Containment nears for remaining Weiser Complex fire; rain dampens Kelley Fire

September 4, 2013 

A thunder cell forms near the Weiser Complex. Officials estimate the Raft Fire received .1-.2 inches of rain Tuesday, enough to help firefighters bring containment up to 70 percent.



The Raft Fire was at 70 percent containment Wednesday night, up from 60 percent on Tuesday. The 20,394-acre fire, along with the Hells Canyon Fire, make up the Weiser Complex about 20 miles northwest of Midvale along the Snake River.

The Hells Canyon Fire was completely contained, officials said. Crews continued to reinforce fire lines along the 9,062-acre blaze Wednesday. The containment line was expected be fully rehabilitated by the end of the day.

Crews were able to focus on hotspots as the drizzle and cooler temperatures lessened the chance of flames spreading in dry grass. Firefighters were focusing primarily on the southeast flank of the fire and the northern edge of Cottonwood Creek.

Crews also planned to conduct a burnout Wednesday night in the Little Bear Saddle area to shore up a containment line.

Some of the 613 people currently working the fire will be released as containment nears.

An area closure in the Payette National Forest remained in effect, including all roads and trails in the Weiser Ranger District southwest of Idaho 71.


Wet weather on Tuesday helped crews working to contain the Kelley Fire southeast of Featherville. Although rain missed several sections of the blaze, it helped firefighters bring containment up from 10 percent Tuesday to 34 percent Wednesday.

The fire gained in size, increasing to 16,467 acres from 14,867, but officials said more rain Wednesday and Thursday would help keep fire activity low.

But firefighters were keeping an eye out for hazards caused by the stormy weather. Wet conditions mean a lower chance of flames spreading, but they also mean slippery slopes and sliding debris that could threaten crews working on the Kelley Fire.

Helicopters continued to dump water and retardant over the blaze as fire crews put in more fire line and mop up flames around the perimeter. There is no estimated containment date.

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