Crews Expect To Get The Upper Hand On Wildfire Near Gooding
Update, 5:00 AM Tuesday: BLM officials now say crews hope to have the Fir Grove Fire contained by Tuesday evening. The latest estimates of burned acreage now put the fire at approximately 7150 acres. Initially, fire officials had estimated the fire's size at more than 8500 acres.
Original post: Sunday afternoon, the Fir Grove Fire sprang up near Gooding, forcing the partial closure of Highway 46 and Highway 20.
At one point Sunday, the 6,500 acre blaze endangered an Idaho Power line that serves the Wood River Valley. The Times-News reports that firefighters worked into the night to protect the line.
A spokesman with Idaho Power says crews worked with the Bureau of Land Management to disable a part of the line Sunday evening, so firefighters and Idaho Power employees could work safely. One power pole was damaged, but customers in the Wood River Valley didn't have any interruption in power because of a backup source.
The company doesn't expect any other issues with this fire. Both highways are open, and fire managers hope to fully contain the Fir Grove fire by 8 p.m. tonight.
The Lodgepole Fire near Challis continues to grow and with a red flag warning in effect this afternoon there is a good chance for more growth today. The blaze has consumed nearly 10,000 acres. It's burning in areas of dead lodgepole pine. Almost 800 people are working to contain the fire, including seven hotshot crews. They're receiving air support with water and chemical retardant drops.
Residents in Challis have been breathing smoke from this fire since last week. Some of the smoke could move out of the area this afternoon as winds pick up.
In the Boise National Forest, the Ridge Fire is about 35 percent contained. Fire managers say helicopters have played a major role in this fire. More than one million gallons of water has been dropped on the Ridge Fire since it started July 16.