OWYHEE COUNTY -- Two large wildfires sparked in the Owyhee foothills near Murphy, Idaho Tuesday evening.

The 1,500-acre Sunk Fire was ignited by lightning after thunderstorms moved a few miles southwest of Murphy.

Public information officer Mallory Eils with the Bureau of Land Management Boise District says the Sunk Fire quickly grew to over 1,500 acres due to high wind gusts.

Once we saw the lightning strikes start to hit, we had our heads up and eyes out looking for it, said Eils.

Lots of BLM resources are on scene including 6 engines, 3 dozers and a Type 2 hand crew. A dozer line has been established on the northern perimeter of the fire. Firefighters will focus their efforts today to secure the southern perimeter. There is no estimated time of containment or control.

Eils says both firefighters and weather forecasters remain vigilant during storm activity.

We work with the [National] Weather Service a lot, and they give us a heads up to the potential thunderstorm activity, and so our dispatch is in there watching the weather, watching the maps, said Eils.

Eils says a separate lightning bolt started the nearby Brunn Fire.

Our helicopter and heli-tack personnel were able to get on that one very quickly, Eils said.

The Brunn Fire was contained at 9 a.m. Wednesday after charring 48 acres. It is expected to be controlled by 6 p.m. tonight.

Fire agencies across southwest Idaho are reporting about a dozen lightning-caused fires from Tuesday's storms. They say those fires range from less than an acre to more than 1,500 acres.

Read or Share this story: