Idaho wildfire grows as strong winds propel flames
By KIMBERLEE KRUESI
Aug. 07, 2017
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A wildfire in Idaho grew over the weekend as strong winds propelled the flamers toward homes and other structures, officials said Monday.
The blaze burning about seven miles (11 kilometers) southeast of American Falls has consumed 79 square miles (204 square kilometers) since Friday evening.
"We are encouraging people to pay attention to the closures and stay away to let the firefighters do their job," fire spokesman Jason Curry said.
Officials with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management said the fire has destroyed six rural outbuildings, but no homes had been lost.
However, some residents in Power County and some campers in Bannock County were asked to evacuate Sunday. Fire officials did not know how many people were asked to leave.
Nearly 400 firefighters have been assigned to the fire, with many resources focused on building fire lines to protect structures.
The BLM said the fire was human-caused, but no further details have been released as authorities investigate.
Meanwhile, the National Weather Service has issued an air quality warning in the area because of smoke and ash from the fire.
Elsewhere in Idaho, firefighters are also battling two other large blazes.
Just north of Shoshone, a wildfire totaling 78 square miles (202 square kilometers) was burning grass and brush, but the terrain's rugged lava rock was making it difficult for firefighters to tame the flames.
They were hoping to have the upper hand later Monday after it erupted Friday and destroyed a home.
Near Wendell, a wildfire that has burned 55 square miles (142 square kilometers) was also expected to be contained Monday.
Officials were investigating to determine the causes of both those fires.