Fire destroys house, shed south of Emmett

A grass fire in Gem County put up a large plume of smoke Wednesday afternoon.
A grass fire in Gem County put up a large plume of smoke Wednesday afternoon.

No one was injured when a grass fire spread rapidly in grass and sagebrush on Wednesday afternoon in Gem County, but one house and a large shed burned down, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management said.

The fire was no longer threatening homes late Wednesday afternoon, Boise BLM Fire and Aviation spokesman Jared Jabloski said.

No one was living in the house; it was being used for storage, he said. The family that lost the house and shed also lost a flatbed trailer.

The fire was caused by humans but precisely how has not yet been determined, the agency said.

Crews from Boise District BLM firefighters, Gem County Rural Fire, Eagle and Middleton were battling the blaze. The fire burned on both private and BLM land, so it is being handled under the unified command of BLM and Gem County.

The fire burned near Little Freezeout Hill south of Emmett and was named the Old Freezeout Fire.

Old Freezeout Road and some roads nearby were closed Wednesday, Jablonski said. Idaho 16 was open in both directions.

The fire burned west from a canal and up a hill toward Idaho 16, between mile markers 11 and 12.

The fire, reported about 1:30 p.m., had burned at least 20 acres. It was about 20 percent contained at 4:30 p.m. Firefighters expected to have it fully contained by 8 p.m. and controlled by 10 p.m.

Reporter John Sowell contributed.

Katy Moeller: 208-377-6413, @KatyMoeller