9 Scary Fires Currently Burning in Idaho
Smoky haze may be a thing in Idaho for another six weeks, and that's if zero new wildfires emerge. The fires that are eating up acres of Idaho land now may not be fully contained until mid-autumn. Oh no!
The Pioneer Fire has been creating an emergency situation near Priest River and prompted evacuations and road closures in the Bodie Canyon area on Friday. Those in Bonner County who have had to leave their homes are sheltering at the Priest River Community Church and livestock are being protected at the Newport Rodeo Grounds. They're still investigating the cause of the fire.
The Cougar Rock Complex is, unfortunately, hosting ten wildfires that kicked off because of lightning strikes around July 7th. Firefighting is extra tough because the flames are in steep terrain, and they're saying more than seven thousand acres have burned about 30 miles north of Orofino, ID. Full containment is not expected until Sept. 15.
The Dixie Fire is happening 40 miles southeast of Grangeville and 15 miles south of Elk City, and as of Friday, that fire had burned a whopping 41,000 acres! That's 58 square miles and it's taking more than 300 firefighters to battle the blaze. They think it was started by lightning around the 4th of July, and it's going to keep burning until almost Halloween. The estimated containment is Oct. 30.
The Jumbo Fire is burning west of the Dixie Fire and it's burned almost three thousand acres. Hardly any progress at all has been made containing this one, and it's marching south towards the Salmon River from Teepee Creek. Since it's at zero containment, there is no estimation for when it might be fully contained.
The Granite Pass Complex has four fires burning on the west side of Highway 12 near the Lolo Pass Visitor Center and they've burned almost five thousand acres. This fire is only about 30 percent contained and more than 250 firefighters are working on it.
Lolo Creek and BM Hill Fires have burned more than four thousand acres in the Lolo National Forest northwest of Highway 12. Some are still zero percent contained, and one is over 80 percent contained. There have been evacuations with these fires.
The Haynes Fire is almost 100 percent contained, and it has been burning since July 16th, 11 miles south of Salmon in steep, rocky terrain. Helicopters have been dropping fire retardant from the air. The Mud Lick Fire is burning 22 miles west of Salmon and has scorched more than 19,000 acres. It was started by lightning and is about 70% contained now. It could take most of August to extinguish.
The Honeymoon Fire was caused by lightning and it's burning about a mile northwest of Honeymoon Lake on the Middle Fork Ranger District in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. The fire kicked up in the 2007 Cascade Complex fire scar.
The Leland Complex has two wildfires burning and both were started by lightning on July 7th. The Pine Creek and Sand Mountain fires are 67 percent contained and have burned more than 3400 acres.
And now, for the good news. The Pine Creek Fire is now 100 percent contained, and that had been burning about 2.5 miles southeast of Julietta, ID. Progress is happening, but there are no instant fixes.
KTVB has been keeping us updated on the status of the fires, and you can see the list HERE. Our firefighter heroes have been doing an amazing job of battling these blazes, and they deserve a huge thanks (along with a nice long nap).
They could be battling these blazes for several weeks longer.