Pioneer Fire crews catch a break with rain, cooler temps

Posted at 2:23 PM, Sep 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-05 16:23:54-04

Growth of the Pioneer Fire, which has been burning consistently in rugged wilderness between Idaho City and Lowman since July 18th, has been slowed a bit by rain in the area.

The fire has so far burned 181,145 acres and is 55% contained, according to forest officials. 1,087 personnel are assigned to the fire, including 21 crews, nine helicopters, 38 engines, four dozers, 21 water tenders and three masticators.

An overnight cold front lowered temperatures into the 30s and 40s in the area. Intermittent rainfall occurred Sunday night and early Monday morning, primarily south of highway 17. Firefighters are taking advantage of the cooler temperatures and higher humidity to engage the fire directly where it is safe to do so before warmer and drier conditions return later in the week, officials said. The fire has grown 845 acres since September 3rd.

Along Forest Service Road 582, crews are hoping to construct direct lines to move the fire away from summer homes in the Clear Creek/Long Creek area. Near Bruce Meadows, old-burn scars are helping to moderate fire behavior and minimize the fire’s spread to the northeast. 

Some areas within the fire perimeter continue to burn, though, causing smoke impacts to Garden Valley, Lowman, Stanley and surrounding areas. 

Closure orders remain in effect for multiple roads and trails. Current closure information is at:

Level 2 evacuations are still in effect for seasonal homes located near Clear Creek; Level 1 evacuations (where residents are encouraged to be ready to leave on short notice) are in effect for Pioneerville and Lowman; and for homes in the South Fork Road area, east of Grimes Creek, and along the South Fork Payette River.

A temporary flight restriction is in place over the fire area. Private and commercial aircraft, as well as privately owned drones, are prohibited from entering restricted airspace.