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Eye On Boise

A smoky, hazy start to Boise’s day…

It was a smoky, hazy sunrise in Boise today, as seen here looking across Lucky Peak Lake just east of town. That's from the numerous wildfires still burning in the region. The Stone fire, between 8th Street and Rocky Canyon road in the foothills just east of town, was contained last night at 50 acres; no structures were burned, and crews will continue monitoring it today, said Boise BLM spokesman Brandon Hampton. The Avelene fire in Boise County was 50 percent contained last night at 250 acres; more than 100 firefighters were fighting it, including hand crews, engines, helicopters and air tankers. “There are homes within close proximity to the fire, but at this point all the forward progression of the fire has been stopped,” Hampton said.

The smoky sky in Boise, however, isn't from those two nearby fires - it's mainly from the 475,000-acre Long Draw fire about 160 miles southwest of Boise in east-central Oregon, 10 miles west of the town of Basque, Ore. That fire is 30 percent contained, with a Type 1 incident management team on it and about 300 firefighters working to fight the flames; no structures are threatened and it's burning mainly in grass and sage.

There's also the Stout fire 14 miles north of Hammett, about 60 miles east of Boise. “That fire is also impacting Boise with smoke,” Hampton said. “There are just so many fires around Boise geographically that everything is impacting Boise. We just don't have very much air movement, so it's somewhat sitting in the valley here.” Continued relatively stagnant air is forecast in the valley today, but Hampton said firefighters are bracing because more lightning - the cause of most of the wildfires - is predicted for the weekend.

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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