The Boise National Forest area closure issued last week has again been expanded as a result of the Pioneer Fire burning seven miles north of Idaho City, Boise National Forest officials said.
“The new closed area is effective immediately due to the concern for public safety and the hazards associated with the wildfire, which continues to move northeast and east,” said Boise National Forest spokeswoman Susan Blake.
Also, Idaho State Highway 21 will be closed to all traffic beginning at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, between Mile Marker 72.5 north of Lowman near the South Fork Lodge to Mile Marker 48 one mile west of Ten Mile Campground, east of Idaho City, she added.
“The closure will remain in effect until further notice, due to firefighting efforts in the region,” said ITD spokeswoman Jennifer Gonzalez.
The Idaho Transportation Department and the U.S. Forest Service are closing the highway for about four to five days to ensure the safety of the traveling public and fire crews working in the area.
Motorists are encouraged to use an alternate route.
The closure’s northern boundary parallels the South Fork Payette River from Lowman to the Grimes Pass Road, but the river is open to rafting use.
The new area closure also extends east to Graham along National Forest Service Road 312 and turns southwest on NFS Road 348A along North Fork Boise River to Granit Creek Road (NFS road 327) to Idaho State Highway 21. In addition, the new closure borders the Centerville and Grimes Pass roads, but those roads are also open.
The area closure order can be viewed online at http://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/boise/alerts-notices.