Easter Bunny Galena

Ketchum resident Luka Rhodes met the Easter Bunny at Galena on Easter Sunday. Kids participating in Galena Lodge's egg hunt enjoyed a little late-season snow, though down south temperatures measured in the high 60s.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reported 346 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 statewide on Tuesday, raising the total to 182,182. Of those, an estimated 102,010 have recovered.

The state's coronavirus-related death toll rose by two to 1,974.

Blaine County gained four confirmed and five probable cases today, leaving local totals at 2,062 confirmed and 222 probable. The South Central Public Health District continues to monitor 40 cases in Blaine County.

A total of 319,380 Idahoans are considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19. A further 171,952 state residents have received the first dose of a two dose vaccine and await their second.

Keep reading for news of a small wildfire out Quigley Canyon, drought conditions in Blaine County, the latest on the COVID STATS research project, and more news from Tuesday, April 6.

• Wood River Fire & Rescue got a prelude to 2021’s wildfire season this Sunday, responding to a small fire “spreading quickly” out Quigley Canyon. According to Chief Ron Bateman, the blaze appeared to be caused by an unextinguished campfire. “It’s only April 4 and Baldy hasn’t even closed yet, and we’re addressing drought conditions,” he said.

Tony Evans reports.

• The Quigley fire ignited amid severe drought conditions in Blaine County caused by a below-average year for water supply. As of April 6, snowpack is 69% of normal in the Big Wood Basin and 54% of normal in the Little Wood Basin. Consequently, the county commissioners are asking the Idaho Department of Water Resources to issue a drought emergency declaration.

Gretel Kauffman has the details.

• Local officials and medical experts will hold a virtual town hall meeting tomorrow evening to discuss the COVID STATS Research Project, an upcoming study intended to identify local patterns in new coronavirus infections and ultimately reduce community spread.

Click here to learn more.

• The Salmon-Challis National Forest is going to receive about $650,000 under the Great American Outdoors Act to help conserve critical aquatic and riparian habitats on the forest. The project will be a collaboration between the National Forest and the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes.

Click here for details.

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

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