BOISE, Idaho – The 3500 acre Springs Fire moved downslope towards Highway 55 last night prompting the closure of the highway again early this morning due to heavy rock fall on the road. It is closed from MP75 (Gardena Road) to MP 97 (Smiths Ferry). A re-opening time is indefinite, but hopefully later in the day. The fire became active near the road about 1 mile south of the Banks area last night. The fire has not crossed Highway 55 on the west side.
Fire managers are concerned today with the Red Flag warning for additional new starts, erratic and gusty winds, and the forecast of the smoke inversion lifting earlier today. When the inversion lifts fire activity quickly increases.
The northwest flank about five miles north of Banks, is a focus area today. Also, the southwest corner of the fire adjacent to Highway 55 is a priority area. Helicopters, engines, dozers, fire crews and retardant drops (as requested) will all be utilized today.
Highway 17 (Banks – Lowman Road) is fully open with no restrictions, but access to Highway 55 is blocked at Banks. Travelers are asked to drive slowly and cautiously in the immediate fire area due to the potential for rocks or other debris being on the road.
Crews will work the southwest corner of the fire from Highway 55 east and up the slope today. Crews will also work on the northwest flank from the Highway 55 area east (up slope) using both direct and indirect line construction. The eastern flank of the fire near Frazier Creek Sub-division is in patrol status, and crews will continue to reinforce handline in that area. The fire is now 25 percent contained. No estimated containment date has been identified.
A Type 1 Incident Management Team (Incident Commander Hahnenberg) is now in command. Nearly 300 firefighters are battling the blaze, with hand crews, engines, helicopters and air tankers involved.
Rafters on the South Fork Payette River and the main Payette River below Banks will need to use caution traveling the river where helicopters are dipping. The rivers are currently open.
Scott Fire – A potential large fire was extinguished with excellent air and ground coordination when a new fire broke out late Thursday 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 Reservoir, at the base of the canyon. Crews are mopping it up late last night.