BOISE, Idaho – Springs Fire - The Springs Fire grew by 400 acres today becoming more active after a morning smoke inversion lifted, and the fire is now estimated at 3500 acres. The northwest flank, near Highway 55 and about five miles north of Banks, was a priority area today, with work being done by helicopters, a bulldozer, fire crews and retardant drops in that area. Air tankers were utilized in the afternoon to help hold and cool the fire on the north and south flanks as it became more active late in the day.
Highway 17 (Banks – Lowman Road) traffic restrictions have been lifted, and the Idaho Department of Transportation has reopened Highway 55 in both directions. Travelers are asked to drive slowly and cautiously in the immediate fire area due to fire traffic and the potential for rocks or other debris being on the road.
Crews conducted some burnout operations near the southeastern flank. The eastern flank is in patrol status, and crews will continue to reinforce handline in that area. Three engines will patrol the fireline tonight, monitoring for any flareups or hotspots. The fire is now 25 percent contained. No estimated containment date has been identified.
A Type 1 Incident Management Team (Incident Commander Hahnenberg) assumed command of the fire at 8 PM today. About 295 firefighters are battling the blaze, with hand crews, engines, helicopters and air tankers involved.
Rafters on the South Fork Payette River will need to use caution traveling the river where the helicopters are dipping. The river is currently open.
Scott Fire – A potential large fire was extinguished with excellent air and ground coordination when a new fire broke out late today about 12 miles east of Garden Valley. The 5 acre blaze was at the junction of the Banks –Lowman road and the Forest Service road to Deadwood, at the base of the canyon. Crews are mopping it up tonight.
Bench Fire – This fire closed Highway 21 at the Grandjean junction, about 25 miles east of Lowman. Firefighters did contain the 20 acre portion of the fire on the west side of the highway, and are working on the 70 acre east side. Three 20 person hand crews and 5 engines, along with the C-130 MAFFS responded. There is hope snag trees can be dropped tomorrow to allow Highway 21 to reopen to one-lane. A time for that is uncertain. Bull Trout Lake Campground was evacuated as the fire was about 1.5 miles away. This fire is being managed by the Salmon-Challis National Forest. Boat access to the Middle Fork Salmon River is via the Clear Creek-Bear Valley routes from Lowman.