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Walker Fire Evacuees Can Return Home, but Smoke to Last Through Saturday

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The Walker Fire has now burned more than 5,000 acres. - INCIWEB
  • InciWeb
  • The Walker Fire has now burned more than 5,000 acres.
Residents of Macks Creek, Wolf Creek and Pine Creek are now allowed to return home, the U.S. Forest Service announced Oct. 14, following an evacuation order issued Oct. 11 in the face of the 5,166-acre Walker Fire, which has already claimed four structures—three of which were cabins. 

The fire, burning eight miles southwest of Idaho City since Oct. 10, has blanketed the Treasure Valley in a thick cloud of smoke. The National Weather Service forecasts the smoke will last through Saturday, Oct. 17. A 20 percent chance of showers could help wash the smoke out of the valley. 

Until then, air quality in Boise is considered "unhealthy," according to the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality's real-time air quality monitoring.

While residents can return to their homes, road and forest closures are still in place in the Grimes Creek area. The main fire activity is focused on the northeast portion of the fire, south of Manhattan Creek. That's where fire resources will focus today, possibly by conducting a back burn in the area. There are 394 personnel on the fire.

The human-caused blaze was initially contained by the Clear Creek Fire Department at only three acres until winds picked up and pushed the fire out of control. It is now 50 percent contained.