More than 1,300 firefighting personnel are beginning this week as they ended last: battling the Trinity Ridge Fire, which has now burned more than 128,000 acres. The fire has scorched miles of Elmore County, destroyed four structures, resulted in seven injuries and cost more than $22.2 million.
A large smoke column developed over the Trinity Ridge area Sunday as afternoon temperatures increased. Thunderstorm cells crossed the fire area with wind gusts above 20 mph, which increased fire activity north of Featherville. Officials said warmer temperatures and lower humidity levels are expected to challenge firefighters' efforts.
Meanwhile, four new lightning-cased fires were reported in the region Sunday night. Three were 20 miles east of Idaho City, and one was 18 miles east of Lowman.