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Pioneer Wildfire Finally Contained, Intense Rehab Begins

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The Pioneer Fire burned more than 188,000 acres in the Boise National Forest. - U.S. FOREST SERVICE/BOISE NATIONAL FOREST
  • U.S. Forest Service/Boise National Forest
  • The Pioneer Fire burned more than 188,000 acres in the Boise National Forest.


Wildfire management crews worked long hours Saturday, picking up firefighting equipment and repairing tracks caused by countless bulldozers plowing through the Boise National Forest as firefighters battled the Pioneer Fire for more than three months.

The Pioneer Fire first sparked deep in the Boise National Forest on July 18, growing to become the largest fire in North America on federal lands. It burned more than 188,00 acres and, at the height of the blaze, required nearly 2,000 wildland firefighters on the front lines. The Pioneer Fire was finally deemed 100 percent contained on Nov. 3at an estimated cost of around $94,000,000.

Though the Pioneer Fire has been extinguished, worries about the damage have not. Boise National Forest officials say the scarred landscape has increased the potential for flooding and debris flows in the region. Helicopters have already started dropping mulch and straw onto the area to hinder intense splash impact from rainfall which might trigger severe soil erosion. Crews have to work fast, though, because snow will be falling in the upper elevations soon.

Crews worked for months to extinguish the Pioneer Fire.  - US FOREST SERVICE/BOISE NATIONAL FOREST
  • US Forest Service/Boise National Forest
  • Crews worked for months to extinguish the Pioneer Fire.