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Resources spread thin as fires burn across Idaho

Fire crews across Idaho continue to battle not only wildfires, but also triple-digit heat and smoke.

BOISE -- Fire crews continue to battle a collection of fires across Southwest and Central Idaho.

Monday morning some areas were given evacuation notices as fire resources across the state are spread thin.

Three notable fires still developing Monday: The Sharps Fire, the Keithly Fire, and the Mesa Fire.

First, the Sharps Fire, where mandatory evacuations were ordered Monday in the Wood River Valley in Blaine County.

The fire sparked Sunday morning and now evacuations are in place for all residences on Little Wood Reservoir Road and Flat Top Road North of the reservoir, as well as the Little Wood Recreation Area Campground.

In addition, residents on Fish Creek Road have been placed on pre-evacuation notice.

The latest update shows the Sharps fire is burning at about 27,000 acres.

MORE: Mandatory evacuations ordered for homes near Sharps Fire

Crews are currently dealing with extreme fire conditions, as well as difficult terrain, gusty winds, high temperatures and low humidity.

The Blaine County Sheriff's Office says that the BLM is bringing in a Type I fire team to take over command and management of the fire Monday evening.

On the western side of the state, the Mesa Fire burning 4 miles south of Council continued to grow Monday. At last check that fire has burned more than 27,000 acres. Firefighters report 5 percent containment.

A team of 264 personnel continue to attack the fire by air and ground..

Crews are reporting tough conditions. Strong winds, high temperatures, and extremely dry fuels are making the battle very challenging.

There are no mandatory evacuations at this time, however North Grays Creek remains at a level 2, pre-evacuation status.

In Washington County, crews are making good progress on the Keithly Fire. This fire has been burning near Midvale since July 25 and has grown to 17,600 acres. Crews say the fire is about 84 percent contained. Estimated full containment is Friday.

With all the fires burning across Idaho and across the West, resources are spread thin. The BLM says during busy times like these, dispatching crews is one big puzzle.

"People at the national level down to the geographical level down to the local level are constantly making decisions on where to put resources and when to let resources go and when to hold resources," said Jared Jablonski, fire information officer with the Boise District BLM. "They are constantly looking at weather and field conditions looking at all those variables to decide what we need to do."

With all the fires in the West, smoky conditions are expected to stick around for the near future.

The National Weather Service in Boise is forecasting that with projected wind patterns, smoke from west of Idaho, mostly from California, will continue moving its way toward Idaho over the next few days.

That smoke, paired with the triple-digit temperatures, is set to make work for firefighters in the region very tough over the next few days.

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