheriff’s Office from the Johnson Bridge south through Pine. North of the bridge to Featherville, non-residents have been asked to evacuate. The Pine/Featherville Road is closed. Incident management team personnel along with Elmore County Sheriff’s personnel will attempt to enter the Fall Creek area today to assess structure damage/loss.
A community meeting will be held nightly at 6 p.m. at the Pine Senior Center until further notice and as long as fire conditions allow.
The Pony Complex located south of the South Fork Boise River is now estimated at 119,543 and is 20% contained. The fire made a push to the east late in the day but spread was held in check at Highway 20. Crews will continue to work on the northwest and southeast flanks of the fire where behavior is most active. The southwest flank has been secured by dozer line. On the northeast, the fire has burned down to the South Fork Boise River. Scouting continues along Blacks Creek Road for opportunities to stop fire spread to the northeast.
Residents of Mayfield have been allowed back into their homes. Road closures include Blacks Creek Road, Indian Creek Road, Anderson Ranch Dam south on the Dixie Creek Cutoff to Highway 20, Prairie Road/Cow Creek Road north from Highway 20, Canyon Creek/Immigrant Road, Regina/Baseline Road, Mayfield Road and surrounding access roads.
The Boise National Forest has initiated a large area closure that extends roughly on the east side from Road 181 to the junction with the Fairfield Ranger District, Sawtooth National Forest boundary, including the Pine/Featherville road; north from Atlanta along the Middle Fork Boise Road (Forest Road 268) over to the Deer Park Rental Cabin; then west along Forest Road 327 to Idaho City and Highway 21 on the west. Additionally, the Trinity Lakes Recreation area is closed. The Middle Fork of the Boise River Road is open from the Forest boundary only for residents of Twin Springs and Atlanta as long as fire conditions allow.