BOISECOUNTY-- A wildfire burning along the highway between Banks and Crouch is causing delays for motorists traveling in that area.
The Springs Fire started just after 10 p.m. Sunday in a heavily forested area.
The fire is located north of mile marker 4 along Highway 17 (Banks-to-Lowman Road).
The Idaho Transportation Department says motorists should expect delays throughout the day due to fire activity and from helicopters that are filling their water buckets in the South Fork of the Payette River. A pilot car is guiding vehicles through the area.
Tom McKibbin, incident commander with the Bureau of Land Management, says the first priority of crews is structure protection of the Frazier Creek subdivision. There are about three dozen homes in that area, and about a dozen of them are near the fire line on the west edge of the subdivision.
The fire has burned about 620 acres and is extremely difficult to access.
It's very gnarly country. It's steep, rugged terrain, very little access. No road access at all, said McKibbin.
Two 20-person hand crews, two helicopters and two single engine air tankers are assisting in the firefighting effort. Another hand crew and a hot shot crew are scheduled to arrive on scene Monday afternoon.
McKibbin says so far crews are making good progress fighting this fire. No evacuations have been ordered.
The fire is believed to be human-cause since there was no lightning in the area last night, and the fire is not burning near any roads.
The South Fork of the Payette River is open to rafters, but river users are asked to be aware of helicopters in the area.