UPDATE: Firefighters redeployed as Walker Fire nears containment; area reopened to public

The Walker Fire, which blew heavy smoke into the Treasure Valley last week and created unhealthy air quality conditions is expected to be contained Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the Idaho Department of Lands announced the area around the fire is now open to the public again after a prolonged fire closure.

The fire, which burned nearly 6,000 acres, started Oct 10 about eight miles southwest of Idaho City. It’s on lands managed by the Southwest Forest Protective District of the Idaho Department of Lands and the Boise National Forest.

Two crews, aided by three fire engines and planes and helicopters are working to secure fire lines and perform mop-up and rehabilitation efforts. Firefighters are also patrolling to look for hotspots.

Outdoor school games and practices were canceled several days last week in Boise and other communities because of air quality concerns.

The human-caused fire is one of four fires that has burned near the Clear Creek subdivision since 2012. A Clear Creek resident quoted in a Statesman story on Oct. 12 said incorrectly it was the first fire that had burned near the subdivision in the last 20 years.

In July 2012, the Avelene Fire burned 403 acres near the junction of Clear Creek and Grimes Creek, just east of the subdivision.

Twelve months later, the Pine Creek Fire burned nearly 2,800 acres farther east of Clear Creek.

And in late summer 2014, a small fire burned near the intersection of Johnson Creek Road and Grimes Creek Road, said Clear Creek resident Patricia Rattray. The fire was extinguished the same day by firefighters aided by helicopters, Rattray said.