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UPDATE: Wednesday lightning storm ignites 27 fires; crews gaining ground

UPDATE: Wednesday lightning storm ignites 27 fires; crews gaining ground

By On Your Side Newsroom. CREATED Jul 24, 2014 - UPDATED: Jul 24, 2014

A lightning storm that went through the mountains on Wednesday night started 27 new fires within the Boise National Forest Fire and Idaho Department of Lands Protection District, including the Smith Creek Fire, within the Whiskey Fire Complex. The Forest Service is reporting however that 14 of those 27 fires have been contained.

The Whiskey Fire Complex made three crews and four engines available to the Boise National Forest yesterday to respond to the new fires. In addition, helicopters assigned to the Whiskey Fire Complex supported eight of the new fire starts.

Northwesterly winds will bring cool and dry air into the fire area today. Moving into the weekend, temperatures will warm and humidity will drop. Winds on the fire have been coming out of the west and southwest so the northwest winds predicted for today will test the fire lines.

Wash Fire – On the east flank, firefighters continued securing the line along the Grimes Creek Road yesterday evening with a 700 acre burnout operation. The purpose of the burnout was to eliminate fuel between the wildfire and the fire line so that it will not ignite at a later date. Mop-up and rehabilitation work will continue. The Centerville spike camp will shut down today and crews will either be moving back into the Incident Command Post in Garden Valley or they will be released from the fire.

Grimes Fire – There is a good solid containment line around the fire and crews will be patrolling and finishing mopping-up.

Mack Fire- The Mack Fire is about 300 acres and is 14 miles northeast if Boise in the Wildhorse Creek drainage.  15 homes are about a half mile from the fire, but the Boise County Sheriff's Office has not issued any evacuations. Air tankers are making drops to reduce the risk to the homes. Helicopters, five crews, three engines, and two dozers are working on the fire.  

Fan Fire- The Fan Fire is about 10 acres and is five miles east of Idaho City on Highway 21.  The fire is contained, but crews are keeping an eye out.

Smith Creek Fire – Firefighters expect to contain the new 1.5-acre, Smith Creek Fire east of Pioneerville by this evening.

Closures and Evacuations – An area closure is established around the Whiskey Complex, extending to points near Placerville, Centerville and Pioneerville. Grimes Pass, north of Pioneerville remains closed. Residents of Pioneerville remain under a Boise County Level 2 Voluntary Evacuation.

Changes in Closures and Evacuations – The Hot Springs Campground is open. The Closure on the South Fork Payette River Road will remain, with access limited to residents and firefighters only during the day today, but the closure will be lifted tonight at 8 p.m.