Saturday, September 3, 2011

Crews battle blaze in Winchester Canyon, Idaho - 2nd Sept 2011

The Idaho Department of Lands fights a wildfire in Winchester Canyon along Highway 95, about 15 miles south of Culdesac on Friday.

The call came in around 3:30 in the afternoon. Winchester Volunteer Fire Department Chief Jody Howard said the fire started down by the Highway near milepost 284, but strong wind gusts quickly spread the flames up the hillside toward Reubens.

"Right now it's pretty well contained by one area, but as you can see by looking around we have intermittent winds in here and some pretty swift ones," said Howard. "So every time the wind kicks up, fire flares up and we're busy again."

Close to 75 people, half a dozen engines, and five helicopters battled the blaze. The Idaho Department of Lands said the fire covered upwards of 75 acres in the area. The highway is down to one lane as ground crews worked from the bottom keeping the fire at bay. ISP said it will remain a one lane highway until at least 9 a.m. on Saturday.

Smoke from the blaze kept visibility close to zero in some spots. No structures are in immediate danger but several crop fields are threatened. Source