Elk Complex wildfire grows to 112,000 acres; 38 homes lost

August 14, 2013 

The Elk Complex wildfire east of Boise grew to an estimated 112,000 acres Wednesday, up from 98,000 acres Tuesday.

The lightning-caused fire continues to be one of the nation’s top firefighting priorities because of the communities in its path. Mandatory evacuations remain in effect for Pine and Featherville, where no structures have yet burned. Elsewhere, however, fire managers said the Elmore County sheriff confirmed that 38 primary residences and 43 outbuildings have been lost to the fire.

However, a planned burnout Tuesday evening behind some homes was delayed because of concerns that it could lead to spotting — small fires caused by drifting embers — on the opposite side of the South Fork of the Boise River.

A red flag warning in effect Wednesday isn’t expected to help the firefighting efforts, with warm and dry condition potentially fueling the fire’s growth.

More than 600 firefighters are battling the Elk Complex, with an estimated to-date cost of $2.7 million.

Just southwest of the Elk Complex, the Pony Complex wildfire is inching closer to containment. The 144,000-acre fire saw minimal growth Tuesday, with the fire’s northern and southern edges holding steady. Fire managers also report that there has been very little fire activity on the blaze’s southern and western flanks.

Containment of the Pony Complex is estimated at 40 percent. Previous evacuation orders for residents in the Mayfield area have been lifted.

More information about both fires is available at Inciweb.

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