Boise County Sheriffs deputies and the Garden Vally Fire Chief are alerting residents in the Frazier Creek subdivision near Banks they may need to leave their homes because of a fire ignited near Skinnydipper Hot Springs on the Banks-to-Lowman Highway late Sunday.
There are about 15 homes in the far-flung subdivision. Fire officials say the fire was human-caused, but it is unclear if it was by the road or up the hill nearer to Skinnydipper Hot Springs.
The 285 acre Springs Fire is burning about four miles east of Banks. Four hand crews and five engine crews are working the fire on the ground with air support from two helicopters and retardant-dropping planes, officials said Monday morning.
Anyone planning on using the Banks-to-Lowman Highway Monday should expect lengthy traffic delays as the road will be closed intermittently to allow fire crews access to the blaze and helicopters to get to the South Fork of the Payette River to refill for water drops.
Fire officials are also working with local rafting companies to keep kayaks and other rafts from going through the river when helicopters are filling buckets.
The recent string of hot weather, beginning in July, has made the Boise National Forest susceptible to wildfire. A recent fuel moisture measurement in the forest shows Ponderosa Pine and Douglas Fire trees are drier than they were in 2007 and 2006, which were the most recent significant fire years.