Idaho City

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.

inciweb.gov

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.

inciweb.gov

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.

Idaho Department of Lands

A wildfire burning 40 miles northeast of Boise is moving away from structures, but continues to pour smoke into the Treasure Valley.

The 2,500-acre Walker Fire started Saturday on private property near Grimes Creek and Mack Creek. The fire is suspected to be human caused.

Burning eight miles southwest of Idaho City in Boise County, the fire has destroyed four structures, including three cabins.

The Idaho Department of Lands says some areas are still under evacuation:

Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

After a fire last month in Idaho City destroyed four iconic businesses, the small town has been trying to bounce back. This Sunday, a group is hosting a fundraiser called the Idaho City Burn Out Bash, which organizers hope will bring people to the town during the normally busy tourist season.

Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

Historic Idaho City is dealing with the loss of five businesses just as its lucrative summer tourism season was getting underway. Officials say a fire started in Calamity Jane’s restaurant on Main Street sometime before 3 a.m. Friday. By the time firefighters extinguished the flames, most of a city block was ruined along with four other businesses. 

Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

Officials say a large fire on Main Street in a small southwest Idaho city has destroyed at least five businesses.

Officials say the fire started in the early morning hours on Friday in Idaho City and was mostly extinguished by 6:30 a.m.

There have been no reports of injuries.

Idaho City is about 35 miles northeast of Boise and is popular among summer tourists.

The cause of the fire hasn't been determined and no damage estimates have been made.

Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

President Barack Obama last week signed a $200 billion Medicare bill that reforms payments to physicians. Tucked inside that massive Medicare bill was a two-year extension of the Secure Rural Schools Act, a federal program that pays rural counties and school districts with a lot of non-taxable forest land.

Dennis Amith / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho City residents have been told they need to boil their water before drinking it. The order went into effect Sunday after high levels of sediment was found coming out of the town's water treatment plant. 

Idaho City's drinking water comes from Elk Creek, which has been running with more soil and debris than normal from the recent rains. Mayor Jim Obland says the boil advisory is an inconvenience but a necessary precaution.

Matthew Podolsky

For the last 35 years, Al Larson has been helping bluebirds thrive in Idaho. He loves bluebirds. He’s known around birding circles as Idaho’s “bluebird man.” “That’s what they call me. I haven’t sprouted wings yet,” Larson chuckles.

Aaron Kunz / EarthFix

Cloud seeding has been around for decades. It started out as a way to make rain for growing crops. But in the Mountain West, it’s used these days as a way to make more snow.

Cloud seeding is often misunderstood. It’s the process of increasing the amount of rain or snow fall when a storm system moves through.

“When you look at cloud seeding, it’s a water management tool -  it’s not something that we use to eliminate a drought," says Derek Blestrud. 

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

A judge has ordered the U.S. Forest Service to take another look at plans to expand exploratory drilling in the mountains near Idaho City.  U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge issued a ruling Thursday that essentially vacates the environmental assessment produced by the agency on the CuMo Mine project.

Lodge concluded the agency acted arbitrarily in determining that expanded drilling would not significantly impact groundwater sources.

Tammie Ogden

As summer gets underway, this year's high school graduates are beginning the next chapters of their lives. Take Ian Woodruff, Laura Coleman, and Mallory Nelson. These three friends from Idaho City have lived in the mountain town of a few hundred people all their lives. All three head off to different colleges in the next few months. That brings excitement and trepidation. They worry about paying for school, making friends and finding jobs after they graduate from college.