BOISE - A wildfire burning 10 miles northwest of Featherville has destroyed at least one cabin and several buildings in the remote Dutch Creek area near the Middle Fork of the Boise River.
Alyssa Roerick with the Boise National Forest says the wildfire destroyed the publicly-owned DutchCreek Cabin along with several utility sheds on Thursday night.
The cabin had previously been available to reserve for camping and other recreation. Roerick says forest rangers and other workers also maintained and used several other outbuildings at the site before they were destroyed in the fire as well.
Officials with the Boise National Forest say the Trinity Ridge Fire is now up to 30,000 acres with 5 percent containment.
Dutch Creek, Swanholm, Weatherby and Queen River campgrounds have all been evacuated. Access to Atlanta is only open through the James Creek road (126 is a high clearance vehicle only route, no trailers). Those with respiratory health conditions in Atlanta are advised to evacuate the area. Campers in need to evacuate the Atlanta area.
A 15,000 gallon water tank called a heliwell has been set up at Rocky Bar. Firefighters from across the nation are assisting in the firefighting effort.
The U.S. Forest Service has closed about 90,000 acres.
The closure boundaries are:
- On the north - North Fork of the Boise River
- On the south - The Trinity Mountain Recreation Area
- On the east - Sawtooth Wilderness border with the National Forest
- On the west - Eastern edge of the Twin Springs area.
Public information officer David Olson with the Boise National Forest said it is not common for them to close such a large part of the forest. However, Olson said the move was in the interest of protecting people out recreating.
Brian Corr was one such person. He and his family had planned a trip to Atlanta.
I heard about the fire earlier this week so I was a little suspicious. But officially I found out earlier today when I called the Forest Service to make sure that everything was fine, said Corr.
When he called, he found out the cabin they had reserved and the road up to Atlanta were closed.
We were really looking forward to it, and then you know the fire at Trinity closed everything, he said.
The Forest Service said the cause was likely a utility vehicle. Law enforcement is investigating the cause. The driver of the UTV could have to pay for damages.