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Porphyry Fire burning in rough terrain of the Payette National Forest

The Porphyry Fire, a holdover from Thursday’s thunderstorms, is burning in rugged terrain near the South Fork of the Salmon River.

CASCADE, Idaho —

The Porphyry Fire was first reported on Saturday by the Payette National Forest (PNF) and has burned approximately 48 acres of rugged terrain near the South Fork of the Salmon River.

The fire was caused by Thursday’s thunderstorms and is currently burning in sparse and inaccessible terrain high in the mountains, which has prevented firefighters from directly engaging in fire suppression. 

Crews are engaged in structure protection for the nearby South Fork Bridge, which is the only structure that is currently at risk, using water pumps and sprinklers around the structure and will burn out fuels around the bridge if necessary, according to Brian Harris, PNF’s public affairs officer. 

Helicopters have been conducting bucket drops to slow the spread of the fire, according to Harris. 

“As the fire progresses to the north, we have some good areas where we can go direct and indirect with firefighters on the ground. That is, if the fire slowly works its way out of inaccessible terrain and gives us a shot at containing it,” Harris said in an email to KTVB. 

Harris went on to say that there is a residual burn scar to the west of the fire with reduced fuels that will help suppression tactics on that side of the fire. 

Weather is going to be the primary factor for further fire suppression, but with no current wind events and none in the forecast, Harris said they are hopeful they can contain the fire. 

The Porphyry fire is a holdover from Thursday's thunderstorms which caused seven additional fires, five of which have already been reported out or contained. One of those fires, the Four Corners Fire, has burned 73 acres as of Monday morning along the border of the Payette and Boise National Forest.

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