Crews working to push Fraiser Creek Fire back from subdivision

kterhune@idahostatesman.comJuly 8, 2013 

The Fraiser Creek Fire, which started Sunday afternoon, is estimated at 300 acres.

— Crews are continuing to battle a 300-acre wildfire east of Banks along Highway 17 Monday morning, according to Boise National Forest spokesman David Olson.

The fire started at 2:20 p.m. Sunday, and is believed to be human-caused.

One hundred fifty firefighters are working to extinguish the blaze, which showed no signs of containment, Olson said. Fire response will continue to work throughout the day, but there is no estimated time for the fire to be out.

Traffic was interrupted Sunday along Highway 17 until about midnight as crews worked, but the road is open now, Olson said.

The fire response is made up of Boise National Forest, Bureau of Land Management, and Idaho Department of Lands crews and equipment. In addition, rural fire departments from Garden Valley, Horseshoe Bend, and Valley of the Pines dispatched teams, engines and water tenders to push flames back from the nearby Frasier Creek subdivision.

The wildfire got within a half-mile of the subdivision, which contains about 40 homes, Olson said, but no houses have burned.

Fires that had scorched the area in previous years were working to firefighters’ advantage now, eliminating some the fuels that could feed the Frasier Creek Fire.

“The heavier fuels like trees [and] downed logs have been consumed by some of those earlier fires, so that’s helpful,” Olson said.

Even so, the difficult terrain is complicating efforts to extinguish the blaze. The fire is currently burning in grassy fields on the south-facing slopes, which is helping the flames spread quickly.

“It’s hot and dry in the forest, so it’ll be a day of hard work, without question,” Olson said.

Katie Terhune: 377-6219

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