BRUNEAU -- A wildfire burning in Owyhee County that exploded in size overnight Sunday has been contained, the Bureau of Land Management said Monday evening.
The Loveridge Fire was contained at 34,645 acres after earlier estimates put it closer to 40,000 acres. Control is estimated at 8 p.m. Tuesday.
Sunday night, the fire was estimated to be burning 4,000 acres. It threatened structures, and forced evacuations of several campers in Bruneau Dunes State Park, according to Bureau of Land Management spokeswoman Keri Steneck.
The Loveridge Fire started Sunday about about eight miles southeast of the town of Bruneau, but has pushed northwest all the way up to the Bruneau Sand Dunes, a popular spot for camping and recreation. However, a change in winds on Monday Steneck says pushed the fire into open country.
"It's pushing to the southeast, which is really burning into the Saylor Creek bombing area, which is kind of a good thing for us because there aren't as many residents down there and there's no immediate concern," Steneck said.
Bruneau Dunes State Park was closed for most of the day, but officials told KTVB that as of 3:30 p.m. Monday the park was open again.
Four homes off of Hot Springs Road were threatened along with two cabins and the campsites at the state park. None of the threatened structures have burned.
"It was 4:30 in the morning before we finally got to bed," Mac McDowell, who lives off of Hot Springs Road, said.
The McDowells have lived off of Hot Springs Road for more than two decades and say this is the third time their home was threatened by a wildfire.
"The fire started coming over them ridges and we've had it do it before, but the wind wasn't blowing that time. It eventually worked it's way down and the winds picked up," Mac McDowell said.
Firefighters used the sand dunes as a natural fire break. Monday afternoon, firefighters were able to get a line around the fire to help stop the spread.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
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