Crews stretched thin, officials warn of increased fire danger in Idaho mountains

BOISE - Hot, dry and unstable weather conditions in Idaho and across the West threaten to put more work in front of a wildfire-fighting force that's already stretched to the limit.

The national preparedness level remains at 5 - its highest level - meaning that national firefighting resources are fully committed.

The Boise National Forest and part of the Payette National Forest are under red flag warnings through Monday night. A red flag warning indicates that conditions are ideal for wildfires to start and spread rapidly.

RELATED: 'Firestorm' burning more than half a million acres in Montana

The warnings come as crews continue to battle a fire that prompted the closure of campgrounds in the Deadwood Reservoir area. As of Sunday morning, the Bearskin Fire had burned more than 15,200 acres in southeastern Valley County, about 21 miles northeast of Lowman.

As an inversion lifts, activity on that fire is expected to increase in dead and downed timber.

More than 100 personnel are assigned to the fire. With limited resources, the crews are focusing on protecting people and property, including reducing fuels around Deadwood Outfitters and the Elk Creek Guard Station.

An area closure was expanded Friday to include the Deadwood Reservoir area and all campgrounds in the vicinity.

Stage 1 Fire Restrictions remain in effect throughout the state. Campfires are permitted only in approved fire pits within developed recreation sites.
 

© 2017 KTVB-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment