Fires

Pioneer Fire continues to grow ahead of Labor Day weekend

More than 1,000 people are working to contain the Pioneer Fire, burning near Lowman and Idaho City.
More than 1,000 people are working to contain the Pioneer Fire, burning near Lowman and Idaho City.

The Pioneer Fire, burning near Idaho City and Lowman, grew to an estimated 179,977 acres by Friday morning, and containment of the blaze is down to 52 percent, according to fire managers via Inciweb.

More than 1,000 people are working on the fire using nine helicopters, 41 engines, four bulldozers, 24 water tenders and three masticators. Full containment isn’t expected until mid-October, fire managers reported.

The fire is most active around the Deadwood River and the Bear Valley drainages. Crews are focused on point protection near Bear Valley, Warm Springs, Wilson and Bearskin creeks. Firefighters are also working to protect campgrounds around Deadwood Reservoir, fire managers report.

The fire’s growth over the past week has spurred the closures of roadways in the Boise National Forest. Recreationists are urged to not camp in areas north of Forest Service Road 579 between FS Road 555 junction and the Elk Creek Guard Station. That means Deadwood Reservoir is also closed to the public, according to fire managers.

Friday’s cooler temperatures are expected over the weekend, along with an increasing chance of precipitation.

Highway 21 and 17 are open, though motorists are urged to use caution.

A Level 2 evacuation order is still in effect for homes in the Clear Creek area. A Level 2 evacuation is voluntary. A Level 1 evacuation is in effect for homes in Pioneerville, Lowman and for residents along the South Fork Road, east of Grimes Creek and the South Fork of the Payette River. A Level 1 evacuation is a precautionary measure to prepare residents for voluntary or mandatory evacuations, fire managers reported.

Drones and private or commercial aircrafts are banned from flying across the fire area, according to fire managers.

Erin Fenner: 208-377-6207, @erinfenner

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