Firefighters have gained an additional four miles of containment on the Pioneer Fire

Posted at 1:13 PM, Sep 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-19 15:14:06-04

After a damp Saturday, Sunday turned warmer and drier, allowing the Pioneer Fire -- burning in rugged wilderness between Idaho City and Lowman -- to grow an additional seven acres.

However, firefighter efforts over the past few days have contained an additional one percent of the Fire’s perimeter, an equivalent of about four miles.

Firefighters are looking for opportunities to extinguish pockets of heat that remain along the eastern flank. This is to prevent future spread towards the Long Creek Summer Homes area, officials said.

The Level 2 Evacuation Notice remains in effect for the area. It is expected to be reduced in the near future, which would then allow for unescorted access.

Along the northwestern flank, handcrews are extinguishing hot spots discovered Sunday, in an effort to keep the fire from progressing further west.

Dozer and handline repair is progressing along the Deadwood Lookout, officials report. They expect three more days of work before it can be completely repaired. Experts said the repair work protects the soil, disguises scars, and helps the landscape recover more quickly. Firefighters are also retrieving gas cans, removing pumps and associated equipment and hauling trash from the Fire area.

The weather is expected to stay warm and dry for a few days, in advance of another front that may bring rain to the area later this week. The amount of precipitation will depend upon the track the storm follows as it moves inland from the Pacific coast.

Due to the decrease in fire activity and decline in firefighting aircraft use in the southern part of the Fire, the temporary flight restriction was reduced, opening airstrips that were previously closed.