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State Fire burns near Malad

Oneida County fire continues to blaze

MALAD, Idaho - A fire started by lightning Thursday is threatening homes and livestock.

As of Monday, it was burning about one mile from homes near the community of Portage, Utah.  But the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands said the State Fire's threat to those residences is minimal.

The agency also said there is also imminent threat to the town of Samaria, Idaho.

Oneida County Sheriff Jeff Semrad said no one has had to evacuate so far, but folks in the area are on high alert.

He said about 200 cattle were herded away from path of fire. Ranchers are struggling to find places to put their animals.

The wind is blowing erratically, picking up, slowing down and changing directions. As of Monday afternoon, was spreading west.

The fire will likely not be completely out until first snowfall, Semrad said.

It has burned about 15,000 acres, including 10,500 acres of private property in Pocatello Valley and Box Elder County and about 5,000 acres in Idaho.

It was estimated to be 38 percent contained Monday morning.

The Eastern Idaho Interagency Fire Center said the fire is now 11 miles southwest of Malad.

The Utah agency is managing the firefighting effort with a delegation of authority from the Idaho Falls District Bureau of Land Management.

The fire made a significant push to the north and east Sunday and is now burning in steep, rocky terrain of grass, brush and juniper stands east of Portage into North Canyon, Idaho.

Crews will continue to construct containment lines to the north and east and patrol the  west flank of the fire in Pocatello Valley.

The Snake River Hot Shots and several interagency fire engines are helping to control the fire. Semrad said 500 fire crews have been called to battle the fire.

The "Very Large Air Tanker" (VLAT) made two retardant drops Sunday.

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