Hot temperatures expected to increase Pioneer Fire activity

Posted at 12:31 PM, Aug 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-29 14:31:17-04

The Pioneer Fire, burning in rugged wilderness near Idaho City and Lowman, is at 111,604 acres and 55% contained, according to Boise National Forest officials.

1,213 personnel are assigned to the fire. Resources include 23 crews, 9 helicopters, 54 engines, 4 dozers, 27 water tenders and 4 masticators, officials said.

But crews are concerned hot weather expected later this week could only help to fan the flames.
According to a Boise National Forest news release, “Fire activity in the Deadwood Ridge North of Slaughterhouse Canyon and Nellies Basin will likely increase over the next week as the temperatures rise and the relative humidity decreases. Temperatures are expected to reach the low 90s as the dry and unstable air mass builds over the Pioneer Fire.”

No significant moisture is expected this coming week.  “Smoke from the fire will have an impact on the communities of Garden Valley, Lowman and Stanley as southwest winds return,” the release said. 

Air quality is being monitored, and the daily outlook for the region is published online at:

Crews are continuing preparation of the contingency line along Forest Road #555, which lies west of Deadwood Ridge at the head of Nellies, Sams and Josie Creeks.  Additional crews and equipment are improving the roads for holding fire movement in check. 

The fire is expected to move to the north and east, away from the Clear Creek and Long Creek roads.  As the temperatures and winds increase, there may be torching of pockets of unburned fuel within the fire’s perimeter. 

The public is reminded that there is a Temporary Flight Restriction 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. 

All current evacuation levels remain in place, Forest official said. A Level 2 evacuation designation still is in effect for the summer homes located in the Long Creek area along Forest Road 582 (Bear Valley). 

A Level 1 designation remains in effect for all of the properties in Pioneerville, as well as those in the Lowman area. Level 1 is also in place for homes located in the South Fork Road area, east of Grimes Creek and along the South Fork Payette River.