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UPDATE: Little Queens takes centerstage as crews battle Elk Complex, North Fork and other fires

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UPDATE: Little Queens takes centerstage as crews battle Elk Complex, North Fork and other fires

By Maria Decaney. CREATED Aug 21, 2013


The location for the community meeting regarding the Little Queens Fire has been determined.  The meeting will be held at 7 pm tonight (Wednesday night) at the Atlanta Highway Department office located at China Basin Rd, Boise, ID 83716.  The meeting is for property owners only.

The Little Queens Fire, 3 miles northwest of Atlanta, will be the focus of fire management in the Boise area today. Due to strong winds and unusually dry fuels, the fire made a run to the south toward Atlanta late yesterday afternoon. It is estimated at 9,500 acres with no containment.

A Type 2 Incident Management team has established a command post in Weatherby and is now directing fire operations.

The fire has reached the main Queens River on the south flank, which is the focus of suppression activities. 4 crews, 3 helicopters and 5 engines are among the resources assigned. Firefighters are locating water sources and setting up pumps and hose lays where possible to provide structure protection.

There is a Mandatory Evacuation in effect for Atlanta. The area is closed to the public. A community meeting will be held at 7 pm Wednesday night at the highway department for property owners only.

A Closure Order has been implemented on portions of the Sawtooth and Boise National Forests due to the rapid movement of the Little Queens Fire.

The closed area within the Boise National Forest is generally bounded by the Middle Fork Boise River Road (Forest Road 268) and Swanholm Road junction (Forest Road 327), then north on the Swanholm Road to Trail 057, then east to Forest Road 312 until it meets the Sawtooth Wilderness Boundary, and then south along the Wilderness boundary to the Boise/Sawtooth National Forest boundary and then west along the Mountain Home and Idaho City Ranger Districts boundary to Phifer Creek Road and then north until the junction of the Middle Fork Boise River Road. Elmore County has closed the James Creek Road and Phifer Creek Road from Rocky Bar north.

The Highland Fire started around 4 pm Tuesday along Highway 21 near Lucky Peak Dam. The fire quickly grew to approximately 600 acres and was burning on Forest Service, Idaho Department of Lands and private lands.

Six outbuildings were destroyed and one resident evacuated.

Crews from multiple agencies quickly responded with engines, dozers, helicopters and air tankers. A crew plus four engines and a dozer will be working the fire area, which is expected to be 100 % contained by midnight Wednesday.

The Elk Complex Fire is estimated at 131,046 acres and 85% contained.

A Closure Order remains in place in the vicinity of the Elk and Pony Complexes. With the exception of Fall Creek and Lester Creek Roads, all county roads and most forest roads within the Pine-Featherville area are open.

However, the public cannot walk, drive or use the area for recreation within the National Forest lands closure. Fall Creek and Lester Creek Roads remain open to residents only. The Trinity Lakes Recreation Area will remain closed due to its proximity to the Elk Complex.

A community meeting will be held Wednesday morning at 11 am at the Pine Senior Center.

Members of the Incident Management Team and the Forest Service will share information and answer questions about the Elk Complex Fire. Command of the fire will be turned over to a smaller firefighting organization early Thursday morning.

Crews will continue to restore constructed containment lines under the guidance of resource advisors.

The North Fork Fire is approximately 20 miles southeast of Cascade, ID. The fire is now 327 acres with 50% containment.

The fire has not grown for the several days. Line construction is completed. Mop-up is being done on the south and west flanks. The north and east sides will be monitored. Many resources are being released. The fire will be turned over to a smaller firefighting organization on Thursday. This is the final report for this fire unless conditions change. The Stratton Trail (#010) on the Emmett and Lowman Ranger Districts is closed in the vicinity of the fire.

The Juni Fire is located 32 miles south of Jordan Valley, OR. It is 2,800 acres and 30% contained. The majority of burnout operations have been completed and containment lines are in place from Juniper Mountain Road to Mud Flat Road, up to Squaw Creek. Juniper Mountain and Mud Flat Roads are closed. Expected gusty winds could test containment lines.

Incident information for all large fires can be viewed at www.inciweb.nwcg.gov

For details about the Stage I fire restrictions currently in effect please visit www.blm.gov/id.

For general information on the current fires on the Boise National Forest, please call the Boise Fire Information Center at 208-384-3266.

The Center is being staffed from 7am-7pm every day as warranted by fire activity.