MCCALL, Idaho — Crews continue to make progress on the Nethker Fire, which has burned about 2,340 acres about 30 miles north of McCall.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the fire is now 63 percent contained.
Warren Wagon Road is open again to the public, but French Creek/Burgdorf Road is still closed.
Fire crews said they worked to establish their anchor on the western side of the fire, and then build off that. Hotshot crews are continuing to build line along the northwest side of the fire. This is where it's moved into the old Burgdorf Junction Fire scar from 2000.
A big part in getting this fire under control has come from the air. Super Scooper planes have been used heavily to drop water from above.
"I've never seen this degree of support, in fact it’s been truly amazing, and they've really hit this fire with everything they can,” Burgdorf Hot Springs owner Scott Harris said.
These resources are available for this fire because of how quiet the fire season has been in the west. The Nethker Fire has nine helicopters assigned to it and crews can use four Super Scoopers and one fixed wing retardant plane.
"We're using them effectively and efficiently, and they're allowing us to get line in place a lot quicker and slow the fire down so it's not doing a whole lot right now,” Great Basin Incident Management Team spokesperson Jim Mackensen said.
The threat to Burgdorf Hot Springs has gone down because of crews getting in containment lines around it. The fire moving northwest into the old burn scar is also helping firefighters.
"So, it’s no longer burning through the timber,” Mackensen said. “But mostly the green grass and brush at that altitude so it's really slowed it down."
Crews are slowing it down enough to give Harris some hope the hot springs will make it through.
"Everyone is feeling confident right now that this fire will be contained,” he said.
Mackensen estimates they'll be able to have full containment of the fire sometime next week.
He stressed that even though this slow start to the fire season has opened up resources for the Nethker Fire, he doesn't want the public to get complacent.
Mackensen urged people to continue to put out campfires completely, and look out to see if you're dragging chains on the road and do what you can to prevent any fires.