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Eye On Boise

Double burnout starts to stop fire from reaching Idaho town

Burnout operations south of Lowman on Highway 21 (Inciweb)
Burnout operations south of Lowman on Highway 21 (Inciweb)

Here’s a news item from the Associated Press: LOWMAN, Idaho (AP) — Firefighters have started two simultaneous burnouts trying to stop an 81-square-mile wildfire that on Friday moved to within a few miles of a small town in mountainous central Idaho. The burnouts started late Thursday on the east and west sides of Rock Creek are intended to consume fuel in the drainage that funnels into Lowman where firefighters have set up sprinkler systems to protect homes. Nearly 1,500 firefighters are battling the blaze burning timber in rugged terrain that has forced the abandonment of numerous fire lines as flames have moved north. No evacuations have been ordered but the county sheriff has told residents to be alert. State Highway 21 remains closed from 6 miles north of Idaho City to south of Lowman.

This morning’s fire update noted that the fire “continues to exhibit extreme behavior.”  It also noted that crews were “waiting on a burn window to continue burning out along the constructed dozer line from Highway 21 towards Lowman, along the eastern ridge of Rock Creek,” with firing continuing as weather allows. The burnouts are "progressing pretty well," fire spokesman Patrick Lair told the AP today. "That's really the big push for the next several days — to complete that." The Pioneer Fire is 27 percent contained.

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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