BOISE, Idaho — The Four Corners Fire west of Lake Cascade is still burning after lightning struck the area on Aug. 13.
As of Friday evening, the fire is over 13,000 acres and 34% contained. This is Pila Malolo’s third day on the fire. He said the combination of high temperatures and low humidity has made containing the fire difficult.
“Our burning conditions are as high as they've ever been for this time of year, in this area,” Malolo said.
Despite this, he said crews are making good progress – especially on the western and northern flanks of the fire. But the eastern side of the fire is posing some issues.
“You can put in a containment line, and then you'll have a tree torch – like fire runs up a tree – and it'll throw a bunch of embers, you know, possibly across our line,” Malolo said.
In order for those lines to work, Malolo said firefighters need to dig down to mineral soil, away from pine needles and other flammable material.
Malolo said their main goal is to keep the fire away from people and houses, but making sure they are prepared for the worst is also important.
Malolo said they are always watching weather forecasts to ensure they are prioritizing the correct areas. Crews are expecting strong winds on Saturday.
Public information officer Jennifer Diamond said there are 774 people on the fire; that number includes 18 crews, 43 engines and 10 helicopters.
Diamond said people usually work for fourteen days, then have two or three days off. Some return back home while others go straight to another fire, and they do this all while being away from loved ones; something Malolo said is difficult.
“It's not something we love, even though we love our jobs,” he said. “It's hard to be away from family.”
But he said that love for the job makes it worthwhile.
“Just having a job that you enjoy and take pride in is something to be thankful for,” Malolo said.
As we head into the holiday weekend, Diamond said it is important for travelers to keep track of weather conditions.
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