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Wildfires Continue to Scorch Northwest; Weather Yields Progress


Hand crews on the scene of the West Scriver Fire. - BOISE NATIONAL FOREST
  • Boise National Forest
  • Hand crews on the scene of the West Scriver Fire.

This morning's map of large incident fires from the National Interagency Fire Center indicates the overwhelming majority are burning in the northwest corner of the nation. According to the USFS, the National Fire Preparedness Level is 5 with only five large fires contained and 95 other large fires uncontained.

Rangeland firefighters made progress on the Soda Fire this past weekend, reporting Monday that the blaze, which has scorched more than 280,000 acres northeast of Jordan Valley, was 70 percent contained.

Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter toured the area over the weekend and issued a disaster declaration for Owyhee County to assist that region's ranchers and homeowners.

In the Payette National Forest, the Tepee Springs fire has burned approximately 4,800 acres south of Riggins on the east side of Highway 95; the Campbells Fire, along the Salmon River, has burned 750 acres; and the Rapid Fire, south of Fogg Lake, has burned approximately 700 acres.

In the Boise National Forest, Sunday's light winds allowed firefighters to make some progress. The Cougar Fire, which has burned 590 acres, saw some spot fires pop up within 1/4 mile of Warm Lake Highway (Highway 22). Officials are warning that the highway could be closed at any time. The West Scriver fire, burning 13 miles north of Crouch, is now 40 percent contained, after burning approximately 600 acres. Firefighters are asking that the public stay off of nearby Packer John Road.

Meanwhile, major wildfires continue to burn across portions of Idaho, Oregon and Washington, threatening dozens of homes and vacation cabins. Six separate blazes near the the central Washington town of Chelan have destroyed nearly 50 homes and burned more than 155 square miles. In Oregon, the Canyon Creek Complex continues to burn south of John Day, destroying at least 25 homes. That fire has burned more than 53 square miles.