Fire managers say crews making progress on Whiskey Complex

GARDEN VALLEY, Idaho -- Fire managers say that crews are making progress on the Whiskey Complex. The two fires burning near Garden Valley are now 40 percent contained. More than 1,000 people are fighting the wildfires that have blackened more than 9,600 acres.

Crews continue to burn out fuel to try and keep the fire from spreading. Right now, there are 37 engines and 11 helicopters working on this fire. Two additional hotshot crews are being brought in to bolster the firefighting efforts, and other crews and engines are arriving from other locations.

Officials are warning the public to be careful after a campfire escaped the French Creek Campground Sunday morning. The campground borders Cascade Reservoir. Two Forest Service engines responded and were able to quickly get the fire under control.

A burnout on the Grimes Fire Saturday night went very smoothly and managers say the fire is nearing containment. Managers say they're focusing on mop-up operations.

On the Wash Fire, crews continue to face some big challenges. The fire has crossed Forest Road 395 in several areas. The road is key to holding the fire line. Four hotshot crews and six engines worked there today. The southern flank remains about 1.5 miles from the small community of Pioneerville.

Crews did make some good progress on the west flank of the Wash Fire about two miles east of Alder Creek Road. A dozer line along the east flank is complete. The fire is slowly moving back towards the South Fork of the Payette River on the northeast flank. It is getting closer to a Boy Scout camp and engines and firefighters will remain on scene tonight for extra protection.

Another community meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday at the Centerville Community Center.

Ten homes in Pioneerville and 60 residences along the South Fork Payette River Road remain under a voluntary evacuation issued by the Boise County sheriff. Grimes Pass Road is closed north of Pioneerville, along with the South Fork Payette River Road.

An area closure is established around the Whiskey Complex extending to points near Placerville, Centerville and Pioneerville. The Hot Springs Campground is closed. All other campgrounds within the Boise National Forest are open.

Officials sent out a warning today after many people were observed entering the closed area. They say the fire remains uncontrolled and could suddenly become very active. If that happens, it can put both the public and responders in danger. The public is urged to stay out of the closed area.

The Banks to Lowman Road is still open, but travelers need to use caution when on the highway. Rafters need to be alert for helicopters dipping from the Payette River. Helicopters did work in an area just below the Danskin boat launch today.


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