Wildfires burning across Southwest Idaho

Lightning from storms passing through region Tuesday night touched off several blazes.

kmoeller@idahostatesman.comJuly 4, 2013 

There's a chance of more storms cells - and lightning - over the next couple days, according to the National Weather Service.

Wednesday marked the end of Boise's triple-digit heat wave. The high was 99.

"We had some cloud cover," Weather Service meteorologist Dave Groenert said. Highs through the weekend will be in the 90s.

Conditions in the region are dry - about four weeks ahead of normal, said Dave Olson, a spokesman for the Boise National Forest.

"There's a high degree of worry that new ignitions could start taking off," Olson said.

Smoke from fires in the region could diminish air quality in the Valley, but pollution remained in the "moderate" yellow category Wednesday.

Here's a roundup of wildfires in the region:

• Willow Fire: A 250-acre fire about six miles north of Eagle, between Idaho 55 and Willow Creek in the Foothills. No structures were threatened but structure protection had been ordered. The Ada County Sheriff's Office notified 250 to 500 homeowners in the area about the flames. About 30 firefighters from BLM, Eagle, Boise, Meridian and Star were battling the fire. Containment was expected by 10 p.m. Wednesday.

• Groot Fire: 100-acre fire about nine miles south of Mountain Home in Elmore County. Firefighters from Mountain Home put it out.

• Castle Fire: 350-acre fire near Triangle in Owyhee County. About 30 firefighters were working the blaze with seven engines, a water tender and a dozer. Containment was expected Wednesday evening.

• Lime Creek Fire: 40 acres about one mile southeast of Anderson Ranch Reservoir in the Boise National Forest. No structure or recreation threats. About 50 firefighters were working the fire Wednesday, with the aid of helicopter.

• Turner Fire: A nearly 600-acre fire south of Lucky Peak was declared controlled at 12:15 p.m. Wednesday; all crews were released.

• Owyhee Dam Fire: About 240 firefighters are working the 45,000-acre fire near Adrian, Ore. The fire burned hot Wednesday due to high winds. No structures were in immediate danger, but cabins and state parks buildings were threatened. Four other fires are burning in Malheur County, blackening another 15,000 acres.

EXTRA FIREFIGHTERS

Due to the heat wave, dry conditions, possible lightning and Fourth of July fireworks, the Boise Fire Department is putting on an extra 10 firefighters to run brush rigs over the next couple of days, if needed, a city spokeswoman said.

Reporter Katy Terhune contributed.

Katy Moeller: 377-6413

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