Fire along Highway 21 burns around 1,000 acres

Credit: Tim Nay/ First Person

Fire along Highway 21 burns around 1,000 acres

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by KTVB

KTVB.COM

Posted on August 6, 2013 at 6:17 PM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 7 at 11:13 AM

BOISE -- Fire crews from the Bureau of Land Management responded to the Hilltop Fire along Idaho Highway 21 just before 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Officials say the human-caused fire burned around 1,000 acres between Highway 21 and Lucky Peak Reservoir, which created a natural barrier for the fire.

"We're super thankful that it is on this east side of the highway because it does have the natural border of Highway 21, and on the other side is Lucky Peak Reservoir," said BLM fire information officer Mallory Eils. "So our crews and our fire managers are kind of using those natural barriers to corral the fire."

Eils says the fire grew quickly due to the winds and steep terrain.

"Terrain did play a really big factor in fire spread today," said Eils. "The hills here on either side of Highway 21 are pretty steep, and so fire runs pretty quickly up hill. So that played into it, as well as the winds. There was a little bit of wind a little bit earlier and that made the fire grow a little quicker."

On scene resources include: six engines, three dozers, two water tenders, two helicopters, three air tanks and two hand crews. Boise City Fire also responded with a fire engines and a command rig to provide structure protection, but have since been released. While the Ada County Sheriff's Office provided traffic control in the area.

Some even came up from down in the valley to watch the fire from the roadside, including Maria Halberstadt.

"You sit there are you watch the helicopters with their water buckets getting from Lucky Peak, and the mist coming off of that, and the sun hitting it, it's a rainbow," said Halberstadt.

Halberstadt has seen wildfires before, but recently her outlook changed. "I think the past few years have helped me see that a lot more. About a year ago, I was diagnosed with head and throat cancer. Most people look at the devastation, but they don't see the beauty of other things that are going on."

Fire crews were thankful there have not been as many fires on BLM land lately. However, that does not mean we're out of the woods.

"This is kind of another good reminder that it is still August and it's still fire season. We have another month or so of fire season to go, so be extra careful," said Eils.

The fire was contained at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

Even though officials know the fire is human-caused, the exact cause is still under investigation.

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