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Thunderstorms ignite fires

The Aberdeen Times of Aberdeen, Idaho

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A mid-morning thunderstorm rolled through the southern half of Idaho on Wednesday, July 11, resulting in at least fires. Crews are responding to known fires and reports of smoke in the area.

As of Friday, July 13, there were over 400 personnel working and supporting federally managed fires through Eastern Idaho Interagency Dispatch Center (EIIFC). Personnel have arrived from numerous states around the country demonstrating Interagency Federal Land Management Agency cooperation, national mobilization and resource allocation. Local agencies are cooperating in fire response. Current resources are being strategically moved and placed to meet needs in an efficient manner.

Thunderstorms continued to roll through the Eastern Idaho Interagency Dispatch area on Monday, July 16. Most areas in the dispatching zone received at least a half inch of rain in the past 24 hours. One area near American Falls has received 1.98 inches.

Currently only one fire is being staffed in Eastern Idaho. The 790-acre Knox Canyon Fire, which started on July 11, has an engine, dozer, helicopter and a 20-person hand crew assigned. The fire was contained by 5 p.m. on July 14.

The dispatch center asked for a reconnaissance flight Monday afternoon to see if they were getting any new starts associated with the lightning accompanying the thunderstorms. Priority areas are Arbon Valley, Rockland and 8-mile (south of Malad).

To date only two injuries have been reported. Both were firefighters. One injury was minor debris in the eye, the patient was transported to medical care, treated, and released. The other injury was due to heat related illness. That person was transported by helicopter-to a medical facility and is stable, recovering, currently being held for observation.

The reported fires are Power Co Assist #1:0-acre lightning caused fire seven miles southwest of Massacre Rocks State Park. Three engines and a 20-person hand crew have been assigned.

Power Co Assist #2: Five-acre fire located 16 miles south of Pocatello in Arbon Valley.

Knox Canyon: 150-acre fire 23 miles southwest of Pocatello in Arbon Valley (three miles west of Pauline). Resources assigned to the fire are three engines and two dozers.

Rooster Rock: 350-acre fire located nine miles south southwest of Pocatello in Arbon Valley. An engine and dozer are assigned.

Lego Area: A single tree lightning strike six miles southwest of Soda Springs.

Fire: An engine was dispatched to reported smoke seen 16 miles west of Mont-pelier.

Cedar Butte WSA: Three miles west of the Box Canyon Fire.

Fire: 31 miles northwest of Blackfoot, four miles south of the Midway fire. Air Attack, two air tankers and an engine assigned.

Cox's Well Fire: Crews have made good progress on the lightning caused wildfire 11 miles west of Springfield on BLM land. The 8,064-acre fire was reported about 2 p.m. on Tuesday, July 10. Current resources on the fire include two engines and two dozers. The fire was contained with estimated full containment at 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 11. Control was expected at 6 p.m. that same night.

Midway Fire: Crews responded to an apparent lightning caused wildfire about four miles southwest of Atomic City. Current resources on the fire include 10 engines, three dozers, one helicopter, water tender and a 20-person hand crew. Resources have responded from BLM, FS, and INL. The fire is currently 600 acres with potential for growth as fire moves with wind and terrain through grass and brush fuels. The fire perimeter is currently about 20 percent active; although that may change as temperatures rise and fuels dry and become available for combustion. Rough terrain and limited access are hindering firefighting efforts. Currently the fire appears to be stalled to some extent in lava flows of the fire area.

Box Canyon: Six miles southeast of Arco; 380-acre fire that started on Saturday, July 7, has two engines assigned and was controlled at 2:45 p.m. Wednesday, July 11.

Copyright 2012 The Aberdeen Times, Aberdeen, Idaho. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: July 18, 2012

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