Fire prompts closure of Wildlife Management Area

Posted at 4:48 PM, Jul 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-21 18:49:06-04

Because of the Mile Marker 14 wildfire burning northeast of Boise, the Idaho Fish and Game Department has closed portions of its Boise River Wildlife Management Area to the public –- until further notice.

Areas closed include the Highland Valley Road, the burned area on both sides of Idaho 21, and all trails in the burned area. 

Boaters and anglers are reminded that the Robie Creek boat launch, the Mores Creek Arm of Lucky Peak Reservoir, and several boat-in camp areas are also closed while aircraft use the reservoir to fight the fire. 

Fire officials have also closed Robie Creek and Rocky Canyon to recreation, but property owners can still access their land.

As of 1 p.m. Thursday, July 21, the fire was 60 percent contained and burning northeast of the WMA in the Mores Creek Bridge and Deer Creek areas.

So far, the fire has burned about 4,306 acres of land managed by the Idaho Fish and Game and various federal agencies.

The fire started Tuesday afternoon near Hilltop Summit on State Highway 21. Afternoon winds and hot temperatures quickly helped the fire expand to several hundred acres.  At Fish and Game’s WMA field office, two outbuildings were burned and numerous trees scorched.  The extent of damage to the WMA, which is critical winter range for big game and other wildlife, has not yet been determined, but planning for rehabilitation projects is already underway, according to an Idaho Fish and Game news release.

“Volunteers will be at the heart of the rehabilitation efforts on the WMA fires, including fall seedling planting and native seed collection,” said Michael Young, Fish and Game volunteer coordinator. “Folks interested in helping out can sign up on the contact list and we’ll notify them of our future plans.”    

Those interested in volunteering can sign up at the Fish and Game website:   

Officials say the fire was human caused and is under investigation.