BOISE -- More than a dozen major wildfires continue to burn in central and southern Idaho.
In the Boise National Forest, smokejumpers, helicopter crews, and other firefighters are working to put out nearly 13 lightning-caused fires from Tuesday's thunderstorm.
The biggest of these fires is the 850-acre Ridge Fire that is burning heavy stands of timber about 14 miles north of Lowman. Dangerous conditions mean firefighters were pulled from this fire on Thursday.
Meanwhile, in the Payette National Forest, firefighters are working to successfully contain small clusters of smaller fires that broke out northeast of McCall.
A small, 2-acre fire near Brundage Reservoir north of McCall is also being successfully fought by firefighters.
Throughout the state, several fires larger the 4,000 acres continue to burn on public lands, creating local area closures and poor air quality.
BROWN'S GULCH FIRE
The 4,800-acre Brown's Gulch Fire started on Tuesday, July 16, and is burning four miles south of Hammett, Idaho. The fire is said to be burning in the Snake River Canyon, making access difficult.
As of Thursday, July 18, the fire was 80 percent contained. No active fire behavior is reported.
HORSE BUTTE FIRE 2
The 5,800-acre Horse Butte Fire started Tuesday, July 16, and is burning about 25 miles southwest of Castleford, Idaho.
As of Thursday, July 18, the fire was 60 percent contained. No active fire behavior is reported.
TWO FIRES IN OWYHEE MOUNTAINS
The Sunk Fire and Brun Fire both sparked Tuesday, July 16 near Murphy, Idaho. More info here.
The Sunk Fire had grown to over 2,100 acres by Thursday, July 18, and is reportedly burning in grass and sage. Crews hope to contain it Thursday evening.
The Brun Fire burned 48 acres and has been fully contained and controlled.
The Papoose Fire burning west of Salmon has now grown to 4,892 acres after lightning started it last Monday. More info here.
Firefighting crews in the area report a potential for rocks and other debris to slide down onto area roads and into the river. That's because two large fires burned in that area last year.
Boaters and rafters on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River are required to check in with forest personnel at the Flying B Ranch.
Firefighters expect minimal impacts to boaters and those camping near the river. As of Thursday, small teams of firefighters continued to clear brush and other fuels near campsites and old cabins.
PINE CREEK FIRE
The 1,569-acre Pine Creek Fire northeast of Boise sparked Monday, July 15 near Grimes Creek and Pine Creek roads. More info here.
More than 320 firefighters are currently building a fire line around the north edge of the fire. Structure protection engines are standing by to protect the nearby Clear Creek Subdivision.
As of Thursday, July 18, the fire was just 20 percent contained.
Firefighters report the 850-acre Ridge Fire started sometime Tuesday night about 15 miles north of Lowman. The fire is said to be burning through sub-alpine fur, scattering embers up to one-quarter of a mile from the main fire.
A Thursday update by the Boise National Forest indicated the fire was burning "dangerously," and firefighters had been pulled out due to the conditions. A regional team is scheduled to take command of the fire on Friday.
No fire line has been established, according to reports.
ROUGH CREEK FIRE
The Rough Creek Fire near Riggins started on July 12, and has burned about 2,600 acres in steep, rugged terrain near the Salmon River.
As of Thursday, July 18, firefighters expect to have the incident 95 percent contained. Crews are said to be winding down efforts. The total cost of battling this fire has been over $1.7 million.
A broad area northeast of Riggins is closed due to fire danger. The area closed ranges from the Nez Perce National Forest boundary near Island Bar and extends north to one-half mile past Chair Creek.
Firefighters say the 250-acre Summit Fire is burning about 14 miles northeast of Idaho City and four miles north of Pilot Peak Lookout. About 200 firefighters are said to be working to control this fire, which was caused by lightning.
Water tankers and helicopters are also working to drop fire retardant and water on the flames. No fire line has been established, and the fire is only 10 percent contained.
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