Sunday, August 11, 2013

Elk Complex Fire

The Elk Complex has been affected by a smoke inversion for most of the day, but is beginning to increase in activity this afternoon. Boise National Forest PIO, Dave Olson, says the plume-dominated Elk Complex has grown to an estimated 80,365 in two days--having moved six miles--and is 0% contained.

The Boise National Forest Supervisor has implemented an area closure that affects nearly 775,000 acres on national forest lands due to the extreme Elk Complex fire behavior.
Extreme fire behavior and extremely dry forest conditions are a concern to public safety:
“It would be very easy for a citizen to be in the forest not knowing the fire was moving quickly toward them and having adequate time to get to safety,” said Olson. "We know some campers are up one way roads, in isolated areas, and having adequate time to warn them is a very strong concern.”

Both ground and air resources employed strategies and tactics to battle the fire east of Prairie towards the landing strip yesterday. Late yesterday, the fire moved into the Lester and Fall Creeks area. This morning it was reported that the lodge in Fall Creek and approximately 20 structures have not been damaged by the fire, but it is believed there is structure loss further up the drainage. The Lester Creek Guard Station has not been damaged.

Fire managers working with the Elmore County Sheriff plan to enter the Fall Creek area as soon as it is safely possible. They are assessing that opportunity this afternoon, but it may not be possible until Monday. Their desire is to conduct an assessment as soon as possible. A 600- acre spot fire occurred late yesterday on the north side of the South Fork Boise River in the Rock Creek drainage. This is a concern as the fire may move north out of the river corridor and effect areas west of Prairie. There has not been an update on this area as of this afternoon.

The Elmore County Sheriff’s Department as of this morning notified residents from Johnson Bridge (about half way between Pine and Featherville) south to the junction of the Pine/Featherville Road and Highway 20 that they need to leave the area. Campers have left the area as requested. The fire situation and potential for growth will be evaluated regarding further evacuation needs. The Sheriff’s office has established a road block near the Pine/Featherville Road and Highway 20 junction and has implemented a hard closure. That closure restricts entry into the area and when residents leave the area they will be prohibited to return. Access to the Fall Creek area is restricted.

A public meeting is scheduled in Pine at the Pine Senior Center tonight at 6 PM.

The following road closures continue to be in place: Blacks Creek Road off I-84 at the Mayfield Road junction; Indian Creek Road off I-84 at exit 71; Anderson Ranch Dam south on the Dixie Creek Cut-off to Hwy 20; and Prairie Road/Cow Creek Road heading north from Hwy 20.

Due to extreme fire behavior, the following area evacuations have been issued by the Elmore County sheriff’s office: The community of Prairie and Mayfield (which includes Regina, Indian Creek and Baseline); Anderson Dam Reservoir up Fall Creek Road to Ice Springs Campground then east to Lester Creek Guard Station; Pine area from Johnson Bridge south to Highway 20 and the Pine/Featherville Road.

The American Red Cross has closed the evacuation shelter at the Good Council Hall in Mt. Home due to low use, but is prepared to open it again upon request by agency officials.

The Boise National Forest has expanded a large area closure that is described specifically in the CLOSURES portion of this site. Stage I fire restrictions remain in effect including no campfires outside of an agency designated recreation site until further notice.

For more information, please visit There is a Fire Information Center established in Boise which will be staffed from 7 AM to 7 PM., and the center can be contacted at 208-384-3266. Personnel at the center will be able to provide general information on large fires in the area. For more information on Wildfire Smoke and your Health please visit:


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