Mile-marker 21 fire contained after burning 700 acres

Posted at 6:40 PM, Jul 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-17 15:35:34-04

UPDATE (7/17): The Mile-Marker 21 Fire which burned approximately 700 acres since Sunday has been fully contained. Today crews are monitoring and cleaning up hot spots, with helicopters assisting with water as needed.

Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) is currently investigating the cause of the fire. Fire vehicles will be working on the highway throughout the day, so caution is advised for those traveling on Highway 21. 

Several fire departments and agencies helped control the initial fire on Sunday. 



The Idaho Department of Lands and several other agencies responded to a fire on Sunday evening, the cause of that fire is still under investigation and fire crews believe they will have the fire contained by Monday night.

The fire created some challenges for firefighters on the ground because of the steep terrain and remote area of the burn that didn't allow crews to get fire engines close to the blaze.

"The first thing we do is to get as many forces as we can, we don't take any chances," said Casper Urbanek of the Idaho Department of Lands.

However, the reservoir did help the fight enabling helicopters, who can carry 300 to 500 gallons of water an easy spot to pick up water and dump quickly to control the blaze.

There was also the VLAT the very large air tanker that dropped thousands of gallons of retardant on the steep terrain.

Urbanek said that most of those aircraft including the VLAT are deployed by federal agencies like the BLM and the Forest Service and he said that all the crews work in conjunction to control wildfires and rural volunteer firefighters were also on scene.

"A lot of these guys don't get paid, they are usually first on the scene because they are up there already because they live in these communities," said Urbanek. "So it is really a concerted effort to get everybody together and none of us do it alone, we all do it together."