Indian Creek

Less than two days since the ski season ended, it seems the fire season is underway. A wildfire ignited late this morning near Hailey.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reported 219 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 statewide today, raising the total to 183,910. Of those, an estimated 103,365 have recovered.

The department counted another four coronavirus-related deaths today, leaving Idaho’s death toll at a grim milestone: 2,000.

Blaine County gained seven confirmed and one probable case today, leaving local totals at 2,095 confirmed and 228 probable. The South Central Public Health District continues to monitor 62 cases in Blaine County.

A total of 372,534 Idahoans are considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19. A further 171,629 state residents have received the first dose of a two dose vaccine and await their second.

Keep reading for news of a wildfire near Hailey, COVID-19 variants in Twin Falls, new bear-related requirements on the SNRA, and more top news from Tuesday, April 13.

• Crews responded to a wildfire burning out Indian Creek northeast of Hailey around noon today. The blaze was caused by flammable gas used by a Rodenator in an effort to exterminate ground squirrels, according to one eye witness. The wildfire prompted a temporary closure of Indian Creek Road. Crews continue to tackle the blaze.

Click here for details.

• The South Central Public Health District confirmed cases of two highly contagious COVID-19 variants in Twin Falls County today. Both variants had previously been confirmed in Blaine County.

Read more here.

• The Sawtooth National Recreation Area will implement a new food storage order this season in an effort to limit human-bear interactions. Under the order, effective May 29 through Sept. 6, requires campers and day users to safely store attractants.

Emily Jones has more here.

• The Blaine County commissioners voiced their opposition to a proposed private air strip in Custer County, about 15 miles south of Stanley. The Custer County Planning and Zoning Commission will make a final decision whether to approve a conditional-use permit for the air strip on May 9.

Gretel Kauffman reports.

For more local and regional news, pick up a free copy of tomorrow’s Idaho Mountain Express, or visit at any time.

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