--------------------- UPDATED: 8 a.m. 8/8/12
BOISE -- Motorists heading north from the Boise area along Highway 55 can expect some big delays due to a wildfire burning near Banks. That's where Idaho 55 and Highway 17, also known as the Banks to Lowman Road, intersect.
The Springs Creek Fire is burning near the highways, and that's causing problems for firefighters and anyone traveling in the area.
The Idaho Transportation Department says a rock slide caused by the fire has closed Highway 55 13 to 16 miles north of Horseshoe Bend. That's just past Banks if you are traveling north. Highway 55 is closed between Garden Valley Road and Smiths Ferry road.
The Boise County Sheriff's Office says a pilot car is guiding vehicles through an area along Highway 17 between Banks and Crouch. That takes about 10 minutes. However, throughout the day burning trees have fallen on the road. When that happens the delays are much longer because crews have to clear the highway.
The Banks to Lowman Road is still open between Crouch and the Idaho 21 junction.
Officials with the Boise National Forest say the Springs Fire grew rapidly in size today. It has now burned on a ridge about one mile above Highway 55.
Firefighters are holding a fireline that is now about a half mile from the Frazier Creek subdivision. No other structures are threatened.
Very hot temperatures and gusty winds are fueling the fire and making it difficult for firefighters.
Nearly 200 firefighters are battling the fire, with seven crews, five engines, three helicopters and air tankers.
Due to the quickly changing conditions, there is no estimated containment of the Springs Fire. Officials do not have an acreage burned at this time. The fire continues to burn in extremely steep terrain that is made up of grass, brush and timber.
Rafters on the South Fork Payette River are urged to use caution because helicopters are dipping in the river to fill their water buckets.
Recreationists are urged to use extreme caution in the forest. Campfires are only permitted in developed recreation sites and smoking restrictions apply.