UPDATE: Pioneer Fire now more than 63,000 acres; Lowman residents told to be ready to evacuate

Posted at 11:07 AM, Aug 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-08 13:07:52-04

Two of three roads leading into and out of the small town of Lowman are closed and residents have been told to be ready to evacuate as a 100-square-mile Pioneer Fire defies containment.

The Fire is burning eight miles north of Idaho City, and approaching Lowman.

Officials say crews on Monday are putting in fire lines to the west and south of the town where structure protection that includes a sprinkler system is in place.

More than 1,500 firefighters are at the blaze but they've had to abandon numerous fire lines in the last week as a combination of winds, rugged terrain and dry timber have made the fire unstoppable.

About 25 miles of State Highway 21 are closed south of town and, to the west, a portion of the Banks-Lowman Road is also closed.

So far, the fire has burned 63,362 acres, according to Boise National Forest officials. Containment is only 25 percent.

There are currently 1,525 people on the fire, which includes 43 crews, 10 helicopters, 53 engines, 8 dozers, 20 water tenders, 5 masticators and 1 skidder, officials said.

The main priority of the fire remains west of Lowman on the Deadwood Ridge, where crews continue to construct fireline between the 555 and 582 roads. 

Dozer lines are in place around structures in the northeastern part of Lowman nearest the fire -- and crews are poised to burnout these areas if they become imminently threatened by the fire. 

On the northwest flank of the fire, located near the Hole in the Wall Creek, crews hope to finish the fireline which follows the 397 road and then will tie in to the South Fork  Payette River and Highway 17. 
The Archie Mountain and Willow Creek portions of the fire will see similar work – as crews will work with dozers and engines to secure as much fireline as possible. 

A level two evacuation (voluntary evacuation) remains in place for residents of Lowman.