Fire near Dubois

A firefighter battles a wildfire northeast of Dubois on July 6.

Thousands of acres are burning in East Idaho due to multiple wildfires that ignited on Saturday.

Authorities said the thunderstorms currently hitting much of the region have made gaining the upper hand on the blazes very difficult.

The East Idaho Interagency Fire Center in Idaho Falls stated in a Saturday night press release: “{span}Storms with strong erratic winds are moving over the fires causing extreme fire behavior, making containment challenging. Firefighters will continue fighting the fires through the night and additional resources have been ordered.”{/span}

The wildfires, located near Aberdeen, Raft River and Dubois, are not threatening any structures and there have been no evacuations or injuries thus far, but all three of the blazes are burning out of control, the fire center reported.

The biggest fire is the one burning on Bureau of Land Management land about 17 miles northwest of Aberdeen.

The blaze has already scorched 4,000 acres and is continuing to spread, the fire center said.

Authorities said the fire was caused by lightning around 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

The fire is burning in grass and brush over terrain that is mostly flat with some rolling hills.

BLM and Forest Service firefighters are battling the fire with two fire trucks and a bulldozer. Eight firefighting airplanes, including heavy air tankers, are flying sorties against the fire.

The fire is zero percent contained and the fire center said additional firefighting resources are going to be brought in to battle the blaze. Firefighters hope to have the fire contained by 10 p.m. Sunday and hope to have it controlled by 8 p.m. on Tuesday.

Another lightning-caused wildfire is burning seven miles north of Raft River on BLM land. The fire was reported around 3 p.m. Saturday.

The fire center said this fire has burned 1,100 acres and is continuing to spread.

The elite Snake River Hotshots firefighting team has responded to this blaze along with other firefighters. Five fire trucks, a water tender and bulldozer are currently on the scene and a helicopter and heavy air tanker are helping to fight the fire from above.

The fire center said additional firefighting resources are going to be deployed to help extinguish the fire.

The fire is 10 percent contained but is still spreading in grass and brush in mostly flat terrain.

Firefighters hope to have the fire contained by 6 p.m. Sunday and hope to have it controlled by 6 p.m. Monday.

The third fire is burning on state land near Radar Hill 10 miles northeast of Dubois. The fire center says this fire was reported around 3:30 p.m. Saturday and has scorched 75 acres.

BLM, Forest Service, Clark County and Hamer fire units have responded to the blaze.

The fire center said the wildfire is creeping and running in grass and brush on mostly flat terrain.

The fire is currently 60 percent contained and firefighters hope to have it fully contained sometime Saturday night. The fire is expected to be controlled by 6 p.m. Sunday.

The fire center said the cause of this fire remains under investigation.

So far the wildfires have not caused any road closures in East Idaho.


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