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Fast-moving Pioneer Fire now at 164,895 acres; officials broaden closure areas

Posted at 12:41 PM, Sep 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-01 19:42:41-04

The persistent Pioneer Fire, which has been burning in rugged wilderness in the Idaho City/Lowman area, has now scorched 164,895 acres, according to Boise National Forest officials.

Some 1,079 personnel are still battling the fire, that is only about 52% contained. Twenty crews are on the scene, with nine helicopters, 41 engines, four dozers, 24 water tenders and three masticators.

The Area Closure has increased due to the growth of the fire. This closure is critical for maximizing public and firefighter safety and minimizing the chances of being trapped by the fast-moving wildfire.

Fire officials advise that the public NOT camp in any areas north of Forest Service Road 579 between FS Road 555 junction and Elk Creek Guard Station. For additional information concerning the closure visit: http://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/boise/alerts-notices

The fire continues advancing to the north and northeast, but was less active than the last few days -- growing by 7,502 acres, officials said.

The northern flank of the fire continues to burn in Little Sam Creek/Meadow Camp Creek and north of the Whitehawk Mountain area. The fire has burned across the 555 Road, but has stayed on the east side of Scott Creek.

Old fire scars in the northeast, near the Red Mountain area, has slowed the progression of the fire.

Firefighters in the Deadwood and Bear Valley area continue to look for opportunities to construct containment lines and limit additional growth.

Crews in the Archie Mountain and Charlotte Gulch areas report they made good progress Wednesday and continue to work on hot spots near the containment lines. Suppression repair work continues throughout the southern portion of the fire and completion is expected early next week.

A cold front is expected to arrive over the fire area on Friday, and bring a cooling trend through the holiday weekend.

Smoke from the fire will continue to impact the communities of Garden Valley, Lowman, Stanley and the surrounding areas. Air quality is being monitored, and the daily outlook for the region is published online at: idsmoke.blogspot.com.

All evacuation levels remain in place. A Level 2 evacuation designation is in effect for the summer homes located in the Clear Creek area. A Level 1 designation remains in effect for all of the properties in Pioneerville, the Lowman area and for homes in the South Fork Road area, east of Grimes Creek and along the South Fork Payette River.

A Temporary Flight Restriction is still in place over the fire area. Private and commercial aircraft as well as privately owned drones are prohibited from entering the restricted air space. Fire suppression aircraft may be grounded if unauthorized aircraft or drones are observed in the air space.