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Firefighters continue working to contain Coulter Fire

Multiple fires, collectively referred to as the Coulter Fire, popped up on Oct. 5. Since then, fire crews have worked to combat the fires and get them contained.

BOISE, Idaho — The three largest fires in the Coulter Fire, which is made up of several fires burning near Coulter Summit, are officially contained, the Boise National Forest said Sunday.

Containment lines held overnight, keeping the total size of all combined fires at 7.1 acres. Fire managers are expecting the last of the fires will be controlled by the end of shift on Sunday, so that management of the fire can be transferred back to the local unit Monday.

Fire crews will focus on mopping up the separate fire areas, which is a process of mixing hot embers with dirt and water till cool. Once crews are able to secure the perimeter, they will start to work on the interior of the fire to reduce hot spots. Some firefighters will walk along containment lines to search for potential embers near unburned vegetation.

Multiple fires, all under ten acres, popped up on the evening of Oct. 5. Since then, the Boise Forest Service has worked in conjunction with the Centerville Volunteer Fire Department to combat the fires and get them contained. The fires are now collectively being referred to as the Coulter Fire.

On Thursday morning, additional resources were dispatched including engines, 100 crew members, four hand crews helicopters, and a fixed wing aircraft. A direct hand line around the fires was established Friday, and crews attacked the fire from above using multiple helicopters from the Payette National Forest.

Crews were able to make significant progress by the end of shift Friday night, with a goal of fully containing the fire by Saturday night. 

 A minimal amount of smoke has lingered in the area, and a high pressure system will keep temperatures higher through till Monday. On Tuesday, a cold front is expected to move into the area, with lower humidity and shifting winds with a speed of 5 mph.

The fire is currently burning on both sides of National Forest trail 690, so forest goers should use extreme caution in that area, however, fire officials advise avoiding the area altogether.

There are no structures threatened or closures in effect, but members of the public should keep an eye out for fire traffic working to remove hazards and combat the fire.

An investigation is still ongoing into what caused the fire. 

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