Two Fires Close to Merging within the Whiskey Complex
BOISE, Idaho – The Wash and Calder Fires appear to have merged, or are close to merging according to aerial observers, but heavy smoke is making it difficult to confirm. The Wash Fire has been moving upslope in a southeast direction from the South Fork Payette River throughout the morning. The separation earlier between the two fires was about 1 ½ miles. The Calder Fire is established above the river along a prominent ridge.
In addition, the Calder Fire has numerous spot fires on its south flank that are of concern and they are about 1 mile from the small community of Pioneerville. The objective today was to keep that fire from moving south and over the prominent ridge which puts it into a different watershed drainage and on south facing slopes.
South facing slopes are hotter and drier which challenge fire fighters even more. Fire fighters are working hard to contain these spot fires this afternoon.
Two additional helicopters have been ordered to add to the on-scene helicopters which include 2 heavy lift (Type 1), two medium lift (Type 2) and one light lift (Type 3) helicopters. These helicopters provide significant support by dropping hundreds of gallons of water with pinpoint accuracy.
Community meetings are planned forThursday at 6 PM at the Garden Valley High School and Friday at 6 PM at the Centerville Community Center. Incident personnel will provide updates on the suppression efforts at the meetings.
Also, Public Information Officers will be hosted by Garden Mountain Radio (KXGV) local radio to provide fire updates each dayat 2:30 PM.
An area closure has been established around the three fires extending to points near Placerville, Centerville and Pioneerville. The Hot Springs Campground is closed.
The Banks to Lowman Road, Highway 17, is open but at times smoky and travelers need to use caution. The Garden Valley Rural Fire Department has a contact line for local residents at 208-462-3175 and Boise County has an evacuation hotline number at 208-462-0552. Further information is available by contacting Boise National Forest Public Affairs Officer David Olson at 861-0768 or atwww.inciweb.nwcg.gov. ###