Wapiti Fire consumes timber lands in central Idaho

The Wapiti wildfire continues to burn near Grandjean in central Idaho.

Capital Press

The Wapiti Fire, which started Aug. 25 near Grandjean in central Idaho, has consumed 6,190 acres including four cabins and an outbuilding.

Light rain showers, higher relative humidity and lower temperatures “have really helped the fire hold in place,” Boise National Forest spokesman Mike Williamson said Aug. 27. “But once this passes, it’s going to warm up and dry out throughout the rest of the week. The fire might start moving again.”

The fire, about 13 miles southwest of Stanley, was growing north and east, the Boise National Forest said in a news release. Forest officials said a Type 2 Incident Management Team arrived, increasing operational and logistical support for fighting a growing wildfire in remote, rugged terrain.

Firefighters are focusing on keeping the fire north of the South Fork of the Payette River as well as National Forest System Road 524 — which leads from Idaho 21 to Grandjean and is closed — to protect the many cabins in the area. An area closure put into effect soon after the fire started aims to increase public and firefighter safety.

As of late Aug. 26, no injuries were reported, there was no reported containment percentage for the fire or an estimate of when it would be fully contained. The cause is under investigation. The firefighting effort involves 172 people, nine engines, five helicopters, five hand crews, two air tankers and a water tender.

The Boise County Sheriff’s Office on Aug. 25 evacuated Sawtooth Lodge, Grandjean Campground, and area summer homes and hiking trails.

Evacuees can call Lowman Ranger District at (208) 259-3361 for information about when it will be possible to access the area.

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