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Several wildfires burning in North Idaho after lightning strikes

One is burning near the historic Cataldo Mission. The fight against another fire, near Kamiah, was hindered when someone flew a drone in the area.
Credit: Larry Hardie
Mission Flats Fire

BOISE, Idaho — Lighting storms have led to several fires in North and North-Central Idaho, and the Idaho Dept. of Lands says interference from a drone forced a stoppage of the aerial attack against a fire near Kamiah, putting homes at risk.

The IDL had little information about that fire, but reminds everyone to not use drones anywhere near wildland fires.

Another fire, the Mission Flats Fire, was visible from Interstate 90.

That fire has burned about 20 acres near the historic Cataldo Mission, but is not threatening the mission or any other structures. The IDL says the fire is located west of the boat ramp, and has, so far, stayed on one side of I-90 as well as one side of the Coeur d'Alene River. Multiple aircraft, equipment and personnel are fighting the fire.

In Clearwater County, the Butte Creek Fire is estimated at 80 to 100 acres. It's burning in timber and logging slash, and is not threatening any structures. Crews with the IDL and the Clearwater-Potlatch Timber Protective Association are fighting the fire from the air and on the ground. A Type 2 Interagency Management Team has been ordered. 

The IDL says a flight over the area reveealed at least 12 fires within the Clearwater-Potlatch protection area, including four or five near the Butte Creek Fire estimated to be five acres or less.

Crews are fighting at least two fires in the IDL's Craig Mountain Protection District.

The Shovel Creek Fire has burned about 90 acres in grasses near Corral Creek, near the Nez Perce and Lewis county line. The IDL said Wednesday afternoon that it had "a high spread potential," and that some structures are threatened.

Also in the Craig Mountain district, the Hoover Ridge Fire is burning in timber near the oxbow of the Salmon River. It's estimated at about ten acres. Air crews are working on the fire. Fire crews are also fighting at least three other small fires, and investigating multiple reports of smoke.

As mentioned earlier in this story, the IDL says a drone operator put homes at risk on the Ridgewood Fire, about three miles south and east of Kamiah, forcing air crews to stop dropping water on the fire, estimated at five to ten acres in timber, brush and steep terrain. Crews are trying to keep the fire from going up a steep hill toward the homes. As of Wednesday afternoon, no evacuations had been ordered.

A 40- to 50-acre fire is burning near Kooskia, at the head of Big Horse Canyon. The IDL says it is in timber, but is near farmland and homes. As of Wednesday afternoon, no evacuations had been ordered. The IDL also says the Big Horse Fire is the fourth fire in that area within the last week. A Type 3 Interagency Management Team has been ordered.

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