Fires

Idaho 21 fire 90% contained, but blaze near Idaho City going strong

More than 300 firefighters are working in the steep terrain north of Idaho City, trying to contain the Pioneer Fire.
More than 300 firefighters are working in the steep terrain north of Idaho City, trying to contain the Pioneer Fire.

Despite triple-digit heat, gusty winds and single-digit humidity, firefighters made excellent progress on fire-line construction around the Mile Marker 14 Fire on Thursday night and Friday, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management reported.

The fire, which blackened more than 4,300 acres on both sides of Idaho 21 east of Boise, is almost fully contained, fire managers reported. More than 230 firefighters were still assigned to the fire Friday.

Closure of the area to the public was scheduled to be lifted Friday night. Smoke is still visible from Idaho 21 as small patches of brush on the northern portion of the fire continue to smolder. The highway, closed for hours on Tuesday, remains open in both directions.

On Thursday, crews continued line construction from the Lucky Peak summit toward the High Bridge at Lucky Peak Reservoir. Engines continued to mop up and patrol the southern portion of the fire while bulldozers began rehabilitating the dozer line put in during the initial attack.

The human-caused fire started about 1:30 p.m. Tuesday along the highway.

Though that fire has been nearly contained, the Pioneer Fire north of Idaho City has continued growing, burning 2,000 acres of steep, timbered terrain in the Boise National Forest. The fire, reported Monday, was just 20 percent contained as of Friday afternoon, forest officials reported. Its cause is still under investigation.

The blaze is about 8 miles north of Idaho City. An area closure is in effect but no structures are in immediate danger, fire managers reported.

More than 300 firefighters were on scene Friday, including five Hotshot crews and five helicopters. Fire crews continue to hold the fire west of Elk Creek.

Smoke can be seen from Boise, Idaho City, Centerville and Pioneerville, and as far north as Cascade and McCall. A community meeting was held in Idaho City on Friday night to update residents on the fire.

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