Fire

Matt Guilhem / Boise State Public Radio

A murky, smoky haze hung over the Treasure Valley throughout the weekend limiting visibility and wrecking air quality. The dense cloud hid the foothills and added a yellowish cast to the hot summer sun. Smoke from fires in neighboring states is parking itself over Idaho and cooking into noxious fog.

Thomas VanSelus / Flickr

Update, Monday 3:40 p.m.: The BLM tweeted that Bruneau Sand Dunes State Park has reopened.  

Update, Monday 2:30 p.m.: The wildfire has forced the closure and evacuation of Bruneau Sand Dunes State Park.

A wildfire burning south of Bruneau ignited Sunday afternoon and grew rapidly overnight. Evacuations are in place and firefighters are dealing with high winds.

Major Chris Borders / Idaho National Guard

The Idaho National Guard will hold a memorial for the four people who died in a cabin fire last Friday.

Adjutant General Major General Gary L. Sayler says the Guard will hold the memorial for Lt. Col. James E. Harper III and his son JJ, and 1st Sgt. Erin R. Smith and daughter Autumn. 

“It is with great sadness that I extend our deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones of those suffering from this recent and tragic loss,” Sayler said.

Julio Cortez / AP Photo

After controversy over legal vs illegal fireworks in Idaho in the run up to the July Fourth holiday, the Boise Fire Department reports they did respond to fires over the long weekend caused by fireworks.

BFD reports 13 fires on July 4 and July 5. Four were started by fireworks, and five are still under investigation. That is a drop from last year when ten fires were started by fireworks.

Boise Parks and Recreation Department

It’s been a year since last June’s Table Rock Fire in the Boise Foothills destroyed 2,500 acres of wildlife habitat. Sparked by illegal fireworks, the blaze burned and blackened the sagebrush-covered landscape. Over the last 12 months, a group of people and agencies have worked to restore the area.

Martha Brabec says she’s seeing progress when she travels through the burn area. As Boise Parks and Recreation’s Foothills Restoration Specialist, she’s on the front lines of the fire recovery effort.

IIP Photo Archive / Flickr Creative Commons

Two big wildfires likely sparked by Monday’s thunderstorms continue to burn an hour east of Boise.

The smaller of the two fires is the Sand Point Fire. Firefighters have successfully held containment lines of the roughly 7,800 acre blaze and kept it from threatening structures. It’s burning about three miles south of Hammett. Emergency responders expect to have the Sand Point Fire contained by this evening.

Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

In the latest twist over legal fireworks, an opinion from the Idaho Attorney General's office says aerial fireworks can only be sold to someone with a permit for a public display or event. The controversy over sales of bottle rockets and Roman candles heated up after last year’s Table Rock Fire in the Boise Foothills.

 

NIFC

The National Interagency Fire Center issued its Fire Potential Outlook this week. With the harsh winter depositing plenty of snow in the mountains, the risk of fire for the next few months in the upper elevations should be reduced.

Across Idaho, NIFC is predicting a slow start to the fire season – especially in the mountains, according to Bryan Henry. The manager at NIFC’s Predictive Serives says reserves of mountain snow from the winter are melting slowly.

Bureau of Land Management

An alarm system triggered by the fire let Bureau of Land Management employees know their Challis office was burning Tuesday morning.

The fire, which began around 2:00 a.m., gutted the 14-year-old building. The walls are still standing, but the roof is almost completely destroyed and the inside is scorched black.

 

A Tuesday morning fire has caused significant damage to a U.S. Bureau of Land Management office in central Idaho and an arson task force has been called in to investigate.

The Custer County Sheriff's Office says the fire reported at about 2 a.m. appears to have started on the south side of the building in a shop area.

BLM spokeswoman Sarah Wheeler says the building is uninhabitable for the 30 full-time and seasonal employees.

There have been no reports of injuries, and authorities didn't have a damage estimate.

Boise Fire Department / Twitter

Wildlife habitat managers say it’s essential that the area burned by the Table Rock fire in the Boise foothills be restored to prevent invasive species from taking over. The City of Boise already has $100,000 from the Zoo Boise conservation fund for habitat rehabilitation in the burn scar. But the city has very little expertise rehabbing land.

Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

The Ada County Sheriff says in less than 24 hours over the Fourth of July holiday, his dispatch office received 235 fireworks complaints and 33 reports of grass fires.

Boise Fire Chief Dennis Doan says at least 12 fires in Boise were likely caused by fireworks over the Monday holiday. And the Table Rock Fire in the Boise Foothills last week, which burned a home, was caused by illegal fireworks. The Nampa Fire Marshal says illegal fireworks likely burned down a home Tuesday morning.

Richard Bauer / Flickr Creative Commons

Southwest Idaho officials say illegal fireworks are likely to blame for a fire that destroyed a house in Nampa early Tuesday morning.

Fire Marshal Phil Roberts tells KTVB-TV that the fire started on the home's roof at about 1:45 a.m.

Two people inside escaped unharmed before the home became engulfed in flames.

Roberts says the investigation into the cause of the fire is continuing but neighbors report aerial fireworks going off in the area at the time the fire was reported.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The Table Rock Fire started late Wednesday night and continued into Thursday. By mid-morning officials said it had burned 2,500 acres but was mostly contained. The fire destroyed two structures including a home. Investigators say it was caused by fireworks. 

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

In June of 2014, we first told you about a new place that was under construction in Boise where refugees and others would soon be able to own small businesses. Last April we introduced you to some of them as the Boise International Market celebrated its grand opening. But over the weekend the market burned.

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