Mile Marker 14 Fire UPDATE: 4,500 acres now burned; power to thousands could be restored by today

Posted at 12:35 PM, Jul 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-21 09:22:44-04

BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- Fire bosses in southwest Idaho called in retardant bombers Wednesday morning -- as well as additional firefighters -- in an attempt to strengthen containment lines on a blaze burning in grass and sagebrush some fifteen miles east of Boise.

The fire has so far burned some 4,500 acres.

Fire spokesman Brandon Hampton says bolstering the lines is the key strategy ahead of temperatures expected to hit 90 degrees later in the day and likely accompanied by winds.

Crews have attacked the blaze in the east, south, and west flanks, and are now concentrating on the north flank, in an effort to prevent the fire from reaching the Robie Creek and Rocky Canyon areas.

Additional fire crews could be arriving soon from Washington, Oregon, and Utah.

Officials say the fire that started Tuesday quickly ballooned to five square miles and destroyed a barn and two outbuildings. Hampton says no homes are being threatened Wednesday morning.

Officials say the blaze is likely human caused, possibly by a vehicle that may have accidentally created a spark.

Idaho Power says about 2,500 customers are without power in the area due to destroyed power poles. Crews hope to have power restored by Wednesday evening.

Power was out in the Idaho City, Centerville, Placerville, Robie Creek, Clear Creek, Star Ranch and Wilderness Road areas. Power was also out along Warm Springs Avenue near Boise, east of Eckert Road.

State Highway 21 reopened Tuesday night after being closed in both directions.

(Associated Press contributed to this story)