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Battery charger in boat may have started Idler Fire near Moscow, investigators say

The fire burned more than 100 acres and destroyed two buildings, including one home.
Credit: Idaho Dept. of Lands

MOSCOW, Idaho — Fire investigators said Thursday witness reports have given them insight into how the Idler Fire near Moscow may have started.

The Idler Fire started Aug. 30 at 2:36 pm. Moscow fire crews and Latah County Sheriff’s deputies respond to a structure fire at 1168 Idlers Rest Road. When they arrived, they found a large barn on fire and it started spreading through the pasture around the barn, according to a press release from the City of Moscow.

Crews tried to stop the fire from spreading but it eventually destroyed a home on West Twin Road, city officials said. A GoFundMe set up for a family who lost their home has raised tens of thousands of dollars. 

The Moscow Fire Department Fire Marshal along with the Idaho Department of Lands fire investigators and a private insurance company investigator have started an investigation into the fire. It was determined the fire started inside a barn in the area but the cause is undetermined. However, witness reports suggest the fire may have started from a battery charger hooked to a boat inside the barn.

The Idaho Department of Lands have assumed command of the fire and they expect the fire to be fully extinguished by Saturday. As of Thursday morning, the fire had burden 116 acres and was 67% contained. The fire force immediate evacuations the day it started and were lifted by the next day.