OAKLEY, Idaho -- The fast-growing Cave Canyon Fire in central Cassia County has forced the evacuation of about 30 to 40 homes in the Rock Canyon area south of Murtaugh.
Cassia County Sheriff's Office dispatchers confirmed the evacuations Friday morning.
U.S. Forest Service officials say the Cave Canyon Fire has grown to over 80,000 acres since it sparked earlier this week. The fire is part of the 87,000-acre Minidoka Complex, which includes four separate fires burning through brush and trees in the area's rugged terrain.
On Thursday night, many homes in the Rock Canyon and Dry Creek neighborhoods were voluntarily evacuated, along with some campers and recreationists.
Public Information Officer Traci Weaver with the Sawtooth National Forest says sheriff's deputies started mandatory evacuations in the Rock Canyon neighborhood at 5:30 a.m. Friday.
Weaver says fire crews in the Rock Canyon neighborhood are trying to use a bulldozer to create a fire line to keep the fire from reaching homes. The Rock Creek Fire Department is also said to be helping.
Officials encourage travelers to stay away from Rock Creek Road, Foothills Road, and other areas south of the cities of Murtaugh, Hansen, and Kimberly.
More than 270 fire personnel, multiple hotshot crews, and fire attack aircraft are currently battling the fire.
A fire information meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Howell's Opera House in Oakley. The public is encouraged to attend to be briefed on the current status of the fires in the Minidoka Complex, which include the Cave Canyon, Deer Hollow, Hot Well and Eightmile fires.