Pioneer Fire activity increasing with warmer conditions

GARDEN VALLEY - Warmer and drier conditions are increasing activity with the Pioneer Fire, which has grown to 183,508 acres and is 56-percent contained as of Saturday. The fire has grown by more than 1,000 acres since Friday morning.

The fire activity is happening primarily east of Deadwood Reservoir and south of Forest Service Road 579. That activity has increased the amount of smoke in communities near the fire and in the Treasure Valley.

Single-tree and group tree torching have been seen in several areas in the northern half of the fire.

The closure area may expand as the Pioneer Fire progresses to the north. If enacted, that would close Forest Service Road 579 at the North Fork elk Creek Trail, and just south of the Deadwood Lodge, and apply to Boise National Forest lands north of NFS Road 579.

Current area closure information is available here.

Because of an increase in fire traffic and smoke, the public is advised to drive cautiously and slowly along NFS Road 579.

Highway 17 - the Banks-Lowman Road - is still open. Fire officials report some movement of the fire near Miller Mountain and a flare-up in Black Bear Creek on the southwest corner of the fire, below Highway 17. Crews are working to suppress any increased fire activity near the fire's edge. Crews are also removing hazard trees to make the area safer.

Current evacuation orders are as follows:

  • Level 1 for all properties throughout Lowman. This means get ready for a possible evacuation.
  • Level 2 for the summer homes in Long Creek. This means be set to leave at a moment's notice.

More than 1,100 personnel are assigned to the fire. Resources include:

  • 29 crews
  • Six helicopters
  • 28 engines
  • Three dozers
  • 11 water tenders
  • Three masticators

Related story: Two 'super scoopers' helping firefighters battle Pioneer Fire

The fire camp at Lowman is being dismantled Saturday. Crews are moving to Garden Valley and Bruce Meadows. The airstrip at Bruce Meadows has been closed to accommodate these resources.

The daily outlook for air quality is available here.

Hunting-related information is available here.

Information about fire restrictions is available here.

Copyright 2016 KTVB


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