Wildfire near Grangeville doubles, still uncontained

GRANGEVILLE -- An uncontained wildfire burning 20 miles south of Grangeville has doubled in size, expanding from 1,300 acres Tuesday to 2,600 by Wednesday morning.

The Idaho County Sheriff issued a Stage 3 evacuation for the Getta Creek area, meaning threat to life and property is imminent. The Highrange Fire reached Getta Creek overnight, and has jumped the creek in several spots, a fire information officer said.

There are 30 structures in that area, although not all of them are homes. Despite the danger, some residents have elected to stay, fire officials said. As of Wednesday morning, no homes or other buildings have burned.

Hot and dry weather will continue to exacerbate the fire as crews work through the day to provide structure protection and build fire lines on the north flank of the blaze.

The Highrange Fire started Sunday morning, and is zero percent contained.

Currently, the fire is spreading to the southeast, away from homes. It's burning in steep terrain in the the Getta Canyon and slopes, creating dangerous conditions for the 22 firefighters assigned to the fire.

Firefighting resources are being shared with the Big Cougar Fire, a larger wildfire burning to the west in about 32 square miles of forest land. The Big Cougar Fire started Saturday about 24 miles south of Lewiston.

No evacuations have been ordered, although residents between China Garden Creek and Captain John Creek have been warned they should be ready to leave immediately if the flames creep closer.

There are 253 personnel assigned to the Big Cougar wildfire, and they plan to focus Wednesday on the northern flank, creating fire lines and providing structure protection.


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