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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Idaho Panhandle wildfires grow to 7,000 acres; fire near Little Pend Oreille National Wildlife Refuge still at 1,000 acres

A handful of wildfires that has burned thousands of acres across the Inland Northwest remained completely uncontained as of Saturday afternoon.

Firefighters are referring to five burns in the Idaho Panhandle collectively as the Kootenai River Complex.

The fires grew by 1,500 acres Friday night and have burned a combined 7,000 acres since mid-August.

Four of the Kootenai River Complex fires are burning in the Selkirk Mountains of the Kaniksu National Forest, less than 10 miles south of the Canadian border and 10 miles northwest of Bonners Ferry. The fifth fire has burned more than 30 acres near Clifty Mountain, about 10 miles southeast of the city.

Lightning caused all five .

No evacuation orders have been issued, although residents northwest of Bonners Ferry on West Side Road closest to Burton Creek, Ball Creek and Clark Creek have been asked to prepare to evacuate if necessary.

Firefighters are asking the public to avoid roads and trails near the fires. Residents can text their ZIP code to 888777 to sign up for emergency alerts or call the Boundary County emergency line at (208) 696-2629.

In Eastern Washington, the Boulder Mountain Fire has burned 1,000 acres near the eastern edge of the Little Pend Oreille National Wildlife Refuge. Size estimates remained unchanged Saturday.

Lightning on Wednesday ignited the Boulder Mountain Fire roughly 9 miles northwest of Cusick. The fire is burning on federal, state and private land in the Pend Oreille County mountains near Calispell Peak.

More than 100 firefighters are battling the blaze.

Area residents have been asked to evacuate. Evacuation updates can be found on Pend Oreille County’s website.