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Nine fires break out overnight in foothills, may have been set on purpose

The causes of the fires haven't been determined, but the Ada County Sheriff's Office is concerned.

BOISE, Idaho — Nine fires broke out overnight, and some of them may have been set on purpose.

The fires started in the early hours of Friday morning, according to Boise District BLM Fire Information Officer Brandon Hampton.

There is no set timeline for when investigators will have a good idea of how these fires started, or if these fires are related. However, early information concerns the Ada County Sherriff's Office (ACSO).

"Ada County Sheriff's Office detectives are working to determine the cause of the fires," ACSO Public Information Officer Patrick Orr wrote KTVB in an email. "The location of the fires, times of ignition, and other information gathered overnight indicates the fires may have been set on purpose."

"We have people in place to make sure the information we get out is accurate and truthful. That's what we're looking for," Hampton said.

After a wet spring, grass that grew in the foothills and rangeland is dried out, said Kyle McQuillin, an engine captain with the Bureau of Land Management's Boise District.

McQuillin was at a fire that's been burning near Highway 21 west of Lucky Peak State Park's Discovery unit. That fire has burned an estimated 5 to 10 acres since about 1 a.m. Friday.

The fire reached up to the rimrock along the canyon. McQuillin said the steep slope made it difficult and dangerous to fight the fire in the dark.

"We're pulling off the hill for the night. The fire's knocked down right now, so it's just not worth the risk to put people up on the hill with the likelihood of getting hurt in the dark. We'll get back up there in the daylight," McQuillin said.

Crews will continue to monitor that fire Friday.

Near Lucky Peak, the BLM indicated two fires near the High Bridge.

Fires also broke out off of North Cartwright Road and off of Pierce Park Lane. As of 2:30 a.m. Friday, the Boise District Bureau of Land Management said the fires were close to containment. The Cartwright Fire has burned about 10 acres. The Pierce Fire has burned about 0.6 acres.

Small grass fires also burned in southeast Boise near Eisenman Road, which is located near mile marker 59 along I-84; also, along the eastbound side of I-84 at Blacks Creek.

Cooler nighttime temperatures, increased humidity and the availability of firefighting resources in the Boise area are helping firefighters contain the fires. The causes of the fires have not been determined.

"Lots of real estate we're in charge of covering," Hampton said. "Having multiple fires like that isn't usual. We've typically seen fire activity like that in the past. We just haven’t seen something like that this year yet."

Orr encourages anyone with information about these fires to call (208) 577-3770 or send an email to tmceachern@adacounty.id.gov.

This is a developing story; will be updated here on KTVB.COM as new information is confirmed.

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