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Thursday, July 28, 2016

28 July -- Eastern Idaho Fire Update



Idaho Falls, ID – Smoke continues to impact all of eastern Idaho as a result of fires burning in western Idaho, Northern California, and western Wyoming.  The stagnant air resulting from the prevailing hot weather is causing the smoke to linger, particularly in the valleys.  As a reminder, there are several links in the lower right hand side of the page to information on smoke conditions and air quality.  



For photos and videos of the recent fires in eastern Idaho, visit the Idaho Fire Info Flickr albums for the Idaho Falls District BLM at http://tinyurl.com/ho4ap3x and Caribou-Targhee National Forest (CTNF) at http://tinyurl.com/h86tkr8



The Box Canyon Fire was fully contained last night.  The fire burned a total of 27 acres of BLM land at the mouth of Blackrock Canyon, south of Pocatello.  The increase in acreage is due to more accurate mapping.  The cause of the fire is believed to be a blown tire from traffic on I-15 northbound.  Fire personnel will continue to patrol the fire perimeter today and mop up hotspots, particularly underneath juniper trees where larger fuels continue to smolder.  At the end of today, the hand crew will be released to return to the Big Elk Fire.  Tomorrow, resources will rehabilitate suppression work, including the dozer line.
Resources:  1 Handcrew, 3 Engines, 1 Water Tender, 1 Dozer, 45 Total Personnel
Start Date:  7/27                                            Cause:  Human



Minimal resources remain on the South Mink Fire as most were released late Wednesday.  The remaining firefighters will continue to monitor the fire throughout the day as heavy downed timber continues to smolder.  The closure that was in place on Forest Road 163 will be lifted at once all personnel are demobilized from the fire.  The human-caused South Mink Fire is also still under investigation.
Resources:  1 Handcrew, 3 Engines, 40 Total PersonnelStart Date:  7/25                                            Cause:  Under Investigation



The Big Elk Fire is still estimated at 2 acres.  The resources currently assigned to the fire are performing assessments and pretreatments of trailheads and other infrastructure and resources in the fire area.  The hand crew that was staged in Swan Valley yesterday was sent to the Box Canyon Fire last night.  They will return to the fire tonight and spend the next two days performing pretreatments around values at risk.  A web camera was placed on an opposing ridge for fire managers to constantly view the fire behavior throughout the daylight hours.
Resources:  1 Engines, 10 Total Personnel
Start Date:  7/26                                            Cause:  Under Investigation



The Lanes Creek Fire continues to burn about 9 air miles west of Freedom, Wyoming.  Fire staff on the CTNF are managing the fire to meet multiple objectives, including allowing fire to play its natural role in the ecosystem by removing dense conifers and encouraging aspen regeneration.  A web camera allows fire personnel to monitor the fire constantly, while firefighters on the ground have completed pre-treatments to minimize the fire’s potential impact to state and private lands.  The fire has shown little activity since the last mapped perimeter of 116 acres.  Limited resources are assigned to the fire; however, managers are prepared to increase the staffing to meet the needs of the incident.
             Resources:  1 Engine, 5 Total Personnel

            Start Date:  6/30                                            Cause:  Lightning



Thunderstorms are likely over the weekend.  While there are no fire restrictions on lands managed by the Idaho Falls District BLM or Caribou-Targhee National Forest, it is important that residents and visitors take precautions to prevent human-caused fires.  Dragging chains and blown tires are common causes of roadside fires.  Perform preventative maintenance on your vehicles and trailers.  Keep campfires in fire rings and ensure they are completely out before leaving your campsite.  Additional wildfire updates and fire prevention tips are available on www.IdahoFireInfo.com.  One less spark means one less Idaho wildfire.