BOISE, Idaho – The Springs Fire had moderate growth yesterday due to lower winds and a cloud cover which reduced temperatures. The fire advanced mostly to the north, now crossing Zimmer Creek which is about 5 miles north of Banks. A smoke inversion this morning will slow fire activity, but fire managers are concerned that it will increase when it lifts later today.
Highway 17 (Banks – Lowman Road) traffic restrictions have been lifted as of this morning. 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.
Idaho Department of Transportation will reopen Highway 55 to one lane traffic with a pilot car at approximately 8 AM today. Delays from 15 to 30 minutes should be anticipated in that area of the fire from Milepost 79 to 82.
Hot shot crews, a dozer, and aerial resources (helicopters and/or air tankers) will work to build fireline at the top of the ridge above Highway 55 and work towards the highway. Crews will also be along Highway 55 to work as needed. Yesterday, they cleared brush and burnout areas near Highway 55 just south of Banks.
The northeast flank, which has been a priority area, has fireline built, but it will be re-enforced today with fire crews working to improve the fireline and cool hotspots.
The northwest flank, near Highway 55 and about 5 miles north of Banks, will be a priority area today. With a new spot fire occurring late yesterday north of Zimmer Creek, helicopters, a dozer and fire crews will begin to work in that area.
The approximately 3100 acre Springs Fire is a challenging fire to fight due to the steep terrain and hot temperatures, but progress is being made.
There is no estimate of containment. A Type 1 Incident Management Team has arrived and will transition today with the current Type 3 Team. They will assume command at 8 PM today. Nearly 240 fire fighters 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.