Fraiser Fire 40 Percent Contained, Helicopters to Make Water Drops Near Highway 17



Firefighting crews get July 9 morning briefing on Fraiser Fire

Approximately 130 firefighters are making what they call their final push to contain the estimated 270-acre Fraiser Fire, about five miles east of Banks along Highway 17. The fire is currently 40 percent contained.

Two helicopters are expected to make water drops on the blaze today, which may cause some delays on Highway 17.

The nearby Fraiser Creek sub-division contains about 40 structures.

Fire officials say this is the third fire in the same area in the past three years.

Meanwhile, in the Magic Valley, a wildfire erupted July 8 near the Shoshone Ice Caves. Officials said because no storms had hit that area, it was likely human-caused. Single-engine air tankers were sent into the area to help battle the blaze in the rough lava rock terrain.

In Central Idaho, a dozer operator out of Clarkston, Wash., was killed that same day while battling the Pardee Fire northwest of Kamiah. Officials said Dennis Long, a logging contractor, died of an apparent heart attack. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Meanwhile, it was estimated that more than 1,600 lightning strikes hit central Idaho and western Montana on July 8, sparking a number of backcountry wildfires. Nearly all of the fires burned less than an acre and were quickly snuffed by firefighters.

The fast-moving storm intensified as it cleared the Rocky Mountains and headed into central Montana.

Fire danger has been elevated to high through much of the region.


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