It’s been a busy afternoon and evening for firefighters in southwestern Idaho.  Several new fires have threatened structures in the region.  It’s not clear if any have actually burned.

A brush fire has spread quickly near Pole Gulch north of Blacks Creek southeast of Boise. It started late this afternoon and is burning grass and sage.  The Bureau of Land Management says it has ordered two 20-person crews to the site, as well as four engines, two dozers and aerial support.  The fire is south of Lucky Peak.  At 7:30 PM, the BLM estimated the size of the Pole Fire to be 700 acres. 

Humans Caused Most Fires Around Boise So Far

Jul 26, 2012
Mallory Eils / BLM

A total of 80 fires have burned on the Boise District of the Bureau of Land Management this year. Malloy Eils of the BLM says 61 of those have been caused by humans.

This ratio is pretty normal. Seventy-five-percent of fires in a season are usually human caused. Eils says what’s been on the rise, though, is the number of fires. She says it’s because of extra dry conditions.

Fire Moves Fast Near Horseshoe Bend, Homes Threatened

Jul 19, 2012

Update 7:35 p.m. – A BLM spokesperson says the threat of damage to homes near highway 55 and the old Horseshoe Bend Road is greatly reduced. Five fire engines that responded from the cities of Eagle and Horseshoe Bend are being sent home. However the fire won’t be contained for at least 24 hours. That means it could flare up again and spread. BLM crews will continue to work on hot spots through the night.

Bill Volk Planning and Environmental Coordinator / BLM PFO

The Bureau of Land Management and a slew of other agencies are restricting campfires and smoking in South Central Idaho.  Stage One Fire Restrictions start Monday. 

Treasure Valley Students Fired Up About Science

Jun 21, 2012
Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Friday two dozen high school students from the Treasure Valley will present research they’ve done as part of a summer science program. Their research helps government agencies make wildfire decisions.

Bailey Maier displays a poster featuring maps of the World Center for Birds of Prey. They show what plants grow where. Maier points to one map heavily shaded in red. It’s cheatgrass she says. The red is where the invasive weed grows in heavy concentration.

Mountain Home Fire Burns Six Houses

Jun 19, 2012
Mallory Eils / BLM

The Bureau of Land Management says a wildfire burned six homes last night in a neighborhood located on the edge of Mountain Home.  Crews will remain on the scene throughout the day.  The fire has not yet been determined fully contained.  

The fire started around 7:30 PM on the southwest side of the city.  It was spread quickly by strong winds.  No injuries were reported.

Wildfire Near Murphy Burns Nearly 9,000 Acres

Jun 14, 2012

3:57 PM Update:  A spokeswoman for the Boise District Bureau of Land Management says they hope to contain the Con Shea wildfire near Murphy by noon Friday.

“Things for the most part are looking really good right now,” according to Mallory Eils. 

Two hundred firefighters with equipment that includes rigs, bulldozers, air tankers, and helicopters are out controlling the blaze.

10:30 AM:  The Con Shea wildfire started overnight 4 miles north of Murphy.  Since then it’s grown to nearly 10,000 acres. 

O'BrienDigital / Flickr

Two grass fires that burned south of Kuna Sunday were sparked by gunfire.  Both fires were contained by Sunday night and both burned on public land. 

Mallory Eils is a fire information officer for the Boise District Bureau of Land Management.  She says the Kave Fire and the Poen Fire were the result of gunshots.  “Someone was probably out doing some target practice and shooting something that resulted in a spark or maybe an exploding target is a common thing that people shoot at and because of the dry fuel conditions out there a wildfire resulted.”