Despite cooling temperatures and some rainfall, wildfire season is not quite over in south-central Idaho. Keep reading for the latest updates on the nearby Wedge Butte, Meridian, Badger and Trap fires.
Wedge Butte Fire
Crews responded swiftly to the 789-acre Wedge Butte Fire, achieving containment of the blaze Friday, only a few hours after it was initially reported.
The wildfire ignited 13 miles south of Bellevue near Timmerman Hill on Friday afternoon, resulting from a car fire on the highway, according to Wood River Fire and Rescue Chief Ron Bateman. On Friday night, he told the Express that he did not know how the car fire started or whether anyone was injured in that initial blaze.
Carey, Bellevue, Hailey, Sun Valley, Wood River and West Magic fire departments all answered the call. The Bureau of Land Management took control of the scene Friday evening.
Multiple single engine tankers and a helicopter helped put down the fire, according to Bateman. One residence on Spud Patch Road was threatened, and horses were evacuated from the property. The fire did not reach the structures.
Final control of the fire was achieved Sunday evening.
As of Monday morning, the Meridian Fire—located 22 miles south of Clayton—had reached 620 acres, burning through Douglas fir and grass on the Salmon-Challis National Forest. Parts of the forest are closed to the public as a result.
When the fire ignited last Monday, Oct. 5, its smoke was visible from Ketchum looking north.
According to federal incident management system InciWeb, firefighters had completed 7 percent containment along the southern portion of the fire perimeter this weekend.
Cold, wet weather, including snow at higher elevations, may help slow the fire’s progress.
The cause of the fire remains unknown.
Command of the 90,143-acre Badger Fire transitioned back to the Sawtooth National Forest Monday morning. As of that date, firefighters had achieved 100 percent containment of the fire perimeter—well ahead of the initially estimated containment date of Oct. 31.
The fire, located 20 miles southwest of Oakley in both Cassia and Twin Falls counties, ignited Saturday, Sept. 12, and soon prompted temporary evacuations of residents from the area.
At its peak, nearly 300 personnel tackled the blaze. With full containment achieved, there are now 67 onsite, according to InciWeb.
According to the Sawtooth National Forest, most Badger Fire closures have been lifted, with a few exceptions. As it assumed command of the situation, the National Forest will also handle all communications and updates moving forward. Visit facebook.com/sawtoothnationalforest for details.
The cause of the fire is still unknown.
Despite being recently reported as 100 percent contained, the most current update from InciWeb lists the 2,627-acre Trap Fire near Stanley as just 41 percent contained.
InciWeb offers a clarification that firefighters have achieved 100 percent containment along the northeast side of state Highway 21, “where full suppression was need for public safety and structure protection. On the southwest portion of the fire, crews have been monitoring activity within the existing fire perimeter for an overall containment of 41 percent.”
That information was current as of Monday morning. A total of 23 personnel were combatting the blaze, which ignited on Sept. 14 of an unknown cause. Full containment is not anticipated until Oct. 30.
For up-to-date information on fires in Idaho and across the United States, visit inciweb.nwcg.gov.