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The view from above: A satellite image of Idaho and western Montana, taken Monday and posted by the USDA Forest Services's Active Fire Mapping website, showing smoke and clouds. (USDA Forest Service)

Wildfire In Southern Idaho Is Growing Quickly

Jul 10, 2012

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Though firefighters have "gained ground on a number of wildfires across the West," they're having trouble in southern Idaho, The Associated Press reports.

There, winds have "fanned a fast-moving blaze across nearly 300 square miles of sagebrush and dry grass," the wire service says. The fire began Saturday. It was apparently sparked by a lightning strike.

Our colleagues at Boise State Public Radio write that the Kinyon Road Fire:

"Has now burned 190,000 acres near the south central Idaho towns of Castleford and Roseworth. That's double the area since Sunday evening. The Bureau of Land Management estimates the fire is 40 percent contained but does not have a timeline for full containment."

They add that as of Monday, 12 aircraft were "fighting the fire along with more than 30 pieces of ground equipment. Nearly 300 firefighters [were] expected on scene Monday afternoon."

Fortunately, according to the local Times-News, "Bureau of Land Management officials don't expect the fire to threaten homes but they aren't ruling anything out yet, said Chris Simonsen, fire manager officer for the agency."

As for what's happening elsewhere in the West, the AP writes that:

"Firefighters made progress in California, Utah, Wyoming Colorado and Montana, where the country's biggest wildfire is burning, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. The 250,000-acre Ash Creek Fire in southeastern Montana was 90 percent contained and expected to be fully contained later Monday.

"But the victory could be short-lived. Lightning, heat and 50 mph wind gusts are forecast to sweep into central and southeastern Montana later this week. Also burning in southeastern Montana was the Taylor Creek Fire, which has charred more than 62,000 acres about 12 miles southeast of Fort Howes. That fire was 65 percent contained.

"In northern California, a wildfire burning near a main highway in the eastern Sierra Nevada was more than 85 percent contained."

Regarding the weather and the fire threat, Weatherunderground.com reports, there are "fire weather advisories" posted for parts of Oregon, Washington state, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. And high temperatures are going to be a problem again today in parts of California, Nevada and Arizona.

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