Burnout efforts near Featherville have proved effective in protecting the town from the 122,990-acre Trinity Ridge fire, a fire information officer said Sunday afternoon.
"The burnout was very successful. We were very pleased with how that went," Tracy Behrens said.
Three firefighters from Bonneville, Utah, were injured Saturday when a large, rolling log struck them, according to fire information officer Michael Williams. Two were taken to a Boise hospital for treatment.
One had serious injuries to his chest, elbow and wrist, and will be off-duty to recover from injuries for three weeks. Another was treated for an ankle injury, then released back to the crews. A third was treated at the scene for head and neck injuries.
Three new hot shot crews, each with 20 members, have arrived to help with the building of fire lines in the Fairfield area, between Featherville and Pine.
"If we can get line in Fairfield Canyon area, and stop the fire there, then we'll feel more comfortable about Pine," Behrens said.
The fire grew about 3,000 acres on Friday and 10,000 acres on Saturday, but that's considered fair slow-moving for such a large wildfire, said fire information officer Michael Williams.
The fire is about 13 miles from Idaho City. Models have showed that the fire isn't likely to spread to Idaho City, and that's largely because of the winds from the west and southwest.
"There's a less than 5 percent chance," Williams said.
Firefighters continue to clear brush and other fuels along the Pine-Featherville corridor and several fire crews are assigned to structure protection in Featherville.
Featherville has been under an evacuation order since Aug. 18 because of heavy smoke in the area.
The Pine-Featherville Road is closed to all but fire and emergency traffic. An evacuation center for Featherville residents is set up by the Red Cross at the Pine Senior Center and the Pines Resort.
Though Pine-Featherville Road remains closed, the sheriff may allow those with a critical need to access their properties for a short period of time each day up to 7 p.m. on a case-by-case basis. Residents must call 208-590-3845 to see if access is granted.
The Trinity Ridge Fire was lit Aug. 3 by a utility vehicle. Since then, at least four Forest Service cabins and four outbuildings have been consumed by flames. There are about 1,400 firefighters working on the blaze. The fire is so large there are two Type 1 management crews supervising fire fighters one on the north end of the fire and one on the south.
Northwest of Stanley, the 103, 149-acre fire is 7 percent contained. The fire is 18 miles northwest of Stanley, burning in a rugged area of the Salmon-Challis National Forest with large areas of beetle-killed trees.
Primary fire movement on Saturday was to the east. Aerial ignitions are planned to keep the fire's growth in Joes Gulch at a moderate rate and along the ridge tops to hold the fire and maintain the integrity of the Highway 75 corridor.
Idaho 21 and Idaho 75 remain open to traffic through the fire zone. Fire crews did several burnout operations there Wednesday and Thursday, in part to slow the spread of flames towards Idaho 75.
Evacuations for Yankee Fork residents have been lifted; however, the expanded area closure established on Aug. 15 from Yankee Fork east to Squaw Creek is still in effect for the public.
Fire crews are working to hold the fire north of Idaho 75 and east of Idaho 21 with hand crews on the ground, supported from the air by four helicopters.
The Halstead Fire was lit by lightning on July 27. After a month of burning, the growth potential for the Halstead Fire is still listed as extreme.
Here is a list of campgrounds closed in the area because of the fire: Beaver Creek, Lola Creek, Marsh Creek Transfer, O'Brien, Josephus Lake, and campgrounds along the Salmon River from Lower Stanley to Indian Riffles, including; Salmon Campground, Casino Campground, Riverside Campground and Mormon Bend Campground.
The 136,885-acre blaze, just 11 percent contained, is still moving into the Salmon River drainage, east to Spring Creek and north toward Montana.
On Sunday, the complex is under a red flag warning meaning the threat of explosive fire growth is high due to thunderstorms and high winds. Any storms that develop are expected to produce very little rain, gusty 45 mph winds, and lightning. Southerly winds with gusts up to 30 mph are expected on the ridge tops and the south-to-north-aligned canyons after 1 p.m.
On the east side of the Mustang Fire, firefighters are building fire line from the Salmon River and Indian Creek intersection, up through the Indian Creek road matrix to the Butcherknife Ridge.
Fire officials issued a mandatory evacuation order late Thursday to residents in the Spring Creek and Indian Creek drainage because of rapid expansion of the Mustang Complex. A pre-evacuation order has been issued for Gibbonsville, south to and including North Fork.
The lightning-caused fire has been burning northwest of Salmon since July 30. It's about 18 miles west of Highway 93 at North Fork.
The 6,150-acre blaze between Banks and Garden Valley in Boise County was contained Aug. 19.