Fires

As the Pioneer Fire grows, containment goes down

Crews are working to slow the spread of the Pioneer Fire, burning more than 101,000 acres near Lowman, as seen in this photo from Tuesday.
Crews are working to slow the spread of the Pioneer Fire, burning more than 101,000 acres near Lowman, as seen in this photo from Tuesday.

The Pioneer Fire, burning near Lowman, grew to an estimated 101,922 acres by Wednesday, while containment dipped down to 40 percent, according to fire managers via Inciweb.

More than 1,900 people are working on the fire using about 12 helicopters, 91 engines, nine bulldozers, 27 water tenders and seven masticators. The fire has been burning in the Boise National Forest since mid-July and is not estimated for full containment until the end of September.

Highway 17 and 21 are open, but fire managers urged motorists to proceed with caution and drive slowly on those roadways. A Level 1 evacuation order — the lowest of three levels, used to prep residents for possible evacuation — is in effect for all residents in the Pioneerville and Lowman areas. A Level 2 evacuation order, voluntary, is in place for residents along Clear Creek Road and in the Long Creek area, according to fire managers.

On the Cherry Road Fire west of Homedale, containment increased to 70 percent. As of Wednesday, the fire’s size was estimated at 35,100 acres including sage grouse habitat and wild horse management areas, according to Inciweb. A key objective for fire managers is to keep the fire east of the Owyhee River. The fire started on Sunday, and its cause is listed as unknown. Fire managers estimate it will be fully contained by the weekend.

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