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Cooler weather helping crews battle two Boise County wildfires

Posted at 1:31 PM, Aug 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-11 15:31:13-04

Fire managers trying to stop a 102-square-mile Pioneer Fire, burning in wilderness eight miles north of Idaho City, say they will continue to build fire lines on Thursday -- as cooler weather in the 60s and 70s combined with lighter winds have helped their efforts the past few days.

The 65,285-acre fire is about 35 percent contained, but officials say the town of Lowman is still threatened with fire burning to the north and west of the community.

The Banks-Lowman Road to the west is closed -- and the U.S. Forest Service has issued a broad closure for multiple roads and trails in the Boise National Forest.

State Highway 21 is open to the public from Idaho City to Stanley.

About 1,500 firefighters are battling the blaze burning timber in rugged terrain.

Fire management says the southwestern heel of the fire is secure; crews have started suppression repair operations. Line construction will continue along the southeastern perimeter as it slowly burns in previous burn scars.

On the east end, line construction will continue in the steep, rugged terrain.

The cause of the fire that started July 18 is unknown.

Officials say they hope to have the fire completely contained by the end of September.

Meanwhile, the lightning-caused Rough Fire is burning about fourteen miles northeast of Lowman. It’s now 1,629 acres and about 10 percent contained, according to Boise National Forest officials.

Firefighters will be working to contain the southwest flank and will try to guide the fire toward the 2006 Red

Mountain Fire scar using aircraft and hand crews.

(The Associated Press contributed to this story.)