The fires threatening homes in Chubbuck and backing up traffic on the interstate Friday were no longer a threat.
Fire crews told us the fire started when three transformers blew out in a brush field behind homes on Treehouse Drive, but Idaho Power has not confirmed that, though the utility did say almost 3,000 customers in the area were without electricity for a time.
The outage was originally reported at 3:35 pm in an area along Tyhee south to Interstate 15, including the Walmart area.
A brush fire was getting close to homes near the intersection of Elizabeth and Garden. Police were blocking off streets near East Chubbuck Road, including that intersection.
The fires started at at about 4 p.m. At about 4:30, firefighters from Chubbuck, Pocatello and Fort Hall were putting out hotspots. Flames were no longer visible at 4:30. No homes were lost, and evacuated residents were being allowed back into their homes as of 5 p.m.
The fire was going all the way to I-15, connecting with a fire that started there and blocked northbound traffic for an hour. The Idaho State Police said the smoke from that fire created low visibility and congestion on the highway. Two separate rear-end crashes occurred. The first happened when a Ford Expedition, driven by Jannelle R. Bean, 19, of Nevada, rear-ended a Ford F150 pickup truck, driven by Roger J. Hoopes, 64, of Tetonia. Bean and her passenger were taken by ambulance to Portneuf Medical Center. Hoopes was not injured.
The second collision occurred just north of the first crash when a Dodge Durango, driven by Christine Jones, 43, of Pocatello, rear-ended a Nissan Versa driven by Amber Burt, 22, of Idaho Falls. Neither was injured.
There is no word on the cause of the interstate fire, but the area had been under a severe thunderstorm warning Friday afternoon.