Update: Highway 55 Reopens
Updated: 5:30 p.m. August 10, 2012
Idaho Highway 55 near Banks is back open without restrictions. The Idaho Transportation Department urges drivers to use caution and watch for falling rock. The road, between Gardena and Smith Ferry (milepost 75-97) re-opened this afternoon.
Updated: 8:30 a.m. August 10, 2012
Idaho Highway 55 is once again closed this morning due to fire, falling rocks and debris. The closure is from Gardena Road to Smith Ferry Drive-High Valley Road (milepost 75 to 97). The section of road closed just before 6 this morning.
The Idaho Transportation Department also has closed a part of Idaho 21 between Grandjean Road at milepost 93.75 and the Elk Meadows turnoff at Iron Creek Road. That's about seven miles south of Stanley at milepost 122. The road closed Thursday afternoon and remains closed this morning due to a brushfire.
Updated: 12:43 p.m. August 9, 2012
Idaho Highway 55 near Banks is back open without restrictions. The Idaho Transportation Department says earlier today drivers had to follow a pilot car from milepost 79-82. Now the road is completely open.
Drivers are still advised to use caution in that area given that the Springs Fire continues to burn.
Updated: 8:22 a.m. August 9, 2012
Highway 55 closed Tuesday afternoon when the Springs Fire burning near Banks loosened rocks. Those rocks ended up on the roadway. This morning, the Idaho Transportation Department reopened a section of Idaho 55 near Banks. Pilot cars will guide drivers through the area.
The Banks to Lowman road (old Highway 17) is open this morning with no restrictions.
August 8, 2012
Highway 55 remains closed today due to the Springs Fire burning near Banks. The fire has loosened rocks, which have rolled onto the roadway.
The fire has also affected Highway 17. From Banks to Crouch, only one lane is open and a pilot car is leading traffic.
David Olson with the Boise National Forest advices Highway 55 travelers to take Highway 95 to McCall and back through Wieser and New Meadows. It will add about an hour to the drive.
The Springs Fire has burned three-thousand acres. It no longer threatens homes in the Frazier subdivision, but could jump Highway 55 and burn closer to Banks.
Olson says fire danger is high in the area. In response, fire restrictions are in place on campfires and smoking in the forest.
“The fires that are caused by humans are preventable," says Olson. "We’re hoping that the restrictions and a strong prevention effort by all involved will help to prevent any new starts.”
There’s no word when Highway 55 might re-open.
Copyright 2012 Boise State Public Radio