It’s not clear yet what started the Cherry Road Fire Sunday afternoon. But what is clear is that dry brush and grass have fueled the flames, making for quickly changing conditions between Sunday and Monday.  

The fire is near the Idaho border, and has blown smoke into the Treasure Valley. A Type 2 firefighting team is now working to get control of the fire, which is threatening the popular Succor Creek State Park. 

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

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Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Think of it as a giant bubble filled with wildfire smoke.


Three U.S. Senators were in Boise Monday to restate their support of legislation that would overhaul the way the nation pays for its biggest wildfires.

Senators Mike Crapo, R-ID, Jim Risch, R-ID, and Ron Wyden, D-OR, visited the National Interagency Fire Center for the third time in support of the proposal. 

Jerry McFarland / Flickr

Three environmental groups and two commercial fishing advocacy groups say they will file a lawsuit against the federal government over heat-related fish kills in the Columbia River Basin in the Pacific Northwest.

The groups on Monday sent a 60-day notice of their intent to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for what the groups say are violations of the Clean Water Act.

The groups say 250,000 adult sockeye salmon died in 2015 due to high temperatures in the Columbia River and lower Snake River.

Federal land managers on Thursday approved 10 more years of mining and a 500-acre expansion on public land in central Idaho for one of the largest molybdenum mines in the world.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service each issued decisions allowing the work at Thompson Creek Mine about 20 miles southwest of Challis.

At a mile wide and half a mile deep the open pit mine is the fourth-largest mine producing primarily molybdenum, though it falls a few notches when mines that also produce copper are included.

National Interagency Fire Center/Facebook

When fire activity goes up, MAFFS (Modular Airborne Firefighting Systems) go into action. Right now, two DoD C-130 planes, equipped with this unique fire suppression system, are flying out of Boise.

The planes were called up by the National Interagency Fire Center. You may have seen the giant planes launching over Boise or video from an air drop over a wildfire. We found video of another side of MAFFS: Cleaning out the pipes before bringing on another load of retardant.

Mike McMillan / inciweb.gov

Update Monday at 8:02 a.m.: An evacuation notice for  the town of Lowman that was downgraded yesterday has been raised back up.

The Boise County Sheriff yesterday evening re-implemented a level two evacuation for Lowman after having lowered it to a level one one earlier in the day. Level two is still a voluntary evacuation. The heightened alert comes after winds pushed the Pioneer fire further north.


As hot and dry summer weather continues, land officials hope expanded Stage 1 fire restrictions will keep new human-caused wildfires to a minimum. Parts of Twins Falls, Blaine, Camas and Cassia counties will be affected. Campfires must be within designated campground or other recreation sites, and outdoor smoking will also be limited.


Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

The Barber Dam in east Boise lost power one night in February of 2015. Once offline, the flow of water through the hydroelectic plant stopped – causing the river to run dry for about eight hours.

Simon Engel / Flickr

Last week, an Idaho environmental group accused a plastic bag producer of violating federal laws on reporting toxic waste.

Now the Idaho Conservation League says it was mistaken in its initial assessment. ICL says Novolex’s Jerome facility is in compliance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“We are pleased to say that Novolex has demonstrated to us that its Jerome facility was in compliance with EPA emission reporting requirements,” said Austin Hopkins, Conservation Assistant for the ICL.


The Pioneer fire. a southwest Idaho wildfire burning timber in rugged terrain, on Thursday crossed a state highway fire officials had hoped to use as a firebreak.

Officials say the 20-square-mile blaze burning west to east crossed State Highway 21 about 5 miles south of Lowman.

About 23 miles of the highway are closed from north of Idaho City to south of Lowman.

Fire spokeswoman Susan Blake says ground crews and engines are responding to the area east of the highway where the fire crossed.

Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

A brush fire near a housing development in Eagle was attacked quickly by firefighters earlier this week. They were able to battle the spark in part because of fire preventive measures taken by the developers who built the Avimor neighborhood.

Dan Logan / Flickr Creative Commons

Millions of homes built on the edge of wild areas are complicating the work of wildfire managers who must decide how to deploy the nation's firefighting resources.

Some 44 million homes have been built in what scientists call the wildland-urban interface, most in recent decades. The areas are often scenic but susceptible to fire.

Graphic Artist: Sam Cornett / Solar Roadways Indiegogo

A northern Idaho city will be the first to get a demonstration of high tech hexagonal paving panels that can melt snow, among other features.

The Bonner County Daily Bee reports that Sandpoint is working with Solar Roadways officials to install the panels at Jeff Jones Square. City administrator Jennifer Stapleton says the Solar Roadways owners plan to keep their hometown installation up to date with any upgrades to the panels.

Lake Lou / Flickr Creative Commons

The University of Idaho’s Canyon County extension office wants to give green thumbs a helping hand.

Horticulturist Rich Guggenheim says signing up for the Pest Alert Network is a great way to know what insects are causing problems in southwest Idaho, and how to deal with them.


“The goal is help people know when to spray, if they’re going to choose that option, what to spray with, and – more importantly – the correct way to manage it.”


Officials closed a portion of State Highway 21 in both directions in southwest Idaho on Tuesday due to a 7-square-mile wildfire burning trees, brush and grass in rugged terrain.

Fire managers gave no timeline for when the highway might reopen as some 850 firefighters backed by aircraft work on fire lines to contain the blaze that started July 18.

The highway is closed from east of Idaho City to north of Lowman as firefighters prep the area for defensive operations.

Robert Couse-Baker / Flickr Creative Commons

Ketchum’s water ordinance was put into effect in 1992. To city Public Water Works director Robyn Mattison, the decades-old law shows just how dedicated the city is to water conservation. 

The ordinance bars daytime watering, the idea being that overnight watering when temperatures are cooler is more efficient. Mattison says homeowners are used to the restriction and in the three years she’s been in the position – she hasn’t heard many complaints.

Kelsie Kitz / Pioneers Alliance

Rancher Jim Cenarrusa says he sold 9,000 acres of his central Idaho ranch to the Nature Conservancy because he knows the conservation group will take care of it. The land is at the base of the Pioneer Mountains, and is home to sage grouse and pronghorn.

The family will keep a small parcel for their next generation to farm, but Cenarussa says his kids aren’t interested in carrying on the family ranch.

Dusted / Flickr Creative Commons

Officials are once again working to restore fish habitat in the Yankee Fork basin near the central Idaho city of Stanley.

The Mountain Express reports that the restoration is part of a multi-million-dollar series of projects slated for seven years that will repair damage done by years of dredge mining.

This year, crews are putting logs in a stretch of river and modifying the channel to help return the water to more natural conditions.