Fires

Pioneer Fire grows, but threat to Lowman decreases

Idaho Governor Otter tours Pioneer Fire

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter worries about watershed damage from the 80,000-acre Pioneer Fire burning into the backcountry around Lowman.(Rocky Barker)
Up Next
Idaho Gov. Butch Otter worries about watershed damage from the 80,000-acre Pioneer Fire burning into the backcountry around Lowman.(Rocky Barker)

The Pioneer Fire grew to an estimated 86,030 acres by Friday, but its threat to the Lowman community has gone down, according to fire managers via Inciweb.

Idaho Highway 21 is open, but drivers should proceed with caution. Highway 17 is still closed from Lowman to the Danskin boat ramp.

More than 1,800 people are working on the fire using 14 helicopters, four scooper planes, 74 engines, eight bulldozers, 34 water tenders, seven masticators and three skidders. The fire is holding at 50 percent containment, according to fire managers.

Many evacuation advisories in the area were downgraded Friday. All Lowman-area residences are under a Level 1 evacuation order except homes along Bear Valley Road and in the Summer Home area in Long Creek. That advises residents to be prepared to leave if necessary. A Level 2 evacuation order goes into effect at 5 p.m. Friday for homes on the South Fork Road east of Grimes Pass Road and the Banks-Lowman Road east of Danskin Station. At that level, residents don’t have to leave but it is strongly encouraged.

Residences in Pioneerville, specifically in Charlotte Gulch and Miller Gulch, are under a Level 1 evacuation order, fire managers said.

No residents are mandated to leave their homes yet, according to fire managers.

The fire grew primarily along the Jackson Peak area, but is expected to slow as it moves west into old burned-out areas. Crews are focused on structure protection on the west side of the fire, and working to keep the blaze out of the Black Bear Creek drainage, according to fire managers.

Smoke continues to pour into the Treasure Valley from the fire. But local air quality improved to green (healthy and normal). Idaho City is still under an orange air quality alert, which means any burning is prohibited and the air is unhealthy for the very young, very old or people with respitory health issues, according to the Idaho Department of Air Quality.

  Comments