Those managing the fight against a fire burning in the Boise National Forest near Lowman say the fire could burn for weeks.
Lightning started the Ridge Fire Tuesday evening about 15 miles north of Lowman. It’s estimated to have burned nearly 900 acres. But Boise National Forest spokesman Dave Olson says that number is expected to increase quickly.
“We’re anticipating that acreages are doubling each day,” Olson says. "So if conditions continue as they are, I think we could see increases in acreages fairly substantially each day into the future.”
The Great Basin incident Management Team, a Type Two team, took over firefighting operations Friday morning. Managers are organizing the effort from a command post at the Warm Springs Airstrip.
So far, main roads in the area remain open. But all trails and a few backcountry roads are closed. There are 280 people are working the fire. The effort also includes three helicopters.
Olson says besides drought conditions, there’s plenty of fuel in the area for the fire to consume. Bark beetle and spruce budworm infestations have killed many trees in that part of the forest.
The fire is producing pockets of heavy smoke, especially at night and early in the morning. Olson says smoke from the fire created a haze in Stanley Thursday.
Copyright 2013 Boise State Public Radio